FIFA World Cup 2010 and Evangelism update 2

It is really been a thrill to serve God, and it has not been different during this soccer World Cup in South Africa. The soccer World Cup is the best opportunity in the whole world to preach the Gospel, and I’m glad that I have been able to participate so far.

My participation in World Cup Evangelism started when I received a weekly newsletter update from Way of the Master on the 20th April, and they highlighted that they have been able to ship 100 000 tracts to a South African ministry for distribution during the World Cup. My interest in these football tracts was already great, and I had been looking to buy them so I can distribute them in the street corners. So I contacted Living Waters (of which Way of the Master is its TV ministry) to find out if I can get my hands on these tracts. A Living Waters correspondent, Oracio Sandoval, referred me to Gary Crous of Luke 9:23 Ministries and as they say the rest was history. Gary told me about the Evangelism Bootcamp that has been arranged for all those who would like to participate in World Cup Evangelism.

22nd May 2010, Bethel Chapel

The Bootcamp was evangelism training based on the Way of the Master Biblical Evangelism, and it is equipping believers to witness to non-believers using the method that Jesus Christ used to witness, hence the name Way of the Master. It showed us that Jesus used the Law to witness to everybody, and only showed grace after the application of the Law to the proud heart. I found that this method of evangelism was not only indeed biblical, but it was used by men like Martin Luther, John Wesley, Dwight Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham and many other great soul-winners of our time. But somehow this biblical method was neglected by the church, and instead the Law was relegated to the bench while people were told the grace of God without being shown their need of it.

This biblical evangelism method galvanized my efforts for evangelism, as I had always felt that I needed to prepare sermons for people before I can witness to them. But this made me realize that I can witness to any person in the world, regardless of their race, class, religion, or nationality using the Law. My eyes were opened and I realized that indeed the Law makes every person accountable to God (see Romans 3:19), and every effort to witness to a person without taking them through the Law first is dangerous and likely to create false converts or even make people reject the Gospel because they never saw their need for a savior (Jesus). It was in this Bootcamp that was held at Bethel Chapel where I met my fellow soldiers in Christ who fellowship there like Syd Warren, Andrew Hendricks, Ashwell Valentine, Kieron Griffiths, Jane Grater, Bradley Erasmus, Enez Nickall, Jessica Ruiters, Trevor Vidamour, Wilna Human, Gerdus Human, Ralph Bender, and Keba Mosiko.

From the Bootcamp, then plans were made and stadiums and dates were selected where we could apply what we have learned and reach the lost people with the simple Gospel of Christ.

16th June 2010, Loftus Stadium

Since we live in Pretoria, then it was decided that we will limit our outreaches to Loftus Stadium, as it would be logistically impossible to travel to other cities for outreaches as most of us are working. The first outreach was on the 16th June at Loftus, during a game between South Africa and Uruguay in a very chilly Pretoria night. My wife and I took to the streets armed with countless tracts and newspapers, along with faithful brethren from Bethany Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel, Central Baptist church and many others Christians who were there. In what was our first outreach for both of us, all we could have hoped for was distribute the tracts with minimal witnessing opportunities. To our surprise God was faithful, and we managed to distribute all tracts except for a few newspapers. It must have taken us 2 hours then we went back to Central Baptist church where we had parked. The church had arranged a viewing area for the match and offered free coffee and biscuits for all in attendance, and an opportunity came for us to witness to some who were present, as per a request from one of the elders of the church. After hesitating for most of the time we were there, I managed to speak to three ladies for a brief moment, but I didn’t take them through the Gospel as we quickly had to leave, but I left them a tract that really caught their attention and it had a Gospel message. I hope the tract did the job I failed to do.

18th June 2010, Bethel Chapel

We had learned that some brothers and sisters from America, Israel, Australia and Uganda were going to join us for the outreaches, so it was arranged that we’ll all meet at Bethel Chapel so we can have a formal opportunity to meet each other and ask God to lead us through the whole World Cup outreach. Amongst those present was Tim Crawford (Lost Cause Ministries and Team leader of Ambassadors Academy for Living Waters, US) who was our speaker on the day. Others who were present were Bill Adams (US), Michael Rogers (Living Waters Africa, RSA), Michael Sischy (RSA) and Tzachi Danor (Israel) (both Jews for Jesus), Gary Crous (Luke 9:23 Ministries), Vincent Piater, Willem Pretorius, Warren and Sandra Joubert (all RSA), Miriam and Helen Kanseka (both Uganda), and many other brethren. Tim reminded us to use the Law to the proud and grace to the humble as the bible teaches.

The meeting lasted for an hour, and those of us who had to go to work quickly rushed to work. The street preaching team of Tim, Bill and Gary along with other brothers also rushed to Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, for the USA vs. Slovenia game, as reported by Gary (http://luke923evangelism.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/world-cup-outreach-gauteng/).

19th June 2010, Loftus Stadium

It was the game between Cameroon and Denmark at the Loftus Stadium, and once again I was with Syd Warren, Bethel Chapel faithful, and my Ugandan sisters Miriam and Helen to distribute tracts and do one-on-one evangelism. I managed to speak to a young local, and I took him through the Law and how he had sinned against God. He tried to justify the reasons that caused him to break the 9th commandment, but I showed him that he was still guilty in the eyes of God regardless of his reasons. Having asked him if he had ever committed fornication, he tried to excuse it by asking me if I was a virgin when I got married. I quickly showed him that I was a fornicator as he is, but my sins were forgiven and he needed to do the same. He promised to repent later that night, and I pray to God that he did. I tried to have a conversation with some Cameroonians, but the language barrier made it impossible and to my frustration I had to let them be as I had no French tracts.

The Danish fans were not that receptive, as such it was difficult to give them tracts or even start a conversation with them. One thing we have learned as a team during this outreach is that Europeans are not very receptive to the Gospel as Africans, South Americans or even Arabs are. A very sad state of affairs, as it was in Europe that Christianity really blossomed.

23rd June 2010, Loftus Stadium

It was a game between Algeria and USA, and I was very excited by the opportunity to witness to Algerians, but my excitement didn’t last long as I found myself only having four tracts in Arabic, and no French speaking ability or even tracts for that matter. Here I was in Hatfield, where most of Algerians were residing, and they were all in green and white and jumping around the Hilda Street, but I had nothing to give them, as all I had was English tracts. The situation changed as I met up with the street preaching team on the other side of the stadium towards Sunnyside, along with Ugandan sisters, and they had plenty of French tracts. My mood changed and I quickly walked back to Hatfield, where I was now prepared to interact with Algerians through French tracts. The tracts went very quick, and I even managed to have a conversation or two with some of them. One Algerian asked me what the tract was about, and I told him that it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he said next time he’ll bring Islam tracts to give to me. Here’s hoping God uses this tracts to highlight the spiritual situation they find themselves in, and offer a solution to them.

While distributing tracts, there were also some young local ladies in miniskirts distributing tracts for a local pub they are working in, and it hit me just how lost people are and how our efforts to reach people with the Gospel of Christ should be stepped up. I managed to give them a tract each and briefly explained to them what it was, and they just quickly went to find another spot. They were embarrassed as soon as they found out what the tracts were saying, and I hope God will use these tracts to lead them to Him.

23rd June 2010, Soccer City

Having completed the tracts at Loftus, and the game getting close to start, I joined up again with the street preaching team, and they told me that they were going to Soccer City for the Germany vs. Ghana game later on and they invited me to come along. Having consulted with my wife who was at home, I went with them to Soccer City. Even though I was very tired and my feet were aching, as I had earlier went to work in the morning for half day, I jumped at the opportunity to witness some more and I knew that God would reward my faithfulness.

It took us close to an hour and half to drive from Loftus Stadium to Soccer City, and I was very excited. We have a slight problem though as we didn’t have enough English tracts, even though we have plenty of French and German tracts for French speaking Ghanaians and Germans. I had to wrestle the English tracts from Tim while he was still preaching next to the Show Ground parking lot, and then later from Gary as he was preaching next to the vuvusela vendors. As usual, Germans had no interest in tracts or even conversations with regards to the Gospel, as we have seen with other Europeans and even American fans which was weird.  But Ghanaians and locals were receptive, and I managed to speak to a Ghanaian who came from nowhere. I took him through the Law, after he said he was a good person and he was destined for heaven. He admitted to being a liar and a thief, but he still thought he was good enough for heaven. The thought of God being a just God who judges sin fairly, convinced him that he needed to repent and he will do so when he gets home.

I also had a conversation with a vuvusela vendor who was listening to Gary as he was preaching. He said what Gary was preaching was the truth and people should listen to him. I asked him if he was a good person, and he said yes and he was certain that he was going to heaven. He lied and stole to make a living, so he said, but he was certain that God would understand. I asked him if a magistrate would understand if he were arrested for stealing a vuvusela, and that argument made him see his folly. I told him that he needed to repent and make a commitment to God that he’ll forsake his sins. He wasn’t prepared to do so at the time as he was working, but he promised to repent when he gets home. I hope he was sincere.

Earlier, I had met with another vendor who was curious as to what I was distributing that gets people so excited. I give him a tract and explained it to him, and not to my surprise he said he was going to heaven, but I was surprised when he said he has repented from his sins. To make sure that he was really born-again, I asked him why he was born-again. And he answered and said he had broken God’s Law, and he repented and asked for forgiveness from God. Halleluja!

What I have learned

I have learned that out of 84 000 fans who were in the Germany vs. Ghana game,

  • Many of them have never heard the Gospel in their whole lives.
  • Majority of those who are not atheist think they are good enough to go to heaven
  • Those who are atheist don’t want anything to do with Jesus, and they think hell doesn’t exist
  • It is true that only 2% of Christians engage in evangelism, and I’m attempted to believe that the number is even less
  • All Christians need to use the Law to witness, as some of the tracts were not even fit to distribute to people as they are very misleading and can lead to spiritual deaths of many.

 

There are twins sisters I always meet up with at Loftus Stadium, and they are very faithful in evangelism, and I think they deserve special mention. I promise to take their picture in action on the 25th June, as they are very encouraging to me.

If you haven’t received Jesus as your Lord and savior, then I encourage you to do so, not because you are not a good person but because you have broken God’s Law (10 commandments).

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