South Africa (MNN) — In just under a month, over 400,000 fans and athletes will pour into the city of Johannesburg, South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
The Evangelical Alliance Mission sees this, one of the world's largest sporting events, as a unique opportunity to share Christ with a variety of people who may never be exposed to the Gospel otherwise.
With so many fans and athletes in the area, TEAM realizes they cannot do it alone: "If we tried to do outreach by ourselves, it would be an overwhelming challenge. But thankfully, local churches throughout South Africa are descending upon Johannesburg," said Mark Kordic, a TEAM representative for the East and Mid-West of the U.S.
In this partnership, they plan to conduct street ministry, hold prayer walks, distribute booklets to share the Gospel in various languages, give soccer training, and have health screenings, which include curriculum on HIV/AIDS prevention.
TEAM's main focus will be on the high rate of HIV infection and how people can live with HIV/AIDS and still have hope.
This hope comes from the person of Christ and the future He offers beyond this life: "This is a great opportunity for the body of Christ to reach out with the message of hope because life truly is short, whether you're in sub-Sahara Africa or other places in the world," Kordic said.
Ultimately, TEAM prays for God to shine through the work they are doing on the ground and for a transformation to take place there. Kordic said, "When the WorldCup is over, it's our prayer that South Africa will be revived spiritually, and that the churches would be more unified than ever in reaching out."
TEAM hopes to follow up with athletes and fans they minister to, especially those from countries closed to the Gospel. However, Kordic said there are no guarantees in this, so he is praying that the seeds of the Gospel planted in these lives and hearts will continue to take root long after they have left the country.
Pray for TEAM and the local churches with whom they are partnering during the World Cup. Pray for every individual who hears about the love of Christ to have ears to hear the words of hope they are being offered.
Want to join the excitement in South Africa? Visit TEAM's Web site to check into being a volunteer or to donate to help fund this ministry.