So often the media use Christians and the Church as its “whipping boy”, but the following story is an example of how this recently backfired mainly because of the integrity and reputation of those leading the ministry of Youth for Christ in the Ukraine. The story comes from Tyoma Kondrashov (who is YFC Ukraine’s Sports Ministry Coordinator) and refers to the Christian Soccer League Awards ceremony in Ukraine at the start of this month, attended by about 1,500 people and many famous names in Ukraine:
Awarding Ceremony of the Christian Football League had a great resonance in the mass media in Ukraine. More than 100 publications printed good feedbacks on the event, all of them admitted the positive role of the church and Christians in a social life. All… except one TV channel, which showed a scandalous shot. This ‘BallFoot’ program had the video from “Dinamo Kiev” TV but put totally different sound: comments and story, combined with a few videos where people were howling and crawling on the floor. So they showed us as a crazy sect and called poor Dinamo Kiev football player who came for the first time at the Ceremony a member of sect and participant of in the ceremony. And then it all began…
But the scandal turned good for us! God stood up for His children. Can you imagine that other secular media got very angry on this ‘BallFoot’ and worried about us and our reputation! Many secular media people called me and said kind words of support and assured that they would not leave it as it was. Their righteous anger went so far that this ‘BallFoot’ program was close to shutting down. The editor-in-chief of this program called me, apologized and offered financial compensation. But we refused and instead asked him to make official apology to Dinamo Kiev team and the Church in his next program. And thank God they agreed! The best in this situation is that huge numbers of unbelievers interceded for believers! Just think how nice it was to hear the calls of support from the chief editor of “Football” magazine (circulation 100,000), from a journalist whose web-site has tens of thousands of visits a day etc.
This story reminds of the verse in 1 Peter 2:12 – Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.