“Our man in Athens”—Carl Kerby, AiG–USA’s vice president for ministry relations—has been in Athens now for several days along with dozens of AiG volunteers who have been engaged in street evangelism. They have distributed multiple thousands of AiG’s evangelistic booklet Answers to the Four Big Questions (printed recently by AiG in several languages).
This is Carl’s third report filed from Athens. Although we post this as the Olympics have just concluded, their witnessing efforts continue, even with some recent challenges.
Today was a very interesting day, to say the least!
We went to a small square in downtown Athens where concerts have been taking place during the Olympics. One of the local evangelical churches was able to get approval to hand out water in this square. The church had also requested that our AiG/Gospel Literature Services group come to the square and engage people in conversation and hand out AiG literature. Of course, we gladly accepted this opportunity to share and went with great anticipation for what the Lord was going to do. (In the day previous, we had already spoken with people from more than 130 countries and saw more than 30 people receive the Lord!)
When we arrived at the square, we shared the gospel with people from places like Iraq, the Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, China, Korea, Philippines, Albania, and, of course, Greece. We’ve been doing what we call “worldview interviews.” I essentially ask people what they believe about the origin of man, and then ask them about their beliefs. Now, if they’re evolutionists, I challenge them about what they really know about evolution.
As the square started to fill up I was able to engage in some very good conversations, including with some Christians who needed help in defending their faith.
Then the police arrived. They threatened to shut down this water distribution center. The vice-mayor of Athens was visibly upset at this. He even yelled at those at the water center. The police knew that they couldn’t stop us from doing what we were doing because we weren’t breaking any rules, so instead of coming after us, they approached the people who invited us. Well, we didn’t want them to lose their licenses, so we felt we had to leave.
I was so encouraged, though, that two Filipino men whom we had just met came back to us and said, “We’ll speak to the police for you. You’re not doing anything wrong.” I thanked them for their kindness and explained that we would move on so as not to cause problems for the water distributors and our witnessing team.
We then went to Syntagma Square (Athens’ town center) where we observed about 2,000 people marching and protesting against the USA. I wasn’t particularly happy to see it, but in the midst of all of this, my wife shared a booklet with a Greek lady who was watching the march. She looked at the booklet and let out a shout of joy. You see, she was a Christian. She kissed and hugged us, but told us to move away from the square because she was afraid for our safety. But what an encouragement she was.
Yes, many in Athens may not be happy we are here. But many Athenian Christians are coming up to us—recognizing our special yellow shirts—and thanking us for being there for them and their country.
Thank you for praying. Many things are happening that I just can’t share with you at the moment. But one thing to mention now is that a Chinese believer is already asking AiG to consider being a part of a witnessing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Please be in prayer about this.
– Carl Kerby of AiG–USA, in Athens