In 2014, some saints in various localities in Australia had a burdened to distribute of Bibles at the commonwealth games in Gold Coast. They gathered together virtually to start a regular skype prayer time. The Bibles would be supplied by Bibles for Australia (an organisation that desires to make the Bible accessible to as many people as possible). In 2016, they started fellowshipped with local churches in different cities about this matter, and in 2017 practical arrangements for the carrying out of this event (such as finding locations for distribution, applying for permits with the Gold Coast council, logistical arrangements, etc) were made. At our national blending conference in Dec 2017, the vision and burden for this event was shared with all the saints in Australia
During the preparation we experienced much enjoyment of the Lord as well as obstacles. Initially our plan had been to set up tables for the Bible distribution at various locations, however leading up to the event, our permits had been rejected by the Commonwealth game committee and we were informed that there would be extra security measures taken this year. In view of those restrictions, instead of having a table like we had planned, we would instead go out in small teams to talk to people and offer them a free bible. Although the distribution did not happen in the way we initially intended, the Lord blessed us by bringing us those who were open and seeking. Even though we were faced with many rejections, we were able to persevere because of the Lord’s grace.
Each morning whoever was there would gather together for a time of prayer and petition. We prayed for the Lord to release His sons of peace. We prayed that the enemy would be bound. We prayed for the health of all the saints participating. We even prayed for the weather! After the time of prayer we were allocated into groups and given areas that we would be distributing in, then we would have morning tea and then head out to spread God’s word. We would regroup back with everyone at 3pm for more prayer and each group would share some testimonies, encouragement or struggles they experienced that day.
Working as a team also caused us to realise that this is not an individual matter, it must be a Body matter! In order for us to move as one, we have to be one in Spirit. The prayers and time with the saints each day strengthened each one of us, stirred up our Spirit and allowed us to spontaneously be in the Spirit of one accord – moving together harmoniously and enjoying the Lord together.
Many saints testified that this experience caused them to enjoy the Lord more and open their eyes more about the need for the gospel. It was touching to see so many saints give up their time and put aside their obligations to come and preach the Gospel for the Lord’s move in Australia. While it may have been intimidating at first to approach strangers, eventually many saints felt renewed during this whole process. Instead of feeling discouraged, the saints felt more determined and also realised the need to be fully equipped with the word of God. Many saints testified that at the end of each day, they felt refreshed and full of joy!
We were also enlightened to see that this time was not just about our actions or what we said. It was about what we are, as that is what the Lord treasures. Without the blending, praying and fellowshipping with the saints we would not be able to go on each day. Each morning we were given a new beginning and a fresh start in the Lord. In ourselves we may not want to preach the gospel, but the more we are filled with the Spirit the more we spontaneously and joyfully preach the gospel and are built up with the other saints. When we enjoy the Lord, preaching just becomes the outflow of the living Person, God within us, instead of us forcing ourselves to “do” something for God. This should be our experience in our daily living, not just at the Commonwealth Games.
Romans 10:14-15….”.how beautiful are the feet of those who announce the news of good things! ”
Here are some testimonies from those who participated:
It was really a privilege and an honour to be able to be part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games bible distribution. Despite the obstacles we faced, the Lord still supplied us with much grace every morning. Although we may have received 9 rejections for every 10 people contacted, we realised that we should allow the Lord to give us the boldness to endure and overflow Him. – J.A.
I enjoy the time with the saints throughout the Bible distribution in Gold Coast. Before joining, my view was limited to “Bibles for Gold Coast”. This experience really open my eyes to see that “Not just individual churches but the Body corporately.” Hallelujah, we are in the Body and for the Body! We’re victorious in the Body because Satan trembles at the Body! – H.L.
It’s been a very experiential time in Gold Coast for 10 days. Every morning and day upon rising up – the word ” give them food” kept popping up to me, reminding me constantly. ” Out in the highways and byways of life. Many are weary and sad. Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife. Make the sowing glad. In a sense, this was only the beginning for me. I felt so short of life, this should be my daily Christian living- giving out tracts and preaching the gospel. – P.Y.
The highlight of my time was when a young man came flying passed us on a skateboard with a Bible in his hand. When I first looked at him and saw the Bible, I lifted my copy up and cried out, “Bible!”. He promptly held up his copy and cried out, “Bible”. He passed me, looked back and cried out yet again, “Bible!”. We both smiled at each other as he disappeared into the distance. Such was the highlight of my week, where enjoyment and mutual love characterised the entire time of handing out Bible’s at Burleigh Beach. – D.P.
Never judge the book by the cover!!! We saw a young man sitting on a bench smoking, and we passed by him. Later we saw him again and the Lord touched me to ask him if he would like a bible and he gladly received the bible! There were many cases like this! – U.H.