Sharing the Gospel IN N Z 3 d's Testimony
Sharing the Gospel IN N Z 3 d“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:12-17 (ESV)
We live in a sick world and it’s going downhill fast. But praise be to God, who knew this would happen and has made a way for us to be saved.
Please see the attachment for photos - lots of them.
Last weekend we enjoyed having a stall at the festivals in Flaxmere and Napier to celebrate the Maori New Year. We were blessed with a box of resources from Maori Postal to give away, and some people took these. We used various tools to share the Gospel, including the new wisdom flipchart, the new UV light, surveys, and “magic” tricks.
What is the most difficult? Dogs (“Poodle or sausage dog?”), butterflies, swords, monkeys, a flower or two, lions, a person, and even an aeroplane! I also made these sorts of balloon creations to draw in kids and meanwhile others in the team could share the Gospel with them and their families.
My method with balloon making is to ask a kid what they’d like and then try and make it – I found the human the hardest, while the aeroplane came out surprisingly well. Often people ask me who taught me about balloons and really I think it is mostly a gift from God that I’m so good with my hands, combined with a mish-mash of observation and DIY and tips from a few people.
In Flaxmere God answered our prayers to keep the weather fine and we stayed dry all night. Also I had prayed for a spacious corner and we sure got one! The organizing lady gave us a choice where to set up. Gareth and I and another lady were at the OAC stand sharing the Gospel, but it was also encouraging to meet Samoans from a church in Flaxmere that were faithfully walking around and sharing the Gospel out there too.
I enjoyed trying out the UV light which makes fluorescent paint glow in the dark on the sketch-board. I did a few open airs with puzzles, but found that often the youth were more there for the fun and the “novelty” factor and didn’t want to hear the Gospel. Yet some did, to make it worthwhile.
And while the night did go pretty smoothly, 2 Timothy 3:12 is still true in NZ – two of our chairs went missing (presumably stolen!) and thankfully the people we borrowed them from weren’t upset, as long as we replaced them.
In Napier we also had a spacious corner – a beautiful answer to prayer. The wind died down too, which was good because we didn’t have much to stop the gazebo blowing away.
However the rain came and so the festival was a bit quieter than it could have been. And I had a lot of stuff to dry later...
We joined with some people from a church in Napier, who are keen for equipping in evangelism. Gareth trained them in survey evangelism while I set up the site, and then they had a go at stepping out and sharing their faith. For some, this was an exciting step; for others it was the first time and scary – but they did so well! They are in the picture to the right, believe it or not... Though you can better see the sketch-board under the UV light.
Both festivals ended in a fantastic display of fireworks. Despite the rain, these ones in Napier were awesome.
Over this term, I have been telling the story of Nicky Cruz as a serial story at the high schools. I enjoy ending it at a highly suspenseful part so that everyone goes “oh, don’t stop there,” and want to hear more. I am practicing my story-telling, but even so, the story of Nicky Cruz is a gripping and exciting story of how God brought a young man from being an infamous deadly gang leader into a famous preacher.
At Havelock High, one of my co-leaders wanted to hear the story before he had to leave early. Meanwhile at the other high school, one girl begged me to finish the story because she has been missing out on hockey in order to come to the lunchtime programme and hear what happens next. At this same school, others had seen me as I packed up just before their class started, and were curious. So I told them how we have a Christian programme and that currently we were going through the story of Nicky Cruz - so they were keen to hear more and came back the following weeks to learn more – and hear the Gospel!
The high schools have been going well, as has the Bible in Schools programme that we do. Numbers have dropped at Havelock High, but we have a few consistent students there. Meanwhile we are still waiting for Karamu.... Please pray.
WE WILL MEET AGAIN
An interesting task I have recently been enjoying is getting some of Gareth’s resources translated into French and Bislama, with the help of a French teacher and the men from Vanuatu.
As well as helping sort the translations for the guys from Vanuatu, I enjoyed meeting with them each Thursday.
Gareth taught most weeks, giving a good grounding in the true Gospel, how to share the Gospel, how to discern false gospels, and more.
We enjoyed a shared meal on the last night together. Maybe they will return next year, they want us to go to Vanuatu – but whatever happens, as one of them said, “See you in heaven!”
MORE THAN A REBELLIOUS FROWN
I love working with kids; I really do. Even though some days I can wonder why, and think I’m crazy. Recently we have faced a few trials with the children from the community. It hurts me to see how some families are so messed up by this world, but at least they are learning of Jesus who can set them free.
And though some kids can be quite testing at times, to the point where we threaten to leave them home for a week, yet something must be sinking in. And the picture here is evidence – this is what one of the girls voluntarily drew while amusing herself on different Sundays.
I am thankful for a supportive church and people who are willing to sit with me and the kids and help keep them from being so restless.
SO MUCH, SO SOON
Wow, it doesn’t feel like it is less than six month until Christmas and that the July school holidays are almost here. It seems that, though I am no longer at school, my life revolves around school holidays in a way even more than when I was at school. Either we are working towards a holiday programme, running a holiday programme, or following up from a holiday programme – with a few weeks’ of breathing space in between. But it is so worthwhile.
This week is to be spent preparing for the holiday programmes, tying up loose ends, and visiting families to let them know of it. Next week Gareth and I are off to Hamilton to join the two OAC guys there in a kids’ holiday programme at a church there.
The following week we have programme here in Hawke’s Bay. I hope the preparations for this are mostly ready before we leave for Hamilton – so please pray for this and that God will provide people to help out practically with transport etc. I am thankful for the regular helpers we have and for how these programmes have been running pretty well, the weather has usually been good and there hasn’t been any major accidents or injuries. But I don’t take this for granted – it is God at work, answering the prayers of His people. So keep praying! Please pray for the kids to be settled and not naughty. And please pray especially that these children will respond to the Gospel, for some have heard it several times now, and that they will put their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord – He is the only real answer to their problems (and ours).
Thank you so much for all you love and prayers and support.
Love to you all in Christ Jesus, from Maria
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