Today was the big Easter Outreach for our fellowship at Calvary Wellington.
The weather was cloudy, and a little cool, but still perfect for what we had planned! We met at the stall for prayer at 9am. We had about 500 hot cross packs, along with about 200 Whittakers chocolate packs. Both packs had an Easter Tract from Operation513, and a welcome message from our fellowship.
A few stayed around the table, while some took bags full of goodies, and went around the market looking for people to engage with. Pastor Jarryd, and Meli had turns on the guitar, sing Easter-themed songs.
I tended to wait across the way from the table, picking people off walking past. My line was “Here’s an Easter gift for you. On it is the true story of the meaning of Easter. Do you know what Easter’s all about? This didn’t work as well as last year, so I reverted back to the more comfortable “Here’s an Easter gift for you. Can I ask you a question? It’s a deep one: What do you think happens after we die?”.
I managed to shock a woman with this question. She said she knows all about Easter because her husband is a Christian. I asked her where he was going when he died. She pointed up and said heaven. And what about you? She shrugged and said she didn’t know. I asked what her husband did that set him apart? She again shrugged and said she didn’t know. I was flabbergasted, if not angry, that her husband had not explained the Gospel to her. I took her through the law, and she came out pretty rotten to the core like the rest of us. She felt certain she would go to hell. I asked her how she felt that if she died she would never see her husband again – in this life or the next. She shrugged. I asked her what she thought would happen to her if someone took all her hell punishment for her. She said maybe go to heaven. I said that’s exactly what Jesus did for you (pointing to the tract). She said “OK, OK, I get this from my husband all the time”. As she walked away, I asked her to read the tract, and ask her husband how she could be 100% sure of going to heaven.
Where we set up was directly opposite a Zionist cult group. Pastor Jarryd warned us they like to infiltrate churches and pick church folk off, so be very weary of them. One of them did come over to our table and offer literature, but none of the ones tending the table at the time took it from them. At one point I did see Jarryd chatting with them.
I didn’t get too far in any conversations until near the end of the outreach. A couple of our guys were chatting to a gentleman, who was interested in what we were doing. I came over to chat to him. He turned out to be a Buddhist, which surprised me. I asked him what did he think Easter was all about. He said he liked to gather as much information from all the religions, and apply the good stuff to his life. I stressed the danger in this, as nothing will take away the punishment for all the wrong things he has done. He said there wasn’t going to be a punishment. When I asked if he believed in a creator, he said maybe but not really. He believed in reincarnation and karma, but with no evidence to back it up. I asked him if he believed in justice. He did, so I asked how can reincarnation possibly be justice, as the next life comes around with no consequences to the previous. He said there was no evidence of a creator. I used the building / builder analogy to explain evidence of a creator, but he was denying it, saying it wasn’t proof. I asked him how the universe got here, but he just diverted into feelings and emotions. I asked him if his feelings defied logic and science, which one would he go for? He said feelings, every time. I asked him if he had lied, stolen, used foul language. He said yes, so I asked him how the creator of the universe would feel about that. He said he wouldn’t have to give account, just make up for the bad things and hopefully what goes around comes around. I shook his hand, and said I hoped that worked out for him on Judgement Day (a line I stole from one of the online evangelism team).
So it really was an awesome morning, with everyone coming back with great stories of the conversations they had. We pray that all will bear fruit, according to the will of God, and that through the Gospel story, He receives all the glory!