Love Jesus - the Key to Heaven!
FRONTLINE STREET EVANGELISM
FRONTLINE STREET EVANGELISM
Mission to Gisborne & Tauranga (17th-26th July, 2014).
Mission to Gisborne & Tauranga (17th-26th July, 2014).
Thursday, 17th July. I left home at 7 am. In Auckland city I met an older Maori lady called Victoria, who lives on the streets. She still had a blanket wrapped around her, so I gave her money for a cup of coffee, encouraged her to ask Jesus into her heart and talked about the sign of Israel, since she brought up that topic due to the conflict there.
On the bus from Auckland I was sitting beside a Samoan student who was a big rugby player. I noticed that the tract I gave him was left on the bus, so he didn’t have much interest to read it even though he had some kind of Christian background.
We had a short stopover in Hamilton. I saw three teenage girls dancing or giggling away to music so I gave them my “No Sex Before Marriage” tract. One of them said to me, “Too late for that.” An older Maori lady was at the next seats and in response to receiving my testimony tract she said, “That’s great; wonderful.” She was not yet a Christian.
From Hamilton to Rotorua I was sitting beside a Chinese University student, who along with a couple of her friends was going to spend one night in Rotorua to look around. I gave her my tract on life after death. She was easy to talk to and wanted to know more. She had very little understanding about the things of God, so I was able to explain quite a lot to her as she continued to ask questions.
At Rotorua I prayed that God would give me some people to share with during the short stopover there. The first lady completely rejected my attempt to speak with her. She happened to be on the same bus as me and got to hear the gospel on the later part of the journey, as I will later share. When that lady completely refused I then saw a man who looked to be in his eighties. I gave him one of Bill Subritzky’s testimony booklets, which I often hand out. A big smile came to his face.
When I was sitting on a small concrete wall I gave Pat Subritzky’s testimony booklet to a teenage Maori girl. She was from a Catholic background and said that she believed. Soon after that we were waiting to board the bus and I heard one Maori guy say to that girl, “Do you smoke buds?” I didn’t want to overhear him trying to lead her astray so I called him to become a man of God and he asked me some questions. The girl asked me how long I had been giving out these booklets and tracts, and I said, “For more than 20 years.”
The next bus stop was Opotiki. I gave a booklet to a man smoking a cigarette and had a quick chat. Then I met Jimmy and Amy. Jimmy was completely drunk. I seated myself at the very back of the bus and they came and sat there as well. I had already been sharing with them outside the bus and people had been watching us from the window because he was quite mocking of me and making a disturbance. When I hoped on the bus one girl said to me, “Are you alright?” after watching the difficulties from this drunk man. Now he was sitting close to me.
Jimmy wandered around the back of the bus making a disturbance and talking with everyone. He was an extremely good talker and was quite funny to listen to also. Then he would also call out to the Christian preacher at the back of the bus and this gave me the opportunity to be a witness for Christ in an unorthodox type of way. He ridiculed me in various ways, which I had to just grin and bear. I felt sorry for Amy, travelling with a man like that. She was very open and read my tracts during the bus journey.
One Maori girl who looked about 11 years old came down to the back of the bus and told me that she believed in Jesus. A few days later I saw her and her step-mum on the street in Gisborne and was able to give her a number of tracts and one of my DVD’s, which I hadn’t been able to do on the bus. She’s a precious young believer.
In Gisborne I was picked up by an evangelist’s father, who I had arranged to do some evangelism with. When the evangelist arrived home from work, after 9pm, he shared with me some of the amazing miracles that God has done in and through his life. Truly wonderful! We had some prayer and then I went to bed. It had been a long day.
Friday, 18th July. At 8:30 in the morning a man from telecom arrived to fix the phone that was in the living room, which was where I had been sleeping. He mentioned the airplane that had been shot down so I talked about how easy it is to die. Then I continued by speaking about the miracle the evangelist had shared with me the previous night, which was about a man he saw raised from the dead. From there both I and the evangelist had an interesting discussion with him which lasted the entire time he was at the house to do his work.
At one point he was asked, “Would you want God to reveal Himself to you?” To which he said, “No”, and, “As long as I’m happy now everything is fine.” He said that if he had wanted to know God he’s had many opportunities over his 63 years, but as he is getting older he is starting to think about how many years he has got left. I said, “That’s the mercy of God drawing you to think about it more as you get closer to death.”
After the telecom man left the evangelist and I ended up having a heated discussion over the “once saved always saved” doctrine. His view is that once a person is truly “born again” by the Spirit of God they cannot lose their salvation. My view is that those who are born again have to remain in Christ by faith and that Christians who drift away from God can be cut off and lose their salvation through denying the Lord. Since we were in disagreement I thought it would be better for me to leave his place and continue with my own evangelism work. So I headed from there, walking to the centre of Gisborne city, praying that God would lead me to the work He wanted me to do.
After walking for some minutes I gave a man my testimony tract and he handed it back to me saying that he was already a believer. I said to him that believers can read this also. It turned out this his wife is quite evangelistic and he introduced me to his wife Sunday morning at church when we surprisingly met again.
I continued walking into the city and spent the rest of the day walking up and down the main streets handing out tracts and DVD’s. There was a couple of young men from UNICEF (a charity for children) doing the same thing, except on behalf of their organization. Seeing them on the street all day encouraged me to be on the street all day approaching people with my tracts and DVDs. One of the workers was a young guy from the US who believed in a higher power and I had a good time sharing with him.
From 9am to 5pm they were there on the street approaching people with the aim of raising funds for the good cause of rescuing children from poverty. How much more should we have evangelists, led by the Holy Spirit, on the streets seeking to rescue people from the jaws of Hell? The churches do need to send evangelists out (Romans 10:14-15). If your church is not sending out evangelists then the elders need to address this issue with prayer and fasting (Acts 13:2-3).
Two things were on my mind. One was that the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16), and the other was to plead with people to be saved. When people rejected me I just thought, “Plead with them to be saved.”
I gave some tracts to a man who believed in all the Maori spirits. A short time later, when I was taking a break and resting on some seats, he came over and sat beside me saying that he wanted to talk. At the bottom of my testimony tract I have the words written there “overcoming suicide”. He began to share about how he feared that his wife may commit suicide. He implied that this was his fault, so I shared a message with him on the importance of repentance, walking in God’s light, honesty and truth.
I encouraged him to confess his sins and in deep humility put things right with his wife. These simple words had a powerful effort on his heart and attitude. He then gave me a hongi before leaving (A hongi is a traditional Maori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead to another person).
Moments later, as I was still sitting on the same seat I saw a man walk past with a Good News Bible in his hand, so I called out to him. He asked me questions about what I was doing and then he offered me a place to stay the night. He was going to be baptized on Sunday. He told me his address so I kept that in mind. I took up the offer and stayed at his place for the next few nights.
Meanwhile, I continued walking the streets and came across a man who said that he was more than a Christian because he had special revelation. I got to speak to him a couple of times over the next few days. He would never accept my tracts and over our discussions I tried to pinpoint to him the errors that he was embracing.
At the bus stop I shared with all the people that were sitting there. Some didn’t want to listen while one young man listened enthusiastically. After that I saw a group of young people taking photos beside a statue and all of them took tracts. We had a friendly talk, even though they were joking about.
It was good to again have a place to leave my small backpack, as my back and legs were sore from walking around all day. After dinner my new host and I went back out to the streets around 9 pm. We spent a long time sharing with William (a Maori guy in his early fifties I’d guess) who was standing outside to smoke a cigarette, at the front of the hotel where he was staying. Various drunk people and others wandered by and we shared with them also, while continuing to speak to William because he was very open. I gave him my latest DVD and a set of my tracts, which he said he would read immediately up in his hotel room.
As we were walking back to the house we met a man fishing from the bridge (in the middle of the night). He was not willing to take any tracts but he was willing for me to share with him, so I gave him a message on the blood of Jesus, which he opposed even though he claimed to be a believer. It was strange that a man who claimed to believe in Jesus could have no understanding of the importance of Christ’s crucifixion.
Saturday, 19th July. A couple of hundred metres down the road from where I was staying was the Saturday morning market. A small market but it had a constant stream of people coming and going. I walked around and around and around there approaching virtually everyone with my tracts. I would approach people with a smiley face, holding the tract up, saying things like, “Would you like to get closer to God?” Some would say, “No,” but many would take it. Occasionally someone would say, “I’m Catholic,” meaning “I don’t need to read that.” I would say to them, “Catholics can read this also.” One Japanese family said, “We’re Buddhists,” so I said to them, “Buddhists can read this also,” and they took the tracts.
After walking around that market for long enough, I was thinking that it was time to go when the person overseeing the market approached me, telling me that I am not permitted to hand out brochures here. I could do it on the sidewalk at the entrance but not in the market area. I said to the person, “Would it be alright if I offered you one of these brochures?” and they laughed. I walked across the road to a small park and gave some tracts and DVD to a man with a crippled child. Then I continued walking into town, which was just nearby.
I sat on some seats beside McDonalds and a man sat beside me who I had repeatedly tried to give tracts to the previous day but he had always refused. He was a Maori guy in his mid twenties I’d say, who was frequently walking around town. He’d always look the other way when he say me coming but this time he sat beside me and took one of the tracts himself that were just resting on the seat. His attitude had completely changed towards me, but what he was really after was some coins. Sometimes it’s worth winning a person’s heart by giving them some loose change. He told me about a free lunch which the Assemblies of God church does on a Tuesday.
After the previously man had left I then saw a man walk past me with a black eye, with a small child in a pushchair. Obviously someone had given him a good punch. I followed him and when I gave him some tracts he said that he wanted to change his life. He sat down and we talked for some time. I had to encourage him to forgive his father, as I found that there were some deep hurts there.
A couple of horses were tied up to the trees beside McDonalds and the library. On the steps beside that I got talking to a couple of teenage boys. I discussed with them evolution verses creation, life after death, and answered their question about church atrocities that have been committed throughout history by explaining what it means to be a true follower of Christ.
After that I went into a bookshop to buy a red pen because I wanted to dramatize one of my tracts with red for the pouring blood on my picture of the crucifixion of Christ. As I was buying the pen I gave some tracts to a Canadian man who had been ordering a book. He was friendly and open to talk.
The weather was freezing cold by now and had been raining on and off. Beside the river I saw two teenage girls covered in goose bumps. They had been out partying all night by the sound of it. They were very thankful for the tracts and one of them said that she will start going to church when she moves to Auckland to live with her mother because her mother goes to church.
Later in the afternoon I went to the Presbyterian Church to help my host and the pastor set up the baptismal pool at the front of the church. While there I saw one of their weekly church newsletters which said that they were saddened to have to advise that their planned three day ministry time with Evangelist Weston and Ruth Carryer in August had been cancelled.
That night I got a message on facebook asking if I had heard about Weston Carryer and I said that I had just read that day that he was in hospital. Then I was informed that he had died the previous day. Weston is the Evangelist who had written the foreword for my latest book that I’m in the process of printing in the US. I was hoping that the book would have been printed some months ago, but now I can include a special tribute to this great man of God, who faithfully served the Lord over several decades of doing evangelistic meetings.
Sunday, 20th July. I was on the front seat at the Presbyterian Church to film my host’s water baptism. Actually it’s a united church of Presbyterian and Methodist. The church was packed out and alive with the work of God. For one of the songs people marched around the church praising God. For another song those who wanted to were asked to come to the front and kneel before God. The preacher that day spoke on the Holy Spirit. He also used the quote from evangelist D.L. Moody when he was challenged by the call of what God to do through one man who is fully concreted to Him. Moody determined to be that man. The water baptism was great and after that we went to the pastor’s place for lunch.
Sunday afternoon I walked into town to continue witnessing to anyone who might possibly be around. Gisborne is a lot quieter than Auckland, where I often do street witnessing on Sunday afternoons. I shared only with a couple of people, including a young boy who was outside with his mobile phone making use of the free wi-fi. It was still raining a bit so I went early to the Equippers Church. The message there was about the hand of the Lord being upon you, using the example of the prophet Ezekiel. He spoke about how one man can make a difference. I determined to be that man.
The preacher also shared how he witnessed to people on planes. When the person beside him asks what he does he says, “I’m God’s right hand man. He sends me on special assignments and I’m on one now.” He was very funny and entertaining, so when he said things like that it came across in a very interesting kind of way. The message was actually being preached from their main church in Auckland and we were watching it on the big screen via the internet.
After the service I didn’t feel like rushing back to where I was staying so I just kept walking around the back streets and all over the place. I came across a Maori young man who didn’t want to take my tract but he just stood there, so I preached to him for a little bit. Also I came across a couple of young men getting into their car and one of them took my testimony tract and was open to the things of God as I shared quickly. As he was about to go I said to him, “God’s power be with you” and he received that blessing enthusiastically.
I continued wandering around occasionally putting a tract in a letterbox when I felt to do it. Most of the public toilets were closed and I kept walking until I finally found one that was open. A man got a shock as he was coming out. He was surprised to see me and I asked him what he was doing still being out here late on a Sunday night. He stood there and listened to the gospel for some time, even though we were actually standing in the rain. I had an umbrella and I encouraged him to learn how to pray.
Monday, 21st July. My host mentioned to me that he committed a certain sin last night. “Oh no. You can’t continue in that kind of sin after you have been water baptized.” He’s been saved from a witchcraft background. I talked to him about how David and Samson fell and were restored and we had a time of prayer. God’s mercy and grace is there for young believers, but they still have to press on in Christ and overcome.
I was also talking about Weston Carryer’s death and how new people have to arise for God and how he has to be one of them. He said, “How? I’m just a dirty dog.” I said, “You’ve got to persevere, overcome and conquer.” He has a repentant heart and a heart to learn the things of God, so the Lord’s mercy, patience and grace are still upon him. But if a Christian hardened their heart and continued in those kinds of sins they would not inherit the kingdom of God.
Some of the older ladies of the Union Parish offer healing prayer every Monday 12-2pm. They have a sign with balloons attached to it on the side of the road and whoever wants to call in for prayer can do so. We went there and joined them for prayer. Then we went to the top of the mountain to overlook the city and I got my host to share about his witchcraft past and how he was set free.
On the way back down a police car was coming the other way, so he hesitated taking the left turn and because of that the driver behind us rammed into us. A second police car soon turned up. The accident was the fault of the driver behind us, confirmed by the police woman who saw it. It smashed my hosts back bumper, but he just let the guy off and told the police that he wouldn’t make an issue of it.
The driver said to me, “I’m a backslider.” So I said to Him, “Now is the time to give your life back to God.” He said, “Yeah, but I’m not letting Him in. “This accident is an opportunity for you to let God speak to you”, I replied. He took some tracts and God is speaking to Him, but he still has to realize the full importance and seriousness of salvation.
I went into town to continue with some tract distribution and I came across the fisherman I had shared the message to about the blood of Jesus on the bridge, Friday night. The same as last time, he wouldn’t take any tracts but he said I could share with him for some minutes, so I shared the main points of my testimony. I asked him if he had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and then he went on about how only his church has the true authority to baptize people. Then I realized that he was a Mormon. Eventually he walked away annoyed at me when I tried to explain to him why Joseph Smith was a false prophet.
Tuesday, 22nd July. It was time for me to move on so I left the place where I had been staying just before 8 in the morning. I gave some tracts to a high school student and continued walking around the ocean side. There I saw a monument for Captain Cook who discovered New Zealand and the Maori people in 1769. I offered tracts to a few old and young men walking around that area and they all rejected the offer. One person said to me that he believed that Jesus was a real person but you don’t go up or down when you die. Unfortunately just believing that Jesus was a real person won’t get you to Heaven and it won’t save you from going down.
It was a hard morning and I was getting nowhere with disturbing tracts. I had planned to leave Gisborne that day, but I still didn’t feel like leaving so I kept walking. I walked around the ocean side of the city to the other side and found a beautiful park with a duck pond, so I rested there for a while.
I saw two guys drinking alcohol and a girl with them at the park so I gave them some tracts. The girl said to me, “We’ve just been talking about this.” The guys apologized to me for drinking and I said to them, “God is calling you but you have to open your hearts to Him.” From there I headed back into the main city and sat beside the river. A policemen came up to me asking to take my details because there had been an incident. I gave him my testimony tract.
Behind the seat that I was sitting on was a children’s day care centre, and a couple of young children behind the fence said, “Are you a policemen?” to which he said, “Yes.” “Are you writing the man a ticket?” said a couple of four year old kids. The policemen handed me back my testimony tract so I said that he could take it and read it, which he did.
As I continued walking I met some of the guys who were going to the Assemblies of God lunch, so I went with them. When I got to the lunch one of the cooks asked me to share the message that day as he had seen my testimony tract. The pastor told me something of the history of this meeting and the problems they were having from the nearby shop owners. They used to have the meeting in the evening and we getting up to 80 people, mainly drug users and similar types of people. Some of them had caused problems which had angered the nearby shop owners so the meeting was moved to being a lunch instead of a dinner.
Suddenly one of the shop owners called to speak to the pastor because someone had been smoking marijuana outside his shop. The shop owner did say that we also need to do something to help these kinds of people. We have to pray that God will breakthrough and that the shop owners will get on the church’s side to save the addicts. This church is having five prayer meetings a week.
While everyone was lining up to collect their food the pastor handed me the microphone and said, “This is your chance to preach. You’ve got about ten minutes because as soon as they finish eating they’ll leave.” I started sharing testimonies and actually it was almost 20 minutes before they had left. I recorded that message. I seemed to have a slightly croaky voice through walking the streets in the cold for the last few days, but here was my attempt to preach to them – CLICK HERE
After that I had to think about where I should stay that night. I checked one hotel out but the cheapest room there was beyond my budget, so I continued walking. I eventually found the cheapest place around. It was at a backpackers called “The Flying Nun”, which used to be a convent. I left my bag there and headed back to the city.
I had a discussion with a European Buddhist who used to be a Christian. When he went to hand my tract back to me I said to him, “Please, please take it because there are a lot of things that will speak to you,” and he kept it. He had been talking about a number of issues that were mentioned in the tract so I wanted to make sure that he would read it.
It was getting dark so I went to Pak’nSave to get some dinner. The checkout lady with purple dyed hair was talking away, really friendly, saying that she was bored because there were not many customers. I told her that I’m leaving Gisborne tomorrow because I have to go to a funeral in Tauranga. She said, “Oh, sorry.” So I said, “He was a mighty man of God, 82 years old, and he is in Heaven.” “So he has gone to a better place?” she said. “He’s in the presence of God,” I replied.
I gave her my testimony tract and she said, “I’ll read it tonight.” But after reading the words on the bottom of the tract which said “overcoming suicide” she came over saying, “I want to give you a hug.” So a quick hug and then she had to serve the next customer.
I continued wandering around the city and went back toward the library because you can get 24/7 free wi-fi there. Outside the library I met a guy called Toa who was using the internet on his phone and we talked for about half an hour. He was spiritually minded as most of the Maori people are. He shared his hopes and dreams and I shared mine. I pronounced God’s blessing over his life and as I was leaving he said, “You’re the second person who has prayed blessing over me in the last couple of weeks.”
The next person I met was a slightly older Maori man so I pronounced the same blessing over him, bringing a big smile to his face. As I continued walking I met the Maori guy who had refused to take my tracts the first day and had taken them the second. This time he immediately came up to me and gave me a hongi (It was a hugs and hongis day).
I was getting tired so I headed back to my room at the Flying Nun. I went to my room and found that there was a beautiful young Italian girl there and I was thinking, “Oh no! What’s she doing in my room?” Not used to this backpackers lifestyle where you have to share a room with the opposite sex!!! So the first thing I did was give her my testimony tract about how Jesus transformed my life and told her about my missionary work as she had asked which countries I had been in. She was polite and pleasant, but still a strange situation having to share the same room with her.
I felt a bit out of place at that backpackers but I did have a good time sharing with a Japanese girl who had been living there for a few months while working picking fruit. I discussed with her life after death and she said that she was, “Half Buddhist and half nothing, like the young generation these days.”
Wednesday, 23rd July. Caught the early bus to Tauranga so I could be there in time for Weston’s funeral the next day. When I got to Tauranga I checked my emails and found that Weston’s secretary had organized a place for me to stay. A loving Christian couple who have now said to me that when I’m travelling around the country doing evangelism and need a place to stay I can always call in to their place, so I think that in future journeys I will do that. Maybe my next evangelism trip away from Auckland will be soon.
Thursday 24th July. In the morning I handed out some tracts and in the afternoon I shared with a homeless man along the waterfront. In between I went to the funeral. This is the tribute that I have written for Weston which will be included in the printing of my latest book.
Tribute to a great man of God:
I am thankful to have the foreword by Weston, who went home to be with the Lord at the age of 82 (14 October 1931 – 18 July 2014). He was gracious, humble and enthusiastic for the Lord. He was greatly admired by his own family and by the Christian leaders and community with whom he ministered throughout New Zealand. He also ministered extensively overseas, including seventeen mission trips to the Philippines.
Weston was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1977 and his whole life changed dramatically. He obeyed the call of God to become an Evangelist. He was never flamboyant, but always demonstrated the power of God. He saw the Lord heal practically every kind of sickness and disease. He had the evangelist’s PhD, for he was called to Preach, Heal, and Deliver.
Weston had outstanding faith, believing that everyone he prayed for would be touched by God. Volumes of confirmed testimonies of healing were printed to encourage people’s faith and he always shared recent stories of miracles at the beginning of all his meeting. He was a soul winner; a good and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need many evangelists to be inspired and arise to fill the void that he has left behind.
Friday, 25th July. As I was waiting to catch the bus back to Auckland I saw an older man standing nearby and I thought, “I wonder how often someone has approached him to try and lead him to salvation?” I greeted him and he smiled. I then offered him a gospel booklet, asking him if he would like to get closer to God? He frowned and said, “I just want to get closer to the bus.”
During the bus journey to Auckland I met an Africa lady who told me that they now have nine churches in New Zealand. I also had a good time sharing with a Buddhist man from Sri Lanka who works for the Tauranga district council, while his family still live in Auckland. It was good for me to get back home to Auckland also.
Saturday 26th July. Went out witnessing on Queen Street with Michael Jacobsen. After a good time of prayer we went in different directions and the first person around the corner I spotted was a man I had given tracts to in Gisborne. He had been down there visiting his daughter. I prayed for him and then continued by giving tracts to the people nearby.
After giving out my testimony tract I asked the young lady if she believed in God. She said, “No” but tears came to her eyes. While I was sitting down sharing with a homeless man, a number of people who had been drinking too much walked past. Among them was a young lady covered in tattoos who told me that her life was rubbish, but she didn’t want to listen to good advice and she threw my tract away.
As I continued talking with the homeless man I saw a tall blond young lady drop her purse and when I gave her my testimony tract she was non-stop asking questions for about half an hour. I took her to Starbucks to meet back up with Michael and then for another hour we talked with her there. She was from Germany and said that she would come with us to church the next day. A few weeks back a German man had given his life to the Lord at church so I was hopeful that she would do the same, but unfortunately she never came. Anyway, the Queen Street witnessing will continue....
To view the variety of tracts that I have written – CLICK HERE
‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST