Celebrating South Africa’s 2010 Success!
This week the Newspaper put out a report giving some highlights of the 2010 World Cup.
These highlights opened my eyes to the Miracle that has occurred here in South Africa. Here are a few:
SA World Cup had the Second Highest Attendance in the history of the World Cup
Bafana Bafana’s opening game was the highest watched sporting event in the history of South Africa
Most Profitable event in FIFA’s history
IN Gauteng violent crimes were down 60%
Sex workers said that their business was down as everyone was to busy watching the soccer.
Crime around the event was suggested to be the lowest of Any World Cup in History.
There were only four ‘world cup’ related deaths and none of those were the results of violent crimes.
US politician said “It has been the most exciting world cup and I have never seen one better organised and with greater hospitality.”
Some of you may not know but during the world cup 24 hour prayer was happening in Cape Town through Project 2:19 (www.letsdosomethingnow.com). On Sunday afternoon we had a service celebrating as what had happened over the this time and as I reflected on the last 50 days of 24 hour prayer that we had taken part in, God layed a few truths on my heart, and I think they are important to share. Below is some of what I said during this service, as well as other bits and pieces:
“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many… In fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? .. On the contrary those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable we treat with special modesty…”
Suddenly reading this, ‘the parts we think are less honorable we treat with special honour…” I realized that this is what has happened through project 2:19 and this prayer house. Every time we lifted up the cause of the weak and the needy, every time we cried out on behalf of the oppressed we were walking in our role as the body of Christ. Today my heart is in celebration because we gathered together here as the church, representing the heart of Christ, we have just seen the body working the way it was designed. Some of us had the role of staying and praying all through the night , others had the role of walking the streets, others rescued those who were trapped in slavery, while others blessed and ministered to the physical needs of the people around us.
And I believe that is why we have seen miracles, that is why some of us may have walked up to buildings and prayed for them, and in return seen 10, 20, 30 girls rescued within days. That is why we have seen men set free and seeds of life and truth planted in those who had nothing left.
And that is what this prayer house has represented to me, the body of christ playing their roles, upholding justice, interceding for the weak and needy. This has represented to me what the church is supposed to be, not always getting it right, but making things happen because it is alive and active, and showing even those we consider unpresentable that Jesus came for THEM, to experience life, and life ABUNDANT.
So as I stand here, I am standing in celebration, I am standing in Victory, standing not exhausted after a busy World Cup, but standing with renewed strength, because I am standing on promises fulfilled, and that is what this Project 2:19 has meant to me. God’s Promises Fulfilled.
God loves South Africa so much, I can see that today. He loves the continent of Africa, and He has done miracles here that will continue to echo over this whole continent. A pastor asked a few weeks ago, how can people celebrate so much over a little ball, why aren’t they celebrating like this over God. Yet today, I know that God is not disapointed in his Church for celebrating over football. Because this world cup has been a taste of God’s heart for the Nations. I spent many games standing in the bars and fan parks celebrating with people from all over the world, of many colours and accents and nationalities. And every single time, I could look across all the hugging and dancing, and partying and recognize GOD’s heart for the body. I believe today as we celebrate God’s goodness, he is smiling down on South Africa. He is looking at his Body, and he is saying well done.
I will finish with a final quote from the newspaper:
“But we (in South Africa) won most of all, because we can finally say “we”. and that is the miracle of what has happened in this church, in this city, and across this country. The church has acted as a body, united despite colour or nationality, and the church has lifted Christ up, and we can celebrate miracles because of this.
To echo thessolonians – I thank God For you!
So Thank you to the team and all those who took part in the last 50 days of 24 hour prayer- you have given me hope that transformation can come to the Nations!
A few nights before the prayer house finished, I decided to stay up and just experience it before it was gone… the result? Michael from Project 2:19 and I spent four hours painting a vine that connected through out the art wall. It was an amazing evening and I know I will treasure the night in my heart as God taught me so much through intentional time spent with him!