It was a sunny afternoon in Hamilton and I decided to give my wife a break from the children and take them up to the playground. It is only a five-minute walk from our place to the playground and my young children love going there. When we got there, I noticed a young couple already there with two young children that were similar ages to mine. I didn’t say anything to them for a while but they didn’t seem in a hurry to leave so I wasn’t too concerned. I was trying to think of some way to initiate a conversation. I noticed the man had a coloured scarf on his hand which I assumed was some sort of gang symbol. I wasn’t frightened though because he seemed to be responsible with his children.
I noticed they had a lot of groceries and there was no car around so I asked them if they had to carry their groceries all the way home. The man said that they just lived around the corner so they didn’t have to go too far. I then said it was great to see a young man looking after his children like he was, because so many young men in this country don’t take responsibility for their family. He agreed with me and said that he works hard down in Christchurch to take care of them and that they are only in Hamilton for a short while because one of his family members was sick. We then got talking a bit more about our young families. Now that the conversation was started, I was wondering how I was going to steer the conversation towards kingdom matters. I ended up saying that I think if I hadn’t have found God then I would be like a lot of those other young men that abandon their families.
He then asked me what church I go to like so many people do. I explained a little bit about home church but I don’t think he understood. He said that he attends a church in Christchurch because his partner’s family forces him to as they are very religious. I asked him what he thinks of it and he said he quite likes it because he’s interested in knowing more about God. I asked him if he’d ever heard the gospel before and he said no. So I shared with him for the next 5-10 minutes what it was. The whole time this was happening my young children were happily playing on the playground without once talking to me which is pretty rare.
After I finished sharing with him I got to the part about how we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. I asked him,
“Have you heard about the Holy Spirit?”
He replied, “Yeah… oh, na…”
So I explained who the Holy Spirit is to him and he understood, because afterwards he said that he wants to be clean and he said he was going to think about baptism. He was due to fly back the next day to Christchurch so I put him in touch with someone down there who could baptise him.