Well I woke up with both relief and sadness this morning.
My [redacted] year old body is saying “It’s time to leave now”. However, my heart is screaming “Nooooooo!”.
I am so enjoying fellowshipping with and learning from these wonderful like-minded people. They are all a joy to be around!
Already a few people have left – Phil & Emma from Whangarei here in NZ, and Kane & Paul have gone back to their respective families in Brisbane. The house is feeling a bit empty.
But there is still work for us to do. So, after some final packing, we join in on the weekly online Bible study, today in Romans 14.
Saturday is training day for Operation513. That means pairing up with other more experienced evangelists, and taking turns having Omegle chats, and critiquing each other. I was with Ryan, and was on the live online stream as well, making things interesting. You can watch the whole stream here.
We started by answering some viewers questions, and then it’s onto some chats. I had a couple of good ones:
3 sisters from Ontario, Canada – it took a while to break through in terms of focus, as they were constantly being distracted by their phones. Once the penny dropped that entry to heaven is by 100% faith in Christ and nothing to do with themselves, they saw no reason not to do just that. They were going to download the ESV app and start reading straight away. Great chat! It starts about the 23:20 mark.
2 young men from Texas, US – they were very respectful and responded very positively to the Gospel. Said that it made sense to trust that Jesus took 100% of their hell punishment. Praying they do! This chat starts at about the 1:37:30 mark.
After a couple more of online questions, I had to scramble because my ride to the airport had arrived. This officially ended Schoolies 2022 for me. I will miss it so much!
After saying goodbye to everyone, Glen, Andy and myself hitched a lift to the airport from Matt. Thanks Matt!
Summary of Schoolies Week:
I can’t believe how I’ve grown this past last week. In light of what I’ve observed, I can pinpoint how my evangelising has changed:
- I am a better listener. So often I want to leap in and interrupt to make a point, but I’m learning to let the people have their say.
- I appreciate teamwork better. Evangelism doesn’t have to always be alone, and having someone by your side to push you on, is priceless.
- I rely on God more so than myself. In evangelism, God does all the work, and I would do best getting out of the way, and stop interfering!
- I have changed what I say in light of what I have learnt and observed from others. This took a heathy dose of a bitter humility medicine, and patience. It is a fool who thinks he knows everything, when the truth exposes otherwise!
To Ryan & Bekki (from Brisbane): Ryan, you are a God-given leader. Thank you for guiding us through the week, and helping me with those online chats!. And thanks also to your parents for gifting us such a beautiful pad for us to use for the week! Bekki, thank you for your servant heart, and keeping our bellies satisfied with all those beautiful meals!
To Kane & Damian (aka Kano & Damo, Brisbane): Kano, you have the gift of the gab (in a good way), and I was impressed how you used it in a clear, concise manner in evangelism. You were so encouraging when we were paired together. Damo, you cannot be that young and do what you do! You show maturity well in advance of your years, but still know how to have fun! I pray God uses you more and more as you grow in Him!
To Phil & Emma (Whangarei, NZ): Phil, I hope you have recovered from all the online world travel, and trust that you didn’t lose your luggage on the way 😉 . It was great getting to know you better, and having fun with reptiles in the pool! Emma, you were relentless on the streets, and a joy to be around. I hope your farm animals didn’t miss you too much!
To Paul (aka Walter White, from Breaking Bad, Brisbane): Flatulence aside, you are so much fun to be around. You are faithful in keeping the online contingent connected, and I’ll never forget the Schoolies chasing you down, yelling “Walter White! Walter White”, and getting their photo taken with you; and you using that to springboard into a Gospel conversation!
To Andy (Christchurch, NZ): You are the epitome of calmness and gentleness. Nothing seems to faze you. The people you share the Gospel with warm to you because of this. And special thanks for the one-on-one witnessing tips!
To Glen (Christchurch, NZ): You are the most driven and focused person I have met when it comes to evangelism! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have come to Schoolies at all! Sorry for keeping you up so late waiting for my bags in Christchurch 🙁 . I promise to come to serve alongside with you again when I visit!
To the Omegle online team around the world:
Tara: I never got to pronounce your name right, as calling you a terror doesn’t sit right 🙂 . You are such a beautiful example of perseverance in Christ through adversity. I just wish I had your fortitude at your age! Thank you for all your encouragement!
Harmony: You are such a calm, Godly young woman, and you were so sweet and encouraging to me when I was stumbling my way through Omegle live. It was also fun hearing you sing that CityAlight song on the ukelele!
Caryssa, Hudson, and Abraham: Thank you for peppering the chat with encouragement when I was online! Keep up the evangelism, and don’t stop!
I know there are others online I have missed, but thank you all! I wish I had this platform when I was your age, [redacted] years ago. God is using you all for His glory!
Jan: (my wife): When I first brought up the subject of Schoolies, you said to go straight away, without hesitation. You are so good to me, more than I deserve, and I will always love you, and be grateful for you!
So, would I do Schoolies again?
Lord willing, in a heartbeat! This has been an awesome experience – one that has made me a better evangelist. And anything that makes me a better evangelist brings more glory to God. And that is always my final goal. God is always looking for amazing ways to take broken vessels like me to garner more glory for Himself, and they don’t come more broken than me. He can use a broken vessel like you too, so consider joining them on an outreach! Then next one is in the Philippines (which sadly I can’t make 🙁 ). They are a great team to work with!