Royal Agricultural Show 2014 Evangelism Report

As in previous years the Royal Agricultural Show (RAS) appointed a security company – this year being Superior Security – and it didn’t take long before they were up to their harassing tricks again. Day one on Friday May 23, 2014 was incident free with Gospel hand-outs and open-air preaching. Had about three hours of mission work with many people taking tracts and even the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) Mounted Regiment passed by and did not object to the presenting of God’s Holy Law and His perfect Justice to come on Judgment Day.

However, come day two, whilst Brothers-in-Christ Rory and Gary laboured distributing Gospel literature and doing open-air preaching, just shortly before contemplating packing up after about three hours of mission work, we were approached by two Superior Security guards. They informed us that Mr Strachan, CEO of the RAS management, had told them to come tell us that we cannot be doing what we are doing as we are in an area that the RAS has paid for, being the public pavement and the municipal road. Gary informed them that we had the same situation last year being told to leave preaching on the opposite public sidewalk that was closer to the RAS main entrances, but after consulting with a SAPS Law Enforcement officer, we decided – in the spirit of keeping peace – to move to the opposite side of the road, where we preached unhindered for the remaining duration of the Show in 2013.

This year we decided to set up where we ended off last year to avoid the “expected” harassment again only for the security company to again come to our new spot to try shut us down. Gary had to give these new officers another lesson in where boundaries start and end, where their jurisdiction is confined to between their client RAS and themselves, what constitutes public domain (common property) and that they could not “buy the use of public sidewalks and roads” – if this was the case we would like to see the “purchase agreement” and also a copy of the by-laws that we were supposedly breaking. We were threatened that we would be physically moved, “carried away up the road or the police will cart us off, but today we were going to be moved – one way or the other!”

Gary explained that they as security guards had no jurisdiction over “policing” public sidewalks and that as they were threatening us with having the SAPS called we were prepared to wait for them to validate the infringement upon our “Bill of Rights” – freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. It was also pointed out to them that the “constitutional rights” exceeds any by-law that infringes upon one’s rights where a person’s basic freedoms are violated and also by them doing what they were threatening to do, they were also infringing upon our consciences, whether we should please God or man;

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

We were also willing, as the apostle Paul did to plead to a higher authority. And so wait we did. Gary also pointed out that the “land” they were referring to does not even belong to the municipality, but it all belongs to our Father – all of it! In fact, He owns everything even the whole universe! At this point a third security guard who had arrived, the older of the two – both are Caucasian, said, “Do you mean Jesus Christ?” Gary said, “Yes” and that’s when they said that He too is their Father! Whilst we tried to get some consensus here, Gary was also told by the younger guard that he thinks he knows everything, to which Gary did answer that he was employed by a legal firm so he does have some knowledge concerning these legal aspects. It was at this point that the young guard told Gary to “shut-up”! He asked him what he had said, but he didn’t want to repeat it, but said, “You know what I said.” So Gary said to him, “If you are a Christian how can you say to your brother shut-up?” We found out his name to be Ryan and Gary introduced himself and then when Gary wanted to refer to the Bible, Ryan said he didn’t want to hear what he had to say – in fact he said Gary is evil!

Then, these two security guards turned their attention on an African man named Jim (from his accent he could be a foreigner) who was selling animal-print table cloths, just trying to make an honest living. They threatened him to take his things and leave because he shouldn’t be selling on the sidewalk. It was at this point when they grabbed his rug-sack and his merchandise and started man-handling Jim, Gary urged Brother Rory to video the incident, but we noticed another older white couple who had seized the moment and had a camera out taking footage. Bear in mind, the man-handling was taking place by the very persons who professed to be Christians who said they knew “God as Father!”

While we continued to wait for the police to arrive from inside the RAS grounds, Brothers Rory and Gary prayed to our Father for the door of evangelising to remain open. Then eventually the SAPS officer came across the road at the traffic light, and Rory recognised him as Captain Dhayaraham; they had previously worked out together at a local gym. The first thing the Captain says to us is that we are preaching the Gospel and then he asked if we were using amplification/sound? “No.” Are we downgrading the show? “No.” We were just preaching the Gospel and what is in the Bible. We then discussed the perimeter fencing, boundary lines, public pavements, our rights under the “Bill of Rights”, and other religious faith issues. In short, he agreed we were not in violation of any laws and we were granted permission to continue preaching the Gospel of our Great God and King Yeshua Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

All Glory to God as Rory and Gary rejoiced as God had heard our prayers and ordered the steps of this particular officer to come and address the situation! Once the situation was resolved, we extended our hands to the security guards who heard it first hand from the police they called that we were going nowhere today. God had kept the door open and we were not confronted again by any “authorities” when the Gospel was preached. We had our brethren uplifting this particular evangelism mission in their prayers, and so the fulfilment of the following Thessalonians’ Scriptures came to pass:

2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Here are a few short clips of the last two days of the Show from Friday May 30th and Saturday May 31st. Much Gospel literature was handed out and the Words of Truth and Life were proclaimed publicly to all to hear. We pray God would use the seed sown to cause dead souls to be born-again..

Incidentally, the same SAPS Captain shut down a reggae music group later on Saturday afternoon, yet came over to Gary to ask where Rory was! All praise be to God!

Here are some previous reports from –

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

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