Released 16 January 2012
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SALVATIONISTS TAKE EVANGELISTIC
OPPORTUNITIES AT PAN AMERICAN GAMES IN MEXICO
LIKE The Salvation Army's Founder, William Booth, whose goal was not fame or
fortune but to win souls for Christ, so too was the goal of officers, cadets
and Salvationists on the streets of Guadalajara during the Pan American Games
in October 2011. More precious than the gold, silver or bronze medals won by
the 6,000 athletes from 42 nations participating in 36 sports was the 'gold'
won for Christ – the souls of men, women and children.
two cadets of the Friends of Christ and Proclaimers of the Resurrection
Sessions took part in daily outreach activities during the early days of the
games. The cadets, empowered by the Spirit and backed up by prayer, had
personal evangelistic conversations with people of all ages and prayed with
many. These contacts made a great impact on the lives of the people, and the
cadets were blessed themselves.
A second delegation of more than 60
Salvationists took over the spiritual baton from the cadets, participating in
many activities from 22 to 28 October. The delegation was composed of officers,
territorial headquarters staff, young Salvationists from corps throughout the
Mexico Territory and seven Salvationists from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and
Chile. Such a large group made an impressive spiritual force under the
enthusiastic leadership of Programme Secretary Captain Luis Camarillo.
Young Salvationists, many of whom had no previous experience of street
evangelism, preached the word of God with courage and commitment. They were
driven by a passion for souls in need of God's love. The group distributed
brochures, bookmarks, War Crys and other evangelistic literature, buttons and
stickers. They also offered a face-painting service. Every avenue of ministry
brought opportunity to have direct contact with people, giving them the message
of salvation and praying for their needs. One man who was spoken to said he had
been considering suicide. His life was changed through prayer.
'Prayer in Motion' targeted the motorists of Guadalajara. Salvationists carried
on their shoulders large advertisements with phrases such as 'We will pray for
you' or 'Let us pray for your family'. When motorists stopped at red traffic
lights Salvationists spoke with them, offering intercessory prayer for
expressed needs. There was less than a minute until the lights changed to green
but in that time some motorists were weeping because someone had prayed for
them. God touched many lives and softened hearts to his love.
message of God's love was also shared through various strands of creative arts.
Clowning, 'living statues', mime, drama, choreographed timbrel, flag and
umbrella presentations, singing and Mexican traditional dance were used to
attract people's attention – all for God's glory.
work included a visit to Jalisco Public School, where Salvationists were
allowed to present choreography, mime and songs expressing the love of God. In
the impoverished community of El Salto, the gospel was presented through
Comfort and encouragement were given to visitors and
patients in Guadalajara's General Hospital. Coffee and bread were given to
waiting visitors, but more important were prayers offered for emotional and
Members of three teams, each led by officers,
conducted street surveys on social issues such as anti-trafficking, climate
change and HIV/Aids. This important information is being processed.
Anti-trafficking information was given out and a video shown, raising awareness
about this social evil. The Guadalajara Children's Home, the base for
accommodation and all activities, received managers from different social
action organisations who learned about areas of The Salvation Army's work,
including its anti-trafficking ministry.
God worked through the
dedication and passion of officers and young Salvationists who preached and
witnessed fearlessly. In total more than 40,000 pamphlets or other items were
given out. Direct contact and prayer were made with more than 14,300 people.
Some people contacted are now worshipping at The Salvation Army.
From reports by Captains Luis & Nohemi Camarillo
Edited by Commissioner Grace Bringans