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CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY
15) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham (August 2015).
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY
15) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham (August 2015).
Doesn’t time fly! I’m blessed that God called me when I was young and around this time 25 years ago, in 1990, I first began my street evangelism. I officially joined my first ministry team in 1991, but began sharing the gospel shortly after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in July of 1990.
My latest book, “To Live or to Die” is about those early years of ministry, especially 1990-1996. Back in those days my ministry was almost completely unknown, but I did feel God say to me, as things were hard then, that one day it would become known. Now 25 years later the book is out.
I want to mention what has been some of my highlights working as an evangelist. During 1991-96 I lived in the houses of many pastors throughout NZ. The first evangelistic team I was involved with was based in Timaru, in the South Island in 1991. Earlier that year I felt God telling me to leave school and begin preaching immediately, so even though I was young I just stepped out by faith and did it.
While on this first team we became the security guards for the John Wimber conference. We had an ex-Black Power leader travelling with us for some time and his testimony inspired me a lot. At one school the entire school responded to make a dedication of their lives to the Lord. This man is now in Heaven, but I wish he had become more well known in NZ so that more people could have been saved. That is why I see the great need of getting behind and promoting evangelists more effectively in NZ.
I was then based in Wellington, Tauranga, Kiakohe, Opononi, Katikati, Kawerau, while always going back to my hometown of Whangarei. I had a number of young men, who were mostly Maori, as my helpers in those days. We distributed thousands of tracts around NZ and I was also giving out evangelistic preaching cassette tapes on the subject of Hell, which I made hundreds of copies of. People would take them, even though it was a strong message.
I had only led a few people to the Lord during those years and mostly that was just before they died, so I had more converts in Heaven than on the earth it seemed. But years later I began to meet people in churches all over the place who I had once shared the gospel with in or around the nightclubs. When we sow the good seed in due time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.
My first overseas missions trip was to Fiji on Boxing Day, 1996. A burden had been laid upon my heart from the early 1990’s for the Indian people. Now having recently come from my tenth mission to Fiji, I’ve received many blessings from that country, including my future wife whose grandfather converted to Christ in 1962, bringing with him his entire family and now future generations of those involved in ministry. Churches that he helped plant in Fiji are still going strong today.
A breakthrough missions trip for me was in 1999, to Ghana in West Africa, for that was when I first got into doing open air gospel crusades. I was so excited that when I came back to NZ I sold my car and sold my house, so that I could devote myself fully to this work. I had never spent even one night in my house as I had it rented out. I was living with my parents when I came back to Whangarei, but preaching the gospel was all I wanted to do and I needed finance to return to Africa.
I had a radical mission to Myanmar in 2002 where I was taken in for questioning by the army for having distributed so much gospel material. Then I went to Thailand and the Philippines. In the Philippines I was working among the homeless and just a couple of weeks back one of the homeless families that had been helping me distribute gospel tracts contacted me on facebook. I immediately received so much love and blessing from them, even though I hadn’t seen that family or known anything about them for the last 13 years. They are no longer homeless.
My numerous missions to India, Nepal, and Pakistan were fantastic. I had a goal of distributing one million testimony booklets, but over those years was only able to distribute 500,000 before all funds dried up and I was forced to move onto other things. So I’m still hoping that the time will come to complete the second half of that goal.
I had a time working as a crusade organizer for evangelist Bill Subritzky in 2008-9 and after that I self-published a number of books, yet my first book had already been published in 2007. In 2012 my eighth book, yet first one to be done professionally, was published in the USA by an Italian Pentecostal publisher now called Evangelista Media. I had little money to publish that book but somehow God provided step by step.
I then spent 3 months distributing my end-times book in New York, giving most of them away freely on the streets. I also sent a good number of them into prisons throughout the US. A number of prisons didn’t allow the book, but I also got numerous letters from prisoners who had read it. My latest book has been completed through the same publisher and I’ve decided to concentrate on New Zealand at this time, since the book is about frontline evangelism here in NZ.
I had some time again in Africa after my earlier trips, and have open doors to do large scale crusades in Uganda, which I’m still hoping to fulfil when the time is right. I’ve been blessed to have already been able to do hundreds of crusade meetings around the world, but only two meetings I’ve preached at were the larger 2000 people kind of size; one of them being in Burkina Faso and the other being in Pakistan (Muslim countries). Both meetings weren’t organized by me, but I was called upon suddenly to preach.
If I put my 22 missions trips together it comes to a total of about 9 years of non-stop preaching overseas. I remember one week having to preach 14 times. I’ve been blessed to have taught in many Bible Colleges, pastor’s seminars, a number of radio and TV stations, and have shared the gospel personally in 16 countries. At one point of time in the mid to late 1990’s I had a ministry of sending gospel tracts and cassette tapes into 66 countries. I sent about 10,000 tracts to Ghana even before (and in between) going on my two missions there. In between all of my missions trips I continued to do evangelism around NZ, more recently being based in Auckland.
I’ve been on missions trips where I didn’t know a single person in the country and had nothing organized for when I got there, but simply went by faith because I felt God speaking to my heart that I was to go to that country. Then I saw God open up incredible things. I don’t suggest that you do it that way too often, but it seemed that I had to and at times it was the only way I could continue to be a missionary.
There have been missions trips where I only had enough money to buy my plane ticket and I frequently came back from the mission field not having a single dollar left, having spent everything on printing gospel material. Yet I’ve also seen God’s hand of miraculous provision. On one missions trip, when I had no money but went by faith, a man on the plane was sitting in front of me, to my left, reading his Bible, so I got up to talk to him. When I told him what I was doing he put something into my hand and when I checked what it was I saw that it was $1000 Australian dollars. I have no idea who that man was but I give glory to God for him helping at that critical time.
That’s a very short overview of working as an evangelist for 25 years now. It has given me a good foundation and many amazing experiences. I believe, God willing, the next 25 years of ministry will be a time of massive harvest around the world. It’s time for the ministry to explode!!!
A special thanks to anyone who has prayed and financially supported this ministry over the last 25 years, including the many people who have allowed me to stay in their houses. There is already fruit in Heaven, but the best is yet to come.
PLEASE PRAY that God will use my latest book to unleash revival here in New Zealand and around the world. Please pray that I will have more meetings to preach at in NZ before I go back to Fiji towards the end of the year. I’d love to be able to do a major media campaign for my book, so please pray for the miracle funds for that. Thanks.
Also please pray for these upcoming events:
4th August. Tuesday, 7 pm. Jesus Calls, 1/80 Carr Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland. All welcome.
9th August. Sunday, 10:30 am. Ararua Community Church, Northland.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!
BACK IN NEW ZEALAND MINISTRY UPDATE
14) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham (July 2015).
It’s been an incredible time of preaching the gospel in Fiji for 9 months, but I’m now back in New Zealand. I was blessed to be able to preach about 6 or 7 times a week for the duration of the whole 9 months, so it was plenty of preaching practice, helping me to take my message to another depth.
The main highlight was getting engaged to Natasha, a pastor’s daughter and a nurse at the main hospital in Suva. Her grandfather was a pioneer in planting churches among the Indian people and that legacy has continued in her family. I won’t be back to Fiji until nearer to the wedding, which will be on the 2nd of January. Natasha will continue with her nursing in Fiji while I promote my new evangelism book here in NZ.
My latest book, “To Live or to Die” was in the hands of the book publisher in Italy for more than 18 months. I thank those who have prayed for this work as I had repeatedly requested prayer for this through my missions newsletters over that time. The e-book version has been online for a couple of months now but the printed hard copies are arriving in NZ on the 17th of July.
This is a testimony book about street evangelism so you can know what it is like to be in the shoes of an evangelist. In this way I’ll be using my testimony to preach the gospel and show people the great things that God has done. Any churches in NZ that would like me to share my “to Live or to Die” testimony you are welcome to invite an evangelist to stir your church.
Please pray that I will have more preaching opportunities and breakthrough for ministry here in NZ. Thanks.
17th July. 7:30 pm. Flatbush, Auckland. Evangelistic house meeting.
4th August. 7 pm. Jesus Calls, 1/80 Carr Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland. All welcome.
‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone’ (Colossians 4:2-6).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!
MORE BREAKTHROUGHS FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD
13) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham (May 2015).
Things are going wonderfully well in Fiji. We always need more prayer and more breakthrough, but good things are already happening.
The meetings with evangelist Barry Raeburn were fantastic and I was personally blessed by his message and ministry. I was very busy helping organize these meetings and going house to house with a Fijian brother called Lekima, inviting people to come. Knowing how much we put into inviting people I was a little bit disappointed with the turnout for the two night meetings, but those who came were greatly blessed. We had distributed 5000 copies of Barry’s testimony.
The presence of God was strong at the meetings and people were touched. A good number of Hindus came forward for prayer. I challenged one Hindu young man who responded to the altar call that if he was really serious to follow Jesus he should break his Hindu wrist band, which he did. I gave him my Bible.
The largest meeting ended up being the pastors and leaders conference during the day. The messages were great by Pastor Max from Victory Christian Centre in Auckland, NZ, and Barry. This has laid a good platform for future ministry for Barry in Fiji, so we are already looking at that.
Straight after Barry’s meetings I was doing a crusade with Humble Ministries, of which I was the speaker for the first night. I spoke on the resurrection power of Christ, using many testimonies of miracles that have happened in my life. We are getting invitations from other people asking us to come and do a crusade in their area, so it is good to be involved with a team that are becoming better experienced at doing these kinds of meetings regularly. This week I have another crusade, this time being with a Fijian church. I’ll be speaking on two of the nights and a Fijian brother will speak in between those days.
I have continued doing the 2 hour training at Nadawa on Monday evenings. After the theology course, I was teaching on the end-times. When I finished that I was teaching on the subject of ‘Raising up powerful servants of God’ for a few weeks. A couple of weeks ago I was teaching on the deliverance ministry and last Monday was sharing on the topic of ‘The demonic influence behind idols.’ Also, I have continued to move slowly through the Book of Revelation very in-depth with one family. We are now up to chapter 13.
The maternity ward preaching has been going very well and I consider it to be one of my most important outreaches each week. I have recently been giving them a series of messages from John 20:30-31 by looking at the various miracles of Jesus and how this should cause us to have true faith for salvation. The room is always full of pregnant mothers and they listen very well.
Another great news is that things are finally moving forward with my book printing, which I have been asking people to pray about for the last year-and-a-half or so. The eBook version is now available online from these and other websites (only a limited number of hard copies printed so far):
The book will later in the year be available in Christian bookshops in the US, UK and Canada. I’ll eventually, or should be soon, having a large supply of books being sent to New Zealand. I’ll be needing to sell these to try and recover some of the costs of this evangelistic endeavour, so I will be planning an evangelistic tour of NZ possibly starting from mid-July this year. Any NZ churches that would like to invite me to speak and do an evangelistic outreach in their church please contact me so that I can start booking dates now: [email protected]
Please pray for God’s presence and power to be upon me for the following meetings:
7th-9th May, 2015 - FIJI HEALING MIRACLE CRUSADE - Hope Chapel Dayspring.
Speakers: Evangelist Matthew Needham & Pastor Opetaia Dreketirua.
17th May – 10am, Samabula, Jesus Rocks, Ps Reginald.
24th May – 10am, 10 miles, Church of God, Ps Raj.
31st May – 1pm, Lami, Revolution Church (combined service), Ps Len.
‘Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name’ (John 20:30-31).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!
LATEST MISSIONS NEWS FROM FIJI
12) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham (March 2015).
I’ve been involved as one of the speakers at a few gospel crusades recently, and now helping with the organizing team for a big event with evangelist Barry Raeburn from NZ. Barry will be doing some meetings here in Fiji on April 24th and 25th in the Novotel Convention Centre, Lami, Suva. There will be two evening meetings (7pm) and a pastors and leaders conference (10am). We are expecting great things and praying for a large number of people to come.
One crusade a few weeks back now was with Pastor Ronald of Grace Samaritan AG church. I spoke on the first night and he spoke on the second, even though the heavy rain flooded the entrance area. My message was, “Do you have the Holy Spirit or do you have an evil spirit?” which was appropriate as deliverance prayer was needed. The house where the crusade was held was a family that where saved at the Bill Subritzky crusade here in Nausori back in 2008, which I had organized. It is good to see the ongoing results for having been involved in missions work in Fiji for many years now.
The next crusade was with Humble Ministries, where I opened the crusade by speaking on the first night. I spoke about “Removing deception from people’s hearts,” using as an illustration a conversation I had with a drunk man when I was in Suva. It was a strong convicting message and I want to work on a few similar messages like that one to address the issues that are going on in the hearts of various types of people, so they can see the error of their ways and repent.
I then went with Atish and his family to the other side of the island where two meetings where arranged for me in Nadi. The first meeting was a teaching one where I shared on how to promote revival in the church, which is through repentance, prayer, evangelism and discipleship. The next meeting was a church outreach where they had put up some extra shading and invited neighbours to come. The weather was very hot and I shared salvation testimonies.
Every Monday evening I have continued my teaching of two lessons, 7-9pm, in the Church of God in Nadawa. I have now finished going through my theology course with them, which was five weeks of ten 1 hour lessons. Last week I began teaching them on the subject of the end times and will continue that as long as needed.
Every Thursday evening I have been going slowly through the Book of Revelation with one family, by looking at either one chapter or half a chapter each week. We are now up to chapter 8. Ps Ron of Grace Samaritan has asked me to do a similar teaching with his church on Friday evenings, so now Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays I’m teaching on the end times.
The maternity ward preaching on Wednesday mornings has been going very well. All this year the room has been full each week with pregnant mothers. Sometimes a couple of Muslim women stay outside but the Hindu women seem to appreciate the Christian teaching and Bible wisdom, and this must be affecting their lives.
For some weeks now I, along with a Fijian brother called Lekima, have been taking meetings in the Nasinu and the Raiwaqa health centres on Wednesday and Friday afternoons in the hope of reviving the staff. Both meetings have been a struggle and have been on the verge of being stopped.
Thankfully there has been a slight revival among the nurses at Raiwaqa and for the last two weeks they have really opened up. The Word of God has had a good affect among them, for while many of them were from nominal Christian backgrounds it became apparent that they were not saved. In a good way there has been a turning to God among them. Nasinu, on the other hand, has been hard to get the nurses to turn up regularly, so I mentioned to Lekima that it might be better and more fruitful if we do tract distribution on Wednesday afternoons instead. Therefore we’re thinking to do that for the next few weeks, especially making the most of the Easter season.
Last Sunday I preached at Ps Luke’s church, which has been one of my regular preaching points this year. They wanted me to speak on evangelism, so I shared with them interesting stories of my missionary work in various countries which they loved. On the last Sunday of this month the church will meet together, have some singing, and then instead of having a sermon the whole church will go out to the nearby houses distributing tracts. The pastor asked me if this was good since some had complained about doing this kind of outreach on a Sunday morning. I wish that all the churches in the world would do this. Therefore I encouraged him to do it.
Please pray for God’s anointing and presence for the upcoming meetings:
15th March, Sunday, 10am. Grace Samaritan Assembly of God Church, Korociriciri Road.
22nd March Sunday, 7pm. Combined service of five churches at Kalabo Jyoti AG Church, Kalabo, 6½ miles, Nasinu.
29th March, Sunday morning. Christian Outreach Centre, Nausori.
Please pray for the “Two Nights of Fire” and “Pastors and leaders conference” with evangelist Barry Raeburn.
Please continue to pray for the printing of my testimony book, “To Live or to Die.”
Thanks you and God bless.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!
ADVANCING THE WORK OF GOD
11) Missions & Evangelism with Matthew Needham, Fiji (January 2015).
On the morning of Christmas Eve, being a Wednesday, I preached at the maternity ward as normal. In the afternoon I was feeling a bit bored at home, so I went for a walk. A taxi drove past and the passengers called out my name. It was a Fijian family I have known for some time; the mother and her three sons. They invited me to come to their place so I got in the taxi with them.
As we drove up to their house they began to say, “Oh no,” with a tone of desperation that is hard to put into words. Their house had burned to the ground. All that was left was basically the corrugated iron that was used for both the roofing and the walls. It was now buckled from the heat of the flames. They had lost everything and now only had the clothes that were on their back. All they could do was praise God that no life had been lost.
Times like this show us that life is more important than your possessions, for all of us will lose everything in this world at the point of death. Only that which has been done for Christ will last. The rest of our works will go up in flames. Therefore store your treasures in Heaven and not on earth. Souls are perishing day by day. We must have the vision of eternity so that we work earnestly to fulfil the will of God, which is to preach the gospel to all people.
On the 29th December I finally got my visa extension for 6 months, which is a work permit as an Assemblies of God evangelist in Fiji (I’m also working within any church that invites me and not limited to any denomination). The next day I then headed off with Pastor Tatau to hold a five day crusade right in the centre of the main island. The aim of the crusade was to plant a new AG church.
The centre of Fiji is actually full of mountains and is quite different from the coastal areas. There was no phone reception up there and no electricity. We had to use a generator to conduct the crusade. Not many Indians in these kinds of places, only native Fijians. You frequently see horses, as that is a common means of transport, and also many dogs, as the men cherish their dogs for pig hunting.
At the host property they put up iron roofing and basically an AG church from a nearby village, 20 minutes drive away, shifted in and camped there for the remaining five days. By the final night about 250 people would have been at the crusade. Pastor Tatau and myself took turns preaching. Down below where we were camped there was a beautiful rocky river, so every day I went for an enjoyable swim.
My most confrontational, effective, and talked about message came out of a number of discussions I had with church leaders there, and especially from talking with the pastor who would remain in that place after the crusade to do the follow up and establish the new church. We had been talking about all the cults in the area and the false teachings that had infiltrated the Fijians here.
For one of the night meetings I took the crowd through the Bible verses which I would give to each of the church and cult denominations, to challenge them to see if they were walking in God’s light. This included Bible verses for Methodists, Roman Catholics, United Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and then I also addressed Hindus and Muslims. I was especially asked to address the SDA’s as that area was dominated by them. I noticed a few of them get up and leave the meeting when I started that, but all I did was read Bible verses and make a few appropriate comments. Anyway, people were talking about that one message for days to come.
Saturday, two weeks ago, I went into Nausori town to pray. There are some seats beside the river where I like to go to and often end up witnessing to many people there also. It had seemed as if my Sunday morning opportunities to preach in churches had dried up, so I was praying for a new release.
Later that afternoon, as I was walking in town, I saw an old friend who I had stayed with when I came on my first missions trip to Fiji in 1996-7 (this is now my tenth mission here). When I saw him he immediately asked me if I was preaching anywhere tomorrow and invited me to speak at his church. It brought joy to my heart to receive such a quick answer to my prayer. I shared a heart searching message the next day at Oasis Christian Fellowship on the different attitudes within an unbeliever compared to the believer.
Last week the nearby Presbyterian Church was having a special time of prayer and thanksgiving. They asked me to share on Thursday evening, so I spoke on being a prayer intercessor, and also on the Saturday evening, so I spoke on thanksgiving prayer and also on the pain that is in God’s heart due to the sin of the world, and how our intercessory prayer needs to come out of understanding that.
The Sunday just past I spoke at Faith Pentecostal, sharing my overcoming suicide testimony. An Indian family that I have been visiting now and again, two of them came to church with us for the first time.
Starting from 26th January I have been asked to take a weekly course on theology for church leaders and pastors. A number of churches have been invited and this will be on Monday evenings, 7-9 pm in Nadawa.
A nearby church (just 3 or 4 minutes walk from where I now stay) have asked me to do a series of meetings, two on Fridays nights, which will be on discipleship, in the sense of training Christians how to disciple others, and two Sunday morning services, on the End Times. These meetings will be at Hope Chapel, Foursquare Church, with Pastor Luke in Nausori.
23rd Friday – 7:15-8 pm prayer, 8-9 pm discipleship training.
30th Friday – 7:15-8 pm prayer, 8-9 pm discipleship training.
8th February, Sunday, 10 am – End Times message.
15th Sunday, 10 am – End Times message.
A crusade is being scheduled in Labasa, which is on the second main island, Vanua Levu, for later in the year (sometime in May). I am planning to be in Fiji until the end of June.
I have continued to take my regular Monday afternoon (will probably move it to Tuesday afternoons now though) and Wednesday evening Bible study groups. Wednesday mornings I continue to preach to the pregnant mothers at the maternity ward and now on Wednesday afternoons, 1:15 pm-1:45 pm, I am sharing with the nurses and doctors during their lunch time at a town halfway from here to Suva, which is at the Nasinu Health Centre. We had the first meeting last week and it was like they were all revived as I shared about being a Christian witness in the workplace from the example of the prophet Daniel.
Please pray for a greater anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon my preaching and for revival in Fiji.
Please continue praying for the printing of my testimony book, “To Live or to Die”, which will be printed this year (it must be). Please pray for its worldwide distribution and harvest of saving souls. The book is already being translated into the Spanish language, even though it hasn’t been printed in English yet. Thank you for your prayers. God bless you.
‘For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames’ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS TO SAVE THE LOST!