Day 4 & 5
A Visit to the Mosque, another arvo of making friends and then home for a rest!.
At the Mosque
In the morning we visited a local mosque which our team found interesting. We mostly listened to the friendly, courteous guide and then were given an opportunity to ask questions. When asked what he liked most about Christianity, the guide paused, made sure that he qualified what he was about to say and clearly stated his disagreement with us. Then the guide spoke about the message of God’s love that he had observed. The guide noticed a similarity between his own belief system and Catholicism. He could see that the work of Christians had a different origin and basis. However, he believed that their way was a better motivation for good works though. When asked about assurance on the Judgement day, the guide thought that it was an arrogant thing to think that we could know what God will do.
Getting out there!
After Newington gave us a delicious lunch, we spread out across Auburn to have conversations about Jesus. James and Paul spoke to *Abdul for about an hour. Abdul hadn’t seen his family for eight long years. He had seen a movie about Christians and was quite open to having a discussion. They shared the story of the Pharisee and the Tax collector. Abdul wept as he spoke of how Jesus had been almost stoned on occasion. James had an opportunity to share how God saved Him.
Sam and Rhys were invited in to chat with some men who were painting a house. A number of times one of men *Joe repeated, “Doesn’t matter, all the same.” Joe shared about some of the disturbing dreams that he and his wife had experienced. In one dream, he got to the gates of paradise and found that God was in the form of a man. Contact details were shared.
Alex and Ed were invited by a man to sit on his balcony with him. They had the opportunity to speak of Jesus and the issue of forgiveness. The man acknowledged that everyone was sinful. He was interested to hear more.
Hope, Sam and Tash also had a meeting with someone who had seen great suffering. This atheistic lady, questioned belief in God as she couldn’t see how a good God allow such suffering.
Kev had a challenging experience at a share house because he wasn’t just speaking to one guy but each had a go at talking to him. He was there for about an hour and at one point a man got on the floor in front of Kev and started praying in his language.
Hugh and Carol met *Daniel. A young man from India, who admitted that he doesn’t have time with work and study to read his religious book and pray. This led to a discussion of our failure to live even up to our own standards let alone please God. Hugh spoke of our only hope being the mercy of God and shared the story of the thief on the cross who did nothing to be saved. Hugh spoke of God’s love and Carol mentioned His justice being satisfied by the cross as well. Daniel was interested in finding out more and took Hugh’s number.
Time for a rest
Most headed off home in the late afternoon to have a rest the next day. One couple, (who were billeting our team), took the initiative to invite their apartment block round to their place. Kev and James joined them for the night and spoke to the four people who turned up. Another member of our team was treated to authentic Indian cuisine. A delicious Biriyani was served with goats meat and yoghurt onions. This was followed by a hot caramelly dish for dessert.
Thursday was our day off and we made the most of it! A bunch of us had family responsibilities but it was still a change of pace.
*Not their real names.
- Thank God for the way we have been lovingly cared for by Auburn and Newington Anglican.
- Give thanks for all those we’ve met and ask God to be at work in them. Pray that the church will be able to follow these people up well.
- Pray for Abdul, Joe and the man who realised his own sinfulness that God will bring them to know Him. Pray for the lady who has witnessed great suffering, the men from the share house and for Daniel. Pray that despite pressure from assignments, Daniel will get in touch with Hugh and they will be able to read the Bible together.