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This is the fourth (and final) report submitted by AiG–USA’s vice president for ministry relations, Carl Kerby, who spent several days at the Athens Olympics (and remained after the Games” conclusion) with a team of 139 street evangelists assembled by both Gospel Literature Services and AiG.
As I conclude my final report, let me first say a very sincere “thank you!” to all of you who prayed for us while we were in Athens. There is no doubt that your prayers were felt while we were on the streets witnessing. As we have already shared, there were many times when we encountered serious opposition to what we were doing.
One instance occurred after three successful days of witnessing on Mars Hill at the foot of the Acropolis. The police came and made us leave. One of the officers had a very strong dislike for us, and some of the first words out of his mouth were, “I’m Orthodox and I’m not changing!” It only went downhill after that. At one point he tried to force one of our ladies into his police car. She had been handing out a “wordless bracelet” to people, including the mother of a young child. The lady was happy with the bracelet and became visibly upset when the police office took the materials from her.
Two strangers came up during this incident and asked the police officer, “Sir, what’s wrong with what they’re doing? We really appreciate it.” They continued, “They’re just telling what happened here 2,000 years ago [as recorded in Acts 17]. They’re telling the truth about what happened here.” That was very encouraging to us.
But we quit handing out materials there and moved on to other places so as to not cause any problems.
I shared with you in the last report what happened at the park when our group was handing out water in parts of Athens. I didn’t share “the rest of the story” with you, though.
In one park, a Chinese man came up to me. He didn’t speak much English. Initially, he was interested in our camera. I found out that his native language was Chinese, and so I gave him our witnessing booklet (in Chinese—we offered the booklet in nine languages), Answers to the Four Big Questions. He immediately sat down, and for the next 20 minutes intently read it. I actually took video of him as he was so engrossed in the booklet.
After 20 minutes he jumped up, bowed toward me and took off across the street. I looked at my wife and said, “I wonder what that was all about?”
A short time later he came back with a card—filled out in Chinese—requesting more information. When I got back to camp that night, I gave the contact information to Dr. Zhueng, who was with our group. (Dr. Zhueng is an amazing story that I’ll share about in the future.) He had spent nine years in Chinese concentration camps for his faith. He has now set up three underground printing presses in China where he is printing the first three chapters of AiG’s The Answers Book for the Chinese home church. What an amazing man!
Anyway, Dr. Zhueng immediately contacted this man the next morning and set up a meeting. That night, when I got back to camp, I went to Dr. Zheung and asked what had happened. He told me, “Praise God, he received the Lord!” Dr. Zhueng had spent almost four hours with him sharing the Scriptures. Our Answers booklet had challenged him regarding his beliefs and got him to the point that he wanted more answers—and he got saved!
I want to thank AiG supporters once again for helping us to get the materials into so many languages.
As a result of this Olympic outreach, we have been invited to participate in handing out evangelistic materials at the World Cup soccer games in two years in Germany, and also the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. (I’ve actually been invited to go into the Olympic Village in Beijing by a sports minister from an African country.)
Also as a result of this trip, we have been able to get our leftover booklets to the Hungarian office of ABWE (a mission-sending agency, with its European headquarters located in Hungary). Every ABWE missionary in Europe will have access to our booklets now, free of charge, in 8 languages (plus English)!
Overall I have to say that the AiG/GLS team from 6 countries and 28 states was very successful. We had about 70 people receive the Lord in our short trip. We witnessed to people from over 120 different countries and we handed out thousands of pieces of gospel literature in several languages.
One evangelist who has been traveling through Europe for the last year told me, “I’ve been running into people from your team all over the city.” You see, we were known throughout the city as the “yellow shirts” because of the bright shirts we were wearing. (It’s amazing how this worked for us—two TV crews went to as many “yellow shirts” as possible for their interviews.) The evangelist remarked: “You’ve done more for this city in the last week than has been done over the last year.”
When he found out that I was with Answers in Genesis, he beamed. He told me: “When I left the US last year, I created a website. Yours was the first site that I linked to!”
Because of the support of AiG friends, the gospel message is truly being shared around the world. Be encouraged, and thank you!
In His service,