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Here is the second report [see first report] filed from the Olympic Games in Athens by Carl Kerby, AiG-USA vice president for ministry relations. He and about 130 witnessing Christians (representing AiG and Gospel Literature Services) have been heavily engaged in street evangelism in Athens this past week, using AiG witnessing materials that have been translated into nine languages.
Yesterday we took a team to Mars Hill, at the very base of the Acropolis. It is an amazing place, with great numbers of people visiting from all over the world. The vast majority of these visitors, however, have no idea of the history of Mars Hill. They are there just to visit the Acropolis, and to also get a good view of the city below.
On Wednesday, more than 30 AiG/GLS missionaries were at Mars Hill sharing the gospel message and telling people the history of the Apostle Paul’s address to the Greeks (Acts chapter 17, starting at verse 22). The responses we encountered were varied: some mocked, some listened and some said they wanted to hear more. Interestingly, these same kinds of responses were seen some 2,000 years ago at this very place (Acts17:32). It’s amazing how some things just don’t seem to change over the centuries.
While it is off limits to share witnessing materials inside the Olympic venues, many athletes (including someone we met from South Africa in the fencing competition) are sharing their faith inside the Games. With this South African woman, we were given a “missionary” to the athletes. You see, when we gave her the booklet Answers to the Four Big Questions, she was very encouraged. This had the answers to some of the questions she had been struggling with herself.
We also shared the “Four Big Questions” with some Christian ladies from Jamaica, who happened to be dark-skinned. As I told them about the fact that Paul preached from this exact spot that all people were of “one blood,” they got very happy. Indeed, the Bible is the only answer that makes sense of the origin of the different people groups and also provides the answer to the problem of racism.
As the AiG booklet also shares, if evolution is true, some of the “races” are closer to the “missing link” than others, making them less human. If some people can justify abortion because we aren’t really killing a “human” ultimately, as some say, what is wrong with killing others that are not as highly evolved?
An Egyptian who pastors a church in his predominantly Muslim country shouted “Hallelujah!” when we gave him materials. A Chinese pastor took handfuls of the “Four Big Questions” in his own language to give to his whole congregation. As a matter of fact, we will eventually be giving them an entire case of the booklets for him to use.
We didn’t just reach Christians today, though. April Mason of AiG had some wonderful opportunities to share her faith with people from many countries, including Russia, England, and many from Greece. She did a great job of sharing the truth with an Arab-speaking man who, at the end of almost two hours of sharing, asked her to pray for him.
At the close of the day, I had personally spoken to people from 11 countries and had given out hundreds of booklets.
As we were getting ready for the bus to arrive, a lady called me over to speak to her and to her friends. They shared with me that they were from Lebanon and were on their way home from a vacation in Spain.
I asked them the language that they read most fluently, and they responded “Arabic.” Fortunately, we had the gospel message in their main language! As I handed them out to these people, I was (pleasantly) shocked when I noticed that people were “coming out of the woodwork” requesting these booklets.
It turned out that there was a total of 43 Lebanese whose Spain-to-Lebanon flight was delayed in Athens, and so they quickly went to downtown Athens to look around. They couldn’t believe that anyone would have information in their language. As they read it, some asked me if I was a Christian. I told them yes, and explained what took place here on Mars Hill those many years ago, and that we were there to share that with everyone we could. The response was encouraging—they didn’t stop talking, and nobody got angry.
They wanted to ask more questions, but unfortunately, the bus came, and we had to rush to get on. But please pray that these booklets will be read by all in this receptive group.
Friends, I truly wish you were here. Yes, we are very busy, with long days and short nights. But so far, at least 14 souls have received the Lord (that we know of), and many more are requesting additional information. To God be the glory, great things He is doing!
In a day or two, I will have another report to file for this website on how God is using AiG’s materials to present the powerful creation/gospel message during this unique opportunity.
– Carl Kerby