A team of 13 college students, led by AUM Campus Minister Lee Dymond, is spending two weeks sharing the Gospel at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here are Lee’s reflections on their first two days of ministry:
Friday, June 13
June 13 was our first day of ministry. Our team loaded up in the van and headed to Casa Capi, a ministry site for a local community. During the early part of the day our team helped with medical outreach. Some of our team assisted Brazilian nurses and a doctor with checking glucose, heart rate and blood pressure and providing basic medical exams for local residents. Our team also helped teach children correct dental hygiene and gave away free toothbrushes. After lunch half of our team went into the local community where we met residents and shared the Gospel. We had several opportunities to pray with local residents. Two girls from the community heard the Gospel, repented of their sin and were redeemed. Our team rejoiced in their decisions. Upon returning to the Casa Capi we took part in what the local ministry called “a vegetable service.” Following a time of worship and preaching we assisted in handing out fresh vegetables to the local residents. Many came to receive the vegetables and heard the Gospel. It was a great time of ministry to the local residents.
Saturday, June 14
Our team started the day off having a short worship service with a local church and a soccer club made up of teenagers. Although we did not understand the words, it was amazing to experience the passion the Brazilian Christians had while they sang about our Savior. Our team sang “Amazing Grace” for the Brazilians. Once the singing was finished a couple of local pastors spoke and then they asked me to speak. I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel through an interpreter. It was very different but it was an incredible experience, one that I will not soon forget.
Following the worship service we had breakfast with the group. We then played two games against two local Brazilian teams. The missionaries had been promoting the game throughout the community for the last few weeks. They invited everyone in the community to come see the Brazilians play against the Americans. Our first game was against an older Brazilian team and we won the game 2-0, despite the fact our goal keeper was me, a 44-year-old campus minister who had not played soccer in more than twenty years. In the second game our team was not so lucky. We played the younger club team and we lost 3-0. But we ended the day with a record of 1-1, which we considered a huge win for our team!
Following the game Bekah Gordon, a member of our team, shared her testimony and then a former professional Brazilian soccer player preached and gave an invitation. Twelve of the young players we played against in the second game repented and gave their lives to Christ. It was a GREAT day. That afternoon we drove to the Baptist seminary in Rio for evangelism training for our World Cup mission. There we met with Baptist Brazilian leaders as well as the 50 Argentinian volunteers that would be working beside us during the World Cup. All in all, it was a long, tiring and wonderful day.
Check back for more blogs from Lee and the team in the days to come. You may also view some videos produced by the International Mission Board about the team’s ministry at http://vimeo.com/americanpeoples
Lee Dymond is the campus minister on the Auburn University at Montgomery campus, part of the Office of Collegiate and Student Ministries. He may be contacted via email at email@example.com.