Sharing the Gospel IN N Z 1
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QUICK TO LISTEN HAVE YOU GOT SOULWINNING STORYS THAT YOU CAN SHARE LIKE THIS ? NEVILLE I meet this lady at 2 soulwinning meetings pray for her THANKS We were out sharing the Gospel again one Saturday night. I enjoy pairing up with different peopleto see different styles of sharing the Gospel. Another lady and I had some neat opportunities to share the Gospel, for example, I saw two teenage girls coming up the footpath on the other side of the road. So we crossed over to speak with them. I got their attention by giving them the “Million Dollar note with a million dollar question on the back” which they took. I then asked if they had any spiritual beliefs. They said they were Jehovah’s Witnesses – well JWs normally don’t take any “literature” but they’d already taken ours! I engaged them in conversation, gauging where they were at and finding that they’d been brought up as JWs, and seemed to be pretty well taught in those beliefs. Since they were friendly and quite open, I was trying to think of what approach to use to share the Gospel truthfully without getting hung up on an argument about the Trinity or something (which may have turned them off all together). As I was still thinking this, my friend joined in and shared the Gospel in a direct, truthful and loving way. The girls really appreciated it, and were really receptive. One hugged us as they left. Please pray for them, that they will respond to the true Gospel and put their trust in Jesus and Jesus alone. SOME SILLY, SOME SERIOUS Speaking of JWs... I was at night market last night, and a group of youth come over, being quite rowdy and slightly too much on the silly side. However some seemed to have some genuine questions, though others were making what seemed to be silly objections, like the girl who said, “Christmas is wrong! We shouldn’t celebrate it!” Eventually most of the youth had heard as much as they wanted to, and headed off. There were a few girls left – one being this girl who objected to Christmas, who was sitting near me quietly, patiently waiting for a serious talk. Her friends wanted to go off and said that she’d had enough of this “Jesus talk” for the night. Though they were persuading her a lot, she was determined to remain and talk more. Eventually her friends gave up and let her do so. She said she was so confused, and that she was a Witness – ah, that’s why she objects to Christmas! I gently explained that yes, Christmas was a pagan festival that was Christianized and now commercialized – but we can’t stop it being celebrated so that’s why I like to point people to the Christ of Christmas. But I said some people may not see it that way, and that’s fine too. I went on to challenge her on the Gospel and how she had her own choice to respond to Jesus. Finally she headed over to her friends who were sitting waiting for her. Meanwhile a Christian lady I’ve met before had been hanging round from when the large group of youth was there. She too could see how God was definitely at work in this young girl’s life, so we prayed together for her. I saw the girl still sitting there, so I gave her a can of Coca Cola that someone had kindly bought for me, and she was willing to take my email and phone number, though she didn’t want to take any literature. Please pray that she will get in touch and that she will understand the true Gospel and put her faith in Jesus. And thank God for His work in her life! RAGE TO RECONCILIATION In early November, I walked up to two people sitting in the park, to share the Gospel with them. The lady said she was already at a church, and the man was visiting from Fiji, and belonged to another religion. The lady didn’t sound too interested, but the man was, so I talked with him a while. The lady walked off and I continued to share with the man. As we were chatting, he mentioned that he was planning to go to Auckland briefly, but he didn’t have a plan of how to get there – so I suggested that he’d probably be able to get a ride up with a few of us who were going up the following week. I gave him my number to get in touch if he was interested – at which point the lady came back and misinterpreted the situation, thinking I was chatting him up or something! Whoops! She started swearing at me and there seemed to be no way of talking reasonably so I walked off and prayed for reconciliation. I didn’t know if or when that prayer would be answered. About two weeks later, I shared the Gospel with an older lady, and then her son came up and recognised me – he was the man from the park! Things were all good with him, but I really wanted reconciliation with the lady, so I prayed again, and then forgot about it again.... Until about two weeks later, when another lady and I were out sharing the Gospel, and we went up to talk with a lady on the other side of the park. As we were sharing, she mentioned something about “last time” and apologised for her actions. I paused for a minute and suddenly realised who it was! Though I had forgotten, God had answered my prayer! We talked a while and she turned out to be rather interested in the Gospel, and I gave her my number so we can catch up for a Bible study. We hugged each other as we left, and God had truly brought reconciliation! Praise Him! GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART Sometimes I just sit and think, and God puts great ideas into my head! One of these times was several weeks ago, when He gave me the idea of running a thanksgiving night. I can’t remember what the American traditions are for such an evening, but I prayerfully brainstormed what to do and how it would work out, and planned the night. A group of us joined together and had some food, fun and fellowship, focused on God and what we were thankful for. It was a neat time! One of the things that I am thankful for came only two nights before the thanksgiving dinner. Again, I had been sitting and think-praying (if that’s a word!) and God gave me the idea to invite two sisters from church over for a sleep-over. I have got to know these two girls a bit over the past couple of years – one through youth group and one through Girlzone (the ministry to intermediate-age girls, which I helped with each fortnight while the main leader was in Fiji). Girlzone started off with mostly church girls, but when it almost doubled in size from the addition of several girls from the community, the leader aimed for it to be more evangelistic! So anyway, I invited these two sisters over; the older one couldn’t come that night but the younger one did. We had a neat evening and following morning, playing games, reading our Bibles, and doing lots of exercise!! But the highlight for me was this card that she gave, which said that the Girlzone devotions I took had a great effect on her life and helped her to become a Christian. She wrote that without me and the other leaders, she’d still be unsaved! Wow! I had no idea about this when I invited the girls over, but maybe that’s why God put that idea into my head – and I am so grateful that He did! Praise the Lord for His work in people’s lives, and the glimpses we get of that. All glory to Him! A NIGHT AT NAPIER It started out as an overcast afternoon, and then turned to persistent drizzle – good weather for the farmers, I’m sure! But for the crowd that had just arrived and was used to sunny Hawke’s Bay weather, or the ones with small children, it was too much – and soon there was a mass migration back to their cars. Meanwhile, some with umbrellas or other wet weather gear, as well as some youth, stayed on to brave it out at Napier’s Christmas in the Park last weekend. Three of us went over for the evening, to share the Gospel with as many people as we could! One had some really great opportunities and saw some young people very responsive to the Gospel. On the other hand I found it quite hard-going at times, meeting a lot of youth who didn’t really know much about Jesus at all, let alone understand His relevance to them now. As well as hard people, God gave me some more receptive ones too! For example there was a man from the Philippines who was Catholic, and when he moved here for study, he made it a priority to find a church to go to. He seemed to be genuinely saved by faith and not by works, and wanted to share the Gospel with others, so I gave him one of Gareth’s new cards and briefly showed him how to use it. Later on, I met a lady who was happily minding the “spot” while her family were off exploring. She was happy to chat. We talked for a while, and during the conversation I asked her if she knew why Jesus was so important. She didn’t, so I shared the Gospel with the Bridge to Life picture, and she suddenly understood Jesus’ relevance a whole lot more! We’d also mentioned the wise men and the gifts they brought, and so I went on to talk about them and discovered they related to the Gospel really well! Gold – a gift for a king, so you need to make Jesus the king of your life. Frankincense – a gift for a priest, as Jesus is the mediator or priest between God and man. And myrrh – a gift for one who will die, which is a strange gift for a baby, but points to His death for us. Thank God that he put the right words in my mouth, and please pray that this lady will come to Him! There were quite a few others I talked with, but one in particular that really caught my attention. I approached 3 young people, 2 guys and a girl, to talk to them. They were soon joined by a third guy and another girl. As I started talking about spiritual things, the first two guys soon wandered off. The first girl, “Tash” (not her real name) said that she didn’t believe in Jesus, but was into spiritualist things such as crystals and card-reading. The remaining guy then asked, “What do you think of Satanists?” I paused before replying, and then one of them asked if I was trying not to say something rude! Then my reply was that Satanists, as well as various other religious people, as I was once also, are deceived and need to come to Jesus who is the truth. That guy soon left also, and I was left with the two girls, Tash, and the other who was quite quiet. We continued to talk for quite a while. Tash said how she was from a Christian family (though her mum used to be a witch) and how her family still have hope that she’ll turn to Jesus sometime. She shared how she had a traumatic experience in her life, and how she felt God wasn’t there for her at that time. And how she had been to a church and felt judged, and then went to a church “that was more like a hospital” and accepted people as they were, but she left that latter one when people connected to her traumatic experience started turning up there. It was hard to know what to say, not having experienced such things myself. She seemed to reject Jesus because of her perception of Him from other people and from bad experiences in her life. However she did (reluctantly?) let me pray for her. And really I think that is what she needs – God to work in her life. And I hope I was a small part of that. I think she may need to meet and get to know a few genuine and loving Christians who show her what Jesus is like, and that may soften her a bit. She has pain and hurt in her life, and I think it will take time and patience – but like her family, I have hope that one day she will come to true faith in Jesus. She was more genuine, open and talkative than most of the young people that night, and I don’t think God’s finished with her yet! Please see attachment for a map of where I'll be over summer! HAPPY CHRISTMAS Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, and more importantly to pray for us and those we point to Jesus. I am so thankful to God for each of you who prays, encourages, and supports me in various ways. I hope you have a happy Christmas, celebrating Jesus, the reason for the season! Christmas is a really good chance to bring up the Gospel with people – for example someone texted me, “All prepared for xmas?” My reply: “X marks the spot where people take CHRIST out of Christmas. Leaving Him out of Christmas is bad enough but leaving Him out of your life is fatal.” I later texted that I didn’t want him to take it the wrong way either, and he texted back to say he agreed it was a bit contradictory of him to celebrate Christmas. So be encouraged and see what opportunities you can take to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others over this summer period!