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Baptist teenagers touch lives by witnessing in South African schools

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (BP)–More than 1,900 professions of faith were recorded when a collegiate team from Concord First Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., spent two weeks in May doing one-on-one evangelism in South African schools.

The group of 34 taught in schools, played sports and led assemblies in order to develop relationships and share the gospel with thousands of students and adults.

International Mission Board missionary Alan Duncan connected the collegiate team with the students in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“Our basic program was to reach schools where I had strong contacts with Christian leaders who were willing to assume the role of follow-up once the team left,” Duncan said.

South Africa is going through a time when educational leaders are rare, so many of the schools are looking for people who are willing to teach life skills classes, Duncan said. They also seek people who will volunteer time as guidance counselors or recreation leaders.

While Christians volunteer to teach life skills classes concerning alcohol, drugs and sexual issues, they also are able to lead students to Christ and disciple them during class time.

The collegiate students led assemblies each day, sharing testimonies, presenting tracts, and counseling children one-on-one. They also provided follow-up material and weeks later are receiving requests for more.

“We need specific prayer for many of the youth as they are not allowed to be baptized or join a Baptist church until they leave home,” Duncan said. “Their parents tell them they are already Christians, just not born-again Christians!”

The American students were amazed at how easy it was to lead people to Christ.

“If we gave an invitation right now, almost all the students from First Baptist Concord would return to South Africa just to continue serving the Lord in those wide-open schools,” said college minister Jeff Lovingood.

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  • Erin Curry