5000 Pledge to be Baptized
Tonight, 5000 people in Port Moresby pledged to be baptized and to join God’s remnant church. This is an astonishing number.
“It’s the most people I’ve ever seen come forward for baptism,” an exhausted John Carter said just after the meeting. “We’ve had the greatest meeting we’ve ever had.”
And in case you think that Pastor Carter exaggerates when he says 5000, his estimate may be low. Others say that 8000 stood in the Sir John Guise Stadium to make the commitment. Plus there could another 500 to 1000 commitments by people listening outside who can’t get into the giant venue.
If the local newspaper reported that 10,000 people pledged to be baptized, you couldn’t prove them wrong.
The Port Moresby Carter Report program has made history. It is the largest-known Adventist evangelistic attendance in the English-speaking world. And it has the largest-ever commitments for baptism.
The local Conference president declared the attendance reached 120,000 people. And tomorrow night there will probably be even more.
Our church’s estimate of the 120,000 is confirmed by the local daily newspaper. They sent a reporter who wrote an independent article that said there were 120,000 people there to hear John preach on the Mark of the Beast.
However, Pastor Carter doesn’t want to talk numbers. “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes,” says John. “The work is his, not ours. We must not obsess with numbers. We are not in a competition,” he says.
“Not obsess with numbers!” Your humble scribe is so excited that’s all he wants to do! Your scribe knows that the other side of the world cannot experience – or even imagine – what is happening here. So the only way to express it is to “obsess with numbers.”
Therefore your scribe sent out spies through the land to cater to his obsession for numbers.
The spies report that people are sitting on every blade of grass at the Sir John Guise Stadium. Every square foot of the venue is packed. No! It was packed when it had 20,000 less people! With an extra 20,000 squeezed in, there must be a stronger word than “packed”! Maybe jam packed? Maybe crammed? Maybe bursting at the seams?
Perhaps the best way to describe it is that the Stadium is like a sardine can. The crowd – the multitude – sit on the grass of the football stadium squeezed in like sardines. They are so close to each other the ushers can’t get through to do their job.
But it’s not just a sardine sandwich here at the Sir John Guise Stadium. There are many, many hundreds standing outside and sitting on a nearby hill.
We have now set up a second screen and giant projector at another football field just down the road. They’ve been sitting here in the darkness each night listening to John Carter’s through a PA system half a mile away. When the giant projector turned on to let them see what is happening, they all cheered!
On behalf of your scribe’s obsession for numbers, Conference president Tony Kemo sent out spies to count the audience at the second football field. They came back and reported that they had counted 5000 people.
Your scribe suggests that this 5000 could double tomorrow night. Surely there are many people not attending because they don’t want to be squeezed like sardines. But now the fabulous Port Moresby word-of-mouth promotion will say they can come and sit on this grass in relative comfort.
Now, back to your scribe’s obsession for numbers! Why do so many people come back night after night? It could only be that they are being fed – spiritually fed.
John Carter doesn’t just preach Bible doctrines. He preaches Christ. When he preached on the Mark of the Beast, it was the Mark of the Beast and Christ! When he preached about God’s Commandments, it was God’s Commandments and Christ!
And the people here love to hear about the wonderful Christ. And they are committing their lives to him in unprecedented numbers.
WRITTEN 10 p.m. Thursday August 9, 2012 (Port Moresby time). 5 a.m. California time.
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