Reaping the Harvest Following Massive Christian Rally for Egyptian Christians
Nov 07 2012 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
The scene was much quieter the day after the thousands strong rally. Two weeks ago we reported on the massive gathering in the Wadi el Natroun desert north of Cairo. Hundreds of buses brought crowds of men and women, boys and girls from cities throughout Egypt to the four-day long “Count It Right” Christian rally that began on October 25. Artistic, athletic and super power activities were set up, not to merely fill time and impress the audience, but, most importantly, to present the message of salvation and invite people to receive new life in Jesus.
The scene that week was reminiscent of Psalm 118: 15, “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: ‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’” But the tents and equipment are gone now. The loudspeakers proclaiming the Word of God and the joyous shouts of victory are a memory. A question lingers in the silence: was there any real impact?
The answer is a resounding YES! Early reports show that thousands of lives were touched. Estimates suggest that 45,000 people attended and 25,000 people gave their lives to Christ, though only the Spirit knows the exact number. Eight thousand people indicated a desire for follow-up from the church. Millions more viewed the rally on satellite channels over six hours each day in North America, Australia and the Middle East. One thousand children participated in a special program. Thousands attended simultaneous rallies in Assiut and in the Coptic Orthodox Cave Church, located in Cairo’s trash dump. The numbers are phenomenal; the spiritual harvest, astounding.
Most of the attendees were from the Coptic Orthodox church, and a Coptic Orthodox priest was the main speaker for one night of the meeting. It is completely unprecedented for an Orthodox priest to preach from an evangelical pulpit to such a huge crowd.
In the evening services, attendees were challenged to take their cigarettes, drugs, magic charms, any other material objects representing sin in their lives, or pieces of paper listing specific sins of which they were repenting, and put everything into large baskets that were passed around the entire stadium. On the first night alone, reminiscent of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000, 12 large wicker baskets were filled with these items, powerful evidence of sincere decisions to follow Christ as Lord.
To God alone goes the glory. The massive outpouring of decisions for Christ was clearly the work of the Holy Spirit. Generally, Orthodox Christians are resistant to the "altar call" style of service. Most of the attendees were Orthodox and only the Spirit of the Living God could have moved their hearts to make such a public demonstration of repentance.
The main speaker on the final evening of the gathering gave a deeply moving gospel presentation. Carrying a crossbeam through the stadium onto the stage, he chopped the horizontal beam and then nailed it onto the main vertical beam in front of the audience while he spoke. Then he showed a small clip from “The Passion.” More than 8,000 came forward that night to receive small chain links representing their desire to be bondservants of Christ for life. Shouts of “Yassu’a” – (the Arabic Bible word for Jesus) echoed in the skies above the small village as thousands shouted praises to the Savior. Only God knows the powerful long-term impact of this event in the lives of the Egyptian church.
“We Egyptian Christians want to thank all our Christian brothers and sisters worldwide who have faithfully been praying with us and for us as we stood back and watched what mighty things God has done in the lives of many people. We are grateful to Him for His great work among us and for you as our partners in the Kingdom of God. We are so thankful to God for His protection over this large event and the large number of people who attended. We are grateful for the smooth administration of so many logistics and for the great attitude between all the believers who worked together to make it possible. We are overwhelmed by His goodness and heart of mercy toward Egypt, and are expecting more and more signs of revival in the coming days.”
Check out the “You Tube” video that shows a glimpse of one of the evenings.
Father, how we praise Your name for the great harvest of souls during the October rally in Egypt. We pray for them now as they have returned to school and work, to neighbors and family. Strengthen them by Your Spirit to live the lives they have committed to. And we pray for the Coptic Orthodox Church that you would fan the fire of revival that was ignited during the rally. We pray for church leaders that Your Word would be preached from their pulpits with power and authority. And we pray for the unity of all true churches in Egypt that they might praise You with one loud voice that is heard across the land. In the name of Jesus whose name we lift on high, Amen.