For the first time in more than a year, international outreaches are possible once again. Praise God! Reid was looking forward to traveling again, and was totally energized by the opportunity to meet face-to-face with other evangelists, train African pastors, teachers and leaders, and preach the Gospel to a live audience!
He joined forces with 18 other team members of the Global Network of Evangelists (GNE) for an outreach to Livingstone, Zambia, on April 15-24. Events included seven nights of festival outreach, as well as conferences for pastors, evangelists, women, couples, and teachers. The team also visited churches, small villages, prisons, orphanages, hospice care facilities, and did sports and BMX outreaches throughout the community. Remarkably, government officials recognized the need for spiritual revival in their city, outweighing the health concerns and fears, and permitted four extra days to be added to the festival schedule.
“So much more can be accomplished when a team of evangelists work together, share the responsibility, and saturate a community with the Gospel,” Reid expressed. “When we share the stage and the results, God receives the glory!”
“We’re reminded in John 4:35… the fields are ripe for harvest. More workers are desperately needed. People everywhere are lonely, longing for hope. Each night in Livingstone, people would flood the festival grounds from the surrounding villages. We were able to give them hope and give them a reason for living. Each of the seven nights, thousands would rush forward at the invitation,” Reid recalled. “It was so exciting to be there, in person, and see the response of the people!”
On the opening night of the festivals, Reid spoke to an estimated 5,000 people in attendance and 900 of them made life-changing decisions. When Reid spoke later in the week to 550 prison inmates, 350 made commitments to Christ and were set free from sin. The prison Chaplain promised to follow up with each new believer.
Nearly thirty percent of the Livingstone population was reached, as 40,000 people attended the nightly festivals and 3,000 made decisions to follow Jesus. Local churches and pastors need our continued prayers as they process the numerical results, and do the necessary follow-up and discipleship of each new believer.
Local leader, Pastor Teddy, a 24 year veteran, remarked that the week-long outreach had a dramatic impact on the city of Livingstone and will affect the city for years to come. In all his years, he has never seen a time when people were so hungry for spiritual nourishment and receptive to the Gospel. All of the church leaders were grateful for the time, energy and compassion that the team was able to give as they ministered to the entire community. Close to 60 churches and several missionaries came together to support the festival and will follow up with all of the decision-makers.
Other GNE evangelists who shared in the outreach were: Alan and Vicki Green, Keith and Joan Cook, Mark and Tish Young, Tara Boehlke, Rick Willison, Desmond Henry, Ed Ramsami, White Ribbon Day Band, and BMX riders John Andrus and Dustin Orem.
Reid found Victoria Falls to be incredible. Heavy rains, after years of drought, had filled the Zambezi River to capacity and provided a spectacular display for all visitors. Mist from the thunderous volumes of water flowing over the mile-wide falls rose over the city. Using the illustration of the falls, Reid reminded the crowd that God’s love never stops flowing. Tourists filled the Livingstone resorts and many attended the nightly festivals to hear the Good News.
“We don’t know how long international travel will be open, but we do know that RSA will always be ready to share the Gospel face-to-face. I love to be there in person and see the response of the crowds, the dramatic impact of God’s Word in people’s hearts. That is our bread and butter, it’s who we are,” Reid explained, summing up the trip.