Sharing the Gospel IN N Z 3 c's Testimony
Sharing the Gospel IN N Z 3 c“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
(Ephesians 1:3-4 ESV)
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV)
A recurring theme I’ve noticed lately… the Lord’s aim is for us to become holy and blameless before Him. What a privilege, what an honour!
There's plenty of photos in the attachment!
STEP INSIDE THE SCHOOL
Thanks to those who supported in specific prayer – and more importantly, thanks to God who answered our prayers – the meeting with the principal at Karamu High School went well – we just need to fill out police vetting and sort out admin details, and then we can hopefully start a programme there soon – praise God!
Now please pray that they will get onto this as I have not heard back from them yet.
TO TALK OR NOT TO TALK?
I have enjoyed being out on the streets a lot recently, as there has been a bit less admin work and planning for a while – until the next holiday programmes are imminent! Some days were excellent; other days the going seemed tougher. A few stories are below.
Linley and I were talking with two young guys. One in particular was interested in the Gospel and chatty. Meanwhile a girl came up, and said she wasn’t interested – so I asked why. She didn’t want to talk, and soon walked away. In fact there are a few girls around town recently who I’ve met which are like that. But I have been inspired by the story of Nicky Cruz – that we should just keep showing them love and friendship, and God can work in their hearts. A couple of these same girls refused to talk to Gareth – and threw chips at him! Later that day they saw Gareth talking to one of their friends. And still later that same day, they came near to where Gareth was sitting, just so they could talk – a bridge is starting to be built. May these ones with “hard” outsides soften to the Lord Jesus, as He is at work through us.
In NZ, we don’t necessarily need to go overseas to do cross-cultural mission – it’s on our doorstep also! We stopped to talk to two backpackers from Czech Republic. One didn’t really want to listen to the Gospel, saying that there were different Bibles and different religions and that he was a good person so he’d be welcome into heaven... I had a thought about quoting Scripture to him, but thought he wasn’t likely to accept it based on what he’d been saying. Yet the thought remained. So I quoted John 14:6 – and said that either Jesus was right or he wasn’t. Silence! The arguments stopped, and though I don’t think he was yet convinced, he didn’t seem to have any more arguments. May God continue to show him the truth.
Another time, I went over to two young women who were having a smoke during their break from their EIT course. I asked them what they thought the meaning of life is, and discovered that they think there is different truth for each person. As they talked, I could sense they had various hurts and problems. (I realised that one of these ladies was probably one I had approached around Christmas a year or two ago. Her answer at that time caught me off guard – she didn’t want to talk about Christmas because it would be the first one without both her parents. What does one say?!) I did not attack their beliefs directly. However I tactfully suggested that if I believed that 2+3 =6, even if I sincerely believed it, that does not make it true! So if it doesn’t work in maths, why would it work in spiritual beliefs? We chatted for over half an hour, and I shared the Gospel and attempted to bring a Biblical perspective and just be a listening ear. I didn’t feel I did much, but God must have been at work – before I left, the each asked for a tract (which I hadn’t offered by that point) and let me pray for them!
THEY CAME, THEY SAW, THEY HEARD... THE GOSPEL
I have been aiming to get out for more Open Air messages lately. One place I had been eyeing up for over a year, as a good spot to go, is a corner dairy when many students from a nearby high school congregate on their way home.
We got there early, before school finished, so I had time to set up the sketchboard and start sketching up some puzzles – my “catch” to get their attention and interaction in this case. I didn’t really know what to expect and if I’d prepared enough, but I waited and trusted God had it sorted. And He did!
Soon a couple of primary students came by with their mother, and my friend and I spoke with them for a while. Then a high school student, alone, and we spoke with him. They were very willing to stop and chat.
Soon the rush I had been imagining arrived. A group of about 15 students gathered round and had a go at the puzzles – I found these good to gain some interaction and keep them curious. Meanwhile I specially chose the word-puzzles to be ones that I could relate to the Gospel easily. As I got onto sharing the Gospel, I was nervous, because I’ve noticed this seems to be the time when the crowd diffuses. But it didn’t – they stayed to attention, to the end, where I challenged various individuals in the group as to whether they had made a choice to turn and trust in Jesus. One readily said that he already had, while others were unsure.
Soon that crowd dispersed... And little did I know that more were coming. Many from an intermediate school also came past, had a go at the puzzles, and heard the Gospel. I sighed a thank-You to the Lord for such a great experience, and I am keen to go back again to this “fishing spot” – with Open Air messages that cover the Gospel more in-depth, and more copies of this message so I can repeat the drawing two or three times with the various people and groups that go past!
A friend was amused by how I turned about 10 objects into about 40 objects in about two seconds! I was not so amused... for it was my tray of chalk pastels which I accidentally knocked while gesturing, and they shattered on the ground. So yes I did have many more objects, but they were shorter than the originals!
I have had the chalk pastels out a bit recently, and I am learning what works well and what doesn’t. As well as the Open Air message I previously mentioned, I planned to do a similar one outside the movie theatre on Saturday night. In previous Saturdays there has been a great influx of people come out as a movie finishes, so I thought it was an ideal spot. The night was cold though, and it didn’t work as well as I hoped. I used a puzzle-board drawing which people were meant to stop and look at – however few stopped so I mainly just talked with a group of girls who said they were Mormons (picture on next page)
Meanwhile others in the team had some one-on-one chats with people. One spent most of the hour in a passionate discussion with two Muslim men who recognised me. I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not. Apparently, they didn’t like the picture on the Good Person Test flipchart I use because it pictures two Muslims (Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussain) alongside Adolf Hitler and a member of the KKK. Now I have spoken to Muslims before who have challenged me on the picture, saying that it is not the point of the Good Person Test (and other versions of the flipchart have better pictures), but it seems they still find fault. Or maybe they are bothered by the Gospel. Interestingly, these two men have married Maori ladies, who are Muslim now I guess – and apparently when they have children they want to bring them to me to hear what I have to say! I’m not sure what their motive is for this, but I’m curious and hope that God continues to work in their lives and that they’ll be saved. Meanwhile I am glad that God is watching over me if there is any unkind motive in their watch of me....
STEPPING OUT IN FAITH
There are a few events coming up... Some of which
I consider quite a scary prospect in a way, but I’m
glad that our God has it sorted.
Next Friday, 12 June, is a Talent Show outreach –
and most of the organising and final preparation is
to be done in the next 10 days before then! So I am
trusting God makes it a success!
This Saturday there is a day of prayer and outreach in Palmerston North – feel free to join! We’ll be driving from Hawke’s Bay and have spare seats at this stage!
On 19-20 June there are Matariki celebrations in Flaxmere and Napier. I’m looking at getting a stall there so we can share the Gospel freely. Let me know if you’re in the area and would like to join us!
Also we are starting to plan ahead for kids’ holiday programmes in July. In terms of children’s ministry, I am very blessed to have recently acquired some cheap CDs with good songs on them, as well as some great Doug Horley songs off iTunes! Praise God for his provision.
Thanks again for your prayers and support. I mean it. May God bless and keep you.
Love from Maria
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