South Bank Ministry Report
Hi friends. Here following is the third mission report for our outreach at South Bank that took place last Sabbath afternoon (17th March 2012) in Brisbane city. I may not always be able to give a weekly report but I certainly will when I can.
Yes it was rain again! Fortunately it was not cold and like last time we did not allow the rain to throw us off our mission. It was a short day for us mostly due to train delays. There were interruptions (my end) because of the water-covered rail line to Brisbane that would have caused electrical hazards. Passengers had to be transferred from the train service to buses.
Anyway, eventually, I got there! Here are some of the encounters that proved very positive.
Biker: Peter was a very fit looking well-tanned biker I guess in his sixties yet presented quite a youthful looking physique. My friend commented, “There’s not an ounce of fat on that guy….” and I had to agree – he was solid muscle.
Our display caught Peter’s sharp alert eye and he made his way over to us, hopped off his bicycle and seemed to be drawn to our table like a magnet. Although I do think he also needed a break from all his morning biking around Brisbane river! For a moment he looked a little off balance and “out of it” and when I asked him “are you ok?” this jovial man responded with a hearty and strong “Yes, I’m fine, I’ve just been riding hard all morning and I’ll be home soon to do some gardening! Some people are just unstoppable and just seem to have boundless energy. He was an interesting character with some quirky mannerisms yet before long I could tell he wasn’t there to fool around or waste our time. He had a decisive personality, knew what he wanted – and that was more than a friendly chat!!
What encouraged me was when he stated something that told me the books he chose were unlikely to be tossed aside or just sit on the shelf. He said “I never take books that I don’t read” That was good to hear because as you could guess these were not any old ordinary books but the King James Bible and The Ministry of Healing! So these and a couple of other things went into his backpack and he was on his way. So when you can, say a prayer or two for this dear man named Peter!!!!! It seems he has come to the place where he is ready to read the book of books that has become part of our spiritual sustenance and our very life.
Lady Who Replaced a Stolen Bible: While I was speaking with someone at the table another lady caught my eye that reached not only for one Bible but two. So naturally I was curious and wanted to know the reason why. She told me she wanted one for herself and a young man she knows who had his locker broken into and had his wallet and Bible stolen. She told me he didn’t miss his wallet as much as his Bible!!! Maybe this testimony of his, who knows, was enough to awaken a desire in her. Well, I’d doubt that his wallet was bursting full of notes and I guess he had his priorities in order as he was more attached to what was possibly a well-worn or marked Bible. Now, with little delay due to this opportunistic woman, he has a brand new one to dig into again.
Chris: A Chinese looking family passed by and the most part didn’t seem overly interested - but the father trailing a little behind with his youngest did. I could tell this gentleman (Chris) was really searching for something and seemed very open to truth, yet he was in a difficult place because he wanted to enquire into our resources yet we were both conscious of the fact that his family were moving further ahead and away from him and before long they would wonder where he was. And I sensed (can’t say for sure) he didn’t want his wife, or her friend, to know why he stopped. Anyway Chris went a way with a couple of things in his hands that could potentially revolutionize his life!!! You might want to pray a little prayer for this man and his family.
Mary and Leanne (Leanne is not exactly her actual name, she had an unusual name I didn’t quite get): Now for the encounter that aside from the others was clearly to me providential. Two ladies casually meandering along the South Bank river walkway stopped to survey our table display. From a couple of things I picked up they both seemed to be Christians and mutual friends with each other. One said she worked in mental health and the other for whatever reason was slightly hesitant to state what she does. (Her friend however, disclosed that she was a Counselor and she didn’t seem to mind her saying that). These women seemed quite spiritual and one had a really radiant, peaceful and serene countenance and both were open to the things the Holy Spirit impressed me to share. It was interesting that after sharing a few things from Matt 24 in connection with final events, one of the ladies said, “Hmmm, actually, we were just talking about that the other night”!
I thought the best book for these two ladies would be The Great Controversy and as I shared its contents I could see they were following along and forming a picture in their minds from the outline I was rendering and filling in. A few of my brush strokes depicted the European persecution in the dark ages, the pilgrims voyage for a new peaceful land known as America, the decline of spirituality there, with the accompanying approaching rise of tyranny. Over about 20 – 30 minutes by God’s grace alone I gained their increasing attention. They were comfortable chatting and I thought there was a good chance one of them would be interested in the Great Controversy. This book would allow them to wonder thru and view the whole art gallery masterfully depicting pivotal and glorious scenes of past, present and future prophecy! I was right about one of them wanting the G.C. I was conscious of not “overloading” them with too much material. So I gave it to one of them and suggested they might want to share it with each other. The other lady took a nice hardcover bound devotional on life of Christ (“Walking with Jesus”) by Ellen White and some DVDs . . . . . Earlier Leanne curiously asked me “Why we give these things out for free?” and I told her why and followed it by saying . . . “we do accept donations though” and left it at that. And now after 5 or 10 minutes when I sensed conviction was stirring, one ended up pulling out her purse and donating $5.00 and the other $10.00, which told me once again the gospel seed of truth is bound to sink deeper into good soil. We ended our little chat with a closing prayer and I prayed for the Father’s continued blessing upon these two precious ladies that seemed as though they were already shinning lights in their communities. Please keep Leanne and Mary in your prayers.
I thought to myself afterwards that had we been turned off by the weather, we would have not only missed out on these golden moments, but the many other opportunities my dear friend and I experienced in casting seeds of truth hopefully into the good soil of open and honest hearts.
And Thanks To You!: Again we greatly value the prayers of those who are praying for this ministry. I believe the success we are experiencing is, again as I said earlier, because of “God’s grace alone” and I would like to add, I really believe this grace is complemented, and I dare say sometimes activated, by the prayers of those who have being praying. So thank you dear ones!!! May the Father richly bless you all. Maranatha!