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The Roger Powell, Jr. Story

In February of 2005, my colleague Ken Konecki and I sat in a bagel shop in San Diego, CA to brainstorm how we might utilize “The Testimony Card” to touch thousands with the love of Jesus Christ. Ken had recently read an article about University of Illinois basketball player Roger Powell, Jr., an ordained minister, who loved to share his faith in Christ and use basketball as a platform to do so.

Two days later, I was speaking with a former colleague of mine who informed me he’d received an email from a campus ministry at the University of Illinois wanting to explore having a testimony card produced for Roger to be used as a catalyst for ministry.
Ladies and gentlemen, outside of the conversation between Ken and me, no conversation had taken place regarding a card. It was explicitly clear the Lord was at work in this situation.

Continuing on, about 15,000 cards were printed and distributed at the last Big Ten home game at Assembly Hall against Northwestern. A campus minister said:

"The outreach went quite well. Initially we had about 75 students who gathered and then broke up to cover each entrance to Assembly Hall. The system worked well in that we were able to hand out close to 15,000 cards. Overall, I think it was a great success. Numerous individuals were asking for extras to give to friends; little kids were absolutely excited; the assistant to the Dean of the Education department emailed us afterward and asked for more to give out to some friends with whom she wanted to talk about spiritual things. I know that Roger's dad got one as he entered and was excited about it. We have also received other emails requesting more cards as well.

It will be fun to see once we get to heaven just what God did through this. I trust what God has said in his word "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." We were able to share to some degree the word of Christ with 15,000... Exciting stuff... God is so good."

Upon seeing the great impact the cards had on the campus of Illinois and praying about what was the next move, Ken and I decided to continue to walk by faith and print some 350,000 more cards and capitalize on the fact the Illini were still receiving a lot of press coverage. Powell's testimony was being shared in several local and national publications and television networks, including ESPN. The Lord had also opened up distribution methods through local Christian businesses and the Assembly of God churches throughout the state to participate in this "grass roots" effort to make a difference. Cards were passed out at the Illinois state basketball championships and the city of St. Louis was impacted as well as a team traveled to the Final Four to pass out cards with the Illini advancing to the 2005 National Championship game.

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