Today is the last day of the Wellington Outreach with Operation513. There has been so much going on, and so many witnessing encounters to document, that it has taken me a week to complete these reports!
I look back over this last week, and can see how God has been good to us, granting us awesome Gospel chat after awesome Gospel chat. Today was no exception!
Glen and myself caught the train into Wellington city, and the bus to Cuba Mall, where we were joined by Maara and Daniel. We had planned to come in yesterday, but the weather shut us out. It is all in God’s perfect providence and timing though, as we still had fantastic Gospel conversations!
I gave away dozens of tracts, but had a bit of trouble getting people to stop and talk at first.
The first person that did stop was an interesting guy. I asked him what happens when we die. He said he was a Physicist, so enjoyed discussing these things. He said there was no way to know. He was sceptical that there was a God, so I gave him the building / builder analogy. He said that made perfect sense! I asked him that if there was a creator, would he be happy with the way he is living in His universe. He said probably not. We went through some of the law together, and he realised he would be in bad trouble. He had to get to work, so I gave him a couple of tracts, that explain the foolishness of believing in nothing creating everything. He thanked me for the chat, and that I gave him something to think about. Let’s hope he does, and that God won’t leave him alone until he gives in and repents!
My next chat of note was with a guy named Marcus. He was open to all religious concepts of the afterlife. I asked him which one was true, and he said they all are. I said that’s not possible, because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me”. This means that if He was telling the truth, then all other religions are false. He said he didn’t think about it that way. So we went through the law together, and he knew he would be in trouble. I explained the Gospel to him, and he was very thankful. He too had to disappear to work, and shook my hand. He took a couple of tracts off me.
Then I had an awesome chat with a young Fijian man named George. He was very humble, realising he had sinned against the maker of the universe, and would be held accountable for those sins in a horrible afterlife. That paved the way for the Gospel to do its’ beautiful healing work on his soul. He looked downcast, but I assured him that placing his faith in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins was all that was needed to assure eternal life. Then he opened up, saying he used to go to church, but only goes occasionally when his family went. He was hungry to learn more, so I gave him the link to download the Bible on his phone. He said he had just flown up from Christchurch that morning. I said it was no coincidence that God flew him up here to speak to me. I gave him the link to Glen’s church in Christchurch. He said he knew exactly where it was, because he lives nearby! He said he would visit when he got back. Praying he follows through!
I spotted Maara talking with a Scottish man earlier for a long time. He left, and had come back. He was doing most of the talking, so I thought I would go over and listen in. He said he was a Christian, but hates church due to all the hypocrites that go there. This rang alarm bells for me. He said hello to me, said his name wss David, and repeated everything he had told Maara. The guy just wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways. It was a circular discussion that lasted about 20 minutes, so I had to let him go. At least he took a couple of tracts off Maara and I.
Daniel & Maara had other commitments for the rest of the day, so it was back to Glen & myself.
We had lunch, then went over to the waterfront, to the place I often go during my work lunchbreak. The weather was nice at that stage, so there were dozens of people walking in all directions. We found a spot to hand out tracts. Glen disappeared to talk with people sitting on the grass. Then all of a sudden the weather changed for the bad. I managed to strike up a conversation with a young man named Lucas. It was going great, but he had insufficient clothing on, and the wind had turned cold and was ramping up. To top it off, a helicopter landed on the wharf not far from us, making it practically impossible to hear each other. He took a couple of tracts.
We sought shelter from the wind around the corner by some restaurants, and I stopped a couple of girls to chat. It turned out they were Catholic. Not just your everyday do-good Catholic, but militant ones. They went to a Catholic college, and answered every question as if quoted directly from the Catholic catechism. They were sticking to their guns that they still needed to do good works to impress God. No amount of pleading, backed up with scripture – that it was Christ alone for salvation – could sway them from their beliefs. They did take some tracts of me, so I can only pray that God would get through to them!
Then the heavens opened with very heavy rain, and I had to disappear to get some warmer clothes and a jacket on. We decided we would seek the cover of the shops on Lambton Quay. It turned out to be a great decision, because there was a constant flow of people in both directions!
I must have handed out over 100 tracts. The odd person would stop and ask what it was all about, but no one wanted to chat except for a couple of people. The first was a young guy, who said it was exactly what he needed to hear. I said I know, because the Gospel is something that everyone needs to hear! He lived in the Hutt Valley, so I gave him a church contact card. He said he might pay us a visit.
I also chatted with a young Muslim lady. She was very sweet and humble, accepting everything I was saying. I asked her what Allah did so that she could be let off her sins. She said nothing, apart from being merciful towards us. I asked her if a worldly judge let everyone off their crimes, would they be a good judge? She said no, that would be bad. I asked her wouldn’t that make Allah bad also? She thought for a while, then said yes, I was probably right. I explained that the only way she could avoid her hell punishment was if someone took it all on her behalf. That’s why Jesus, who was God in the flesh, died on the cross for us. She was smiling and agreeing – but to be honest, I am not sure if it was genuine or put on. I can only leave her in God’s hands.
UPDATE: I started back at work the Monday after the outreach, and there were a number of new starters. To my surprise, one of them was the same Muslim lady! I am not sure she recognises me. My intention is to speak with her, and let her know that if she has questions I am happy to answer them, and leave it at that. I have to be careful proselytizing while working in a Government department, but I have no doubt that God has lead her here for a reason!
My last chat on Lambton Quay was with a young South African man who had just emigrated here. He told me he came for work, and found a job in an engineering firm in Naenae, not far from our church. He is a Christian, actively looking for a local church to put his roots into. I gave him a church contact card, and he was excited to check us out. He had to go back to South Africa that weekend to bring his family back, but will definitely visit on return. He said that while he has been in NZ, his wife had given birth to their latest son, and he couldn’t wait to meet him! I pray that our fellowship can meet their spiritual needs.
With that, it was time to end the outreach :(. We went to McDonalds for coffee and debrief. My wife picked us up, and we headed to a restaurant for dinner, where we shared all the highs and lows for the week. Then we dropped Glen at the airport for his flight home.
It was an exhausting yet exhilarating week at the same time. Dozens and dozens of people were witnessed to by the team, and hundreds upon hundreds of Gospel tracts handed out. But through it all, God gets all the glory! We are just so privileged to be able to share the greatest news anyone could ever hear. We pray that the Gospel seeds planted will be watered, and God will providentially grant the increase, for His glory alone!
There are a few people i need to thank:
My awesome wife Jan and your beautiful gift of hospitality – and for providing those awesome meals we devoured after every day of outreach!
My Pastor, Jarryd Alcorn, who agreed for the church to take on this big task. And thank you for setting the example – getting out from behind the pulpit. and getting out to the streets yourself!
The people of Calvary Wellington, who made it a record attendance for Glen at the training! I know you all have other commitments and couldn’t all make it onto the streets during the week, but I pray that all you all take those opportunities to fulfil the great commission, now that you have learnt some new tools!
Of course, many thanks to Glen Richards for taking the time to come an serve us at Calvary Wellington. You are an awesome example of beautiful feet, shod with the Gospel of peace. You will always inspire me to swallow my fear, and focus on the one job the church was ordained to do – to “Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Lastly, all glory and thanks to God – who delivers us out of the hands of eternal death through the redemption of His glorious Son! He also allows us to spread this good news to others – providentially providing people to cross our pass to hear it!