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July 2012

John Carter's biggest audience

JOHN CARTER  last night spoke to the largest audience in his 50-year career as an evangelist.

The Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby PNG was packed, totally packed. There was no more room in the main stadium, or in the bleachers. But how many people were there is open to question.

Some people say there were 100,000. John Carter himself is much more conservative. He suggests a figure of 50,000. However, even if it was “only” 50,000, it is still the largest audience John has preached to. (More about that later in this article.)

The opening topic last night was a stunning presentation on how archaeology shows the Bible is true. It left thousands of people in the audience staggered. And tonight’s program starting in four hours’ time could have the same astounding audience impact. It’s on a similar topic of how astronomy shows there is a God.

“Last night’s program went ahead in spite of huge problems,” Pastor Carter said today. “There was no opportunity for a rehearsal, so last night’s program was the rehearsal.

“The big projectors played up, which could have been a presentation disaster. But Pastor Don Sforcina from Tumbulgum Church North New South Wales, Australia, was able to rewire the system. So we went ahead. Three cheers for the pastor of Tumbulgum!” says John with a delightful smile.

The behind-the-scenes Carter Report team worked to exhaustion setting up the equipment. It’s taken its toll. They look like the walking wounded from a battlefield. They’ve spilt blood – literally – especially the TV crew. Sound guru Bob Ludwig has cuts to his head. Cameraman Bart has lacerations to his face. TV crewman Kim has a bad back. And TV producer David Carter has a badly infected eye, thanks to a bite from a tropical spider.

Please pray that we have no more injuries.

Now back to the subject of attendance. Whatever the number attending, we know the Sir John Guise Stadium was at capacity last night. Now that could create problems in the next two weeks. Attendance figures at evangelistic campaigns in this part of the world increase night after night. For example, John Carter’s evangelistic program in nearby Honiara last year had about 18,000 on its opening night. The final program was almost double that. If word of mouth doubles the attendance at Port Moresby, we'll have a real logistical problem.

Local police say they have had attendances of 100,000 at this venue before. And if that is so, our meeting last night had 100,000 because the venue was at capacity. However, sitting in his TV control room, our TV director Rick Eislaven thought we had 50,000. And he’s something of an expert on big crowds.

However, ten years ago this same venue hosted an Adventist evangelistic campaign taken by Pastor Mark Finley. The General Conference news service at the time reported it had audiences of 100,000. The Australian who made the estimate guarantees it was accurate. He personally divided the audience into small sections and counted those in a small section. Then he extrapolated that figure to the total area. It was time consuming work, but it yielded a figure of 100,000.

Similarly, last year the Adventist General Conference president Ted Wilson spoke in Port Moresby. Again the General Conference news service reported the audience was 100,000. And the same Australian was there and made the same laborious estimate using the techniques he used ten years ago. He counted 100,000.

Maybe there were 50,000. Maybe there were 100,000. Either way, it brings to mind Luke 15:9. “There is joy among God’s angels over ONE sinner who repents.”

Please tell your friends to check this website each day for regular news of this historic evangelistic campaign. And please pray for the team, and for those attending. Lord please give us results of a Pentecostal proportion.

WRITTEN 2pm Saturday July 28, 2012 Port Moresby Time. 9 p.m. Friday California time.

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