True Love Waits (TLW), an international campaign created by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, will also go to Athens this summer for a special display. This is one of the activities to mark TLW’s 10-years ministry in challenging teenagers and college students to remain sexually abstinent until marriage.
In collaboration with the Hellenic Ministries in Greece, an international display of TLW commitment cards from all over the world will be set up on Sunday 22 August, the Lord’s Day during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Christian youths from around the world can mail in their signed TLW commitment cards to Hellenic Ministries beforehand.
The event would mean a Global Declaration of purity. The pledge reads: "Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship."
Athens was known to be a city filled with sexual immorality in the age of Apostles. TLW’s campaign will be a great challenge to break down all the fallen culture and cleanse the evil history, bringing new light to Europe.
Churches around the world are encouraged to commemorate that day in their churches. Together all participates are invited to pray for God to send revival to the Church, and spiritual awakening to the world, and the mobilisation of the new generation to complete the task of proclaiming the gospel to all people. Christian youth will also gather at the display for worship.
In addition to the display of TLW’s commitment cards from around the world, the celebration will feature music, Olympic athletes challenging students to take a stand for moral purity and youth from AIDS-ravaged nations giving testimonies of courage and moral resolve. A video of the day's event will be available for download on www.truelovewaits.com on the same day.
During the past decade, an estimated 2.5 to 3 million young people have signed a pledge to be abstinent until they are married under the guidance of TLW.
During an interview with Baptist Press in March, Richard Ross, one of TLW’s founders commented that TLW has a cutting edge over the other 200 similar programs.
The success of TLW lies on its tailored-made programme for each youngster. He said, “TLW provides weeks of study and discussion preceeding the signing of TLW pledge cards. The promises are often made in public ceremonies with teenagers surrounded by family, close friends and a community of faith. Teenagers make their promise to God Himself rather than a notebook. After promising, students receive ongoing support from youth leaders who are part of their world every week, compared to school speakers whom they never see again.”
“Most of the other programs only offer three or four class sessions led by a stranger. At the end students often are asked to sign an abstinence pledge in their notebooks,” described Ross.
Meanwhile, some 240,000 commitment cards have been sent from South Africa, where AIDS is having a devastating effect on the population. This shows that the message from True Love Waits has made a considerable impact in many parts of the world as it is entering its 10th anniversary later this year.
The Ugandan government complimented the campaign for its remarkable contribution in relieving HIV/AIDs rate from 30 percent of the population in the early 1990s to around 5 percent today.