16 Days Winning the World for Christ
Seth Harbison '08
By Shannon Mason
16 days. This was the number of days the eyes of the world focused on the 2012 Summer Olympics and London, England, the city hosting the Olympics. UMobile alumnus Seth Harbison ’08 was there, aiming to win something more important than a gold medal.
Seth is a youth minister at Cross Creek Community Church in Hokes Bluff, AL. He married his wife, Brittany Shears, a week after graduating from the University of Mobile in 2008. They have a 1-year-old son, Jay Reid.
Seth and nearly 200 people, including his brother, Micah, were given the opportunity to team up with the LWSCI, Lay Witness for Christ International, to bring the good news of salvation through Christ to the Olympics.
“The world is kind of coming to you,” Seth said.
With a platform this tremendous and having access to some of the world’s greatest athletes, they took the opportunity to be a global witness for Jesus Christ in London.
People from every faith and belief heard the Gospel preached through the members of their team. They distributed hundreds, if not thousands, of Christian tracts everywhere they went. They held several events in parks for children alongside Bruce Crevier, four-time Guinness World Record holder for basketball spinning and founder of Spintacular, a traveling basketball show featuring Bruce, his wife Diane and their 12 children. They even had opportunities to preach the Gospel on the subways and lead over 20 people to Christ.
One moment that touched Seth and his brother was the chance to share Christ with a woman on the street corner beside a park. Her name was Keri.
Seth recalled, “As I had the opportunity to share the message of hope in Christ to her, she listened as to signify that it was what she had been waiting to hear all of her life.”
From the moment she accepted Christ, she lit up immediately and the glory of Christ’s forgiveness was all over her, he said.
As they left, Micah handed Keri a Bible and wrote her name in it. What happened next was unexpected, but one of the most amazing things Seth had ever seen.
They looked over to the park bench where Keri was sitting and noticed she had her Bible out and was sharing Christ with another lady who had just sat down beside her. This scene reminded Seth of the initial freedom and excitement one feels when first coming to Christ.
“Through her actions, Keri was calling us out as Christians to not just live in the hope we have in Christ, but to share that hope with others without excuses, yet with urgency,” Seth said.
One unexpected moment in particular encouraged Seth. It was a night he attended a worship service at Hillsong Church London.
As they stepped into a theater, temporarily converted to a church on Sundays, and began to lift up the name of our God, Seth said an overwhelming sense came over them that this is what heaven is going to be like.
“People from all over the globe together for one common purpose, eternal worship to our everlasting Father,” said Seth.
As the service continued, the pastor encouraged everyone in the room to pray for someone around them. Seth felt a hand on his shoulder and thought nothing of it. After the service closed, he noticed the people behind him were Americans and the woman who had prayed for him had just the night before won a gold medal on the USA women’s basketball team.
“I was encouraged to know that some of our own athletes were representing not only the USA, but fighting for the hope that we do, indeed, still live in a Christian nation,” Seth said.
Seth said his Olympic experience was “amazing, life changing and eye opening.” People from all over the world are looking for truth he said, and the urgency for us, as Christians, to go and tell them, is greater than ever.
Seth’s eyes were first opened to missions during his first international mission trip to Chile with Dr. Dale Younce, professor of Christian Ministries. Seth said it was an experience he will always remember and it shed a new light in him. He is thankful for the staff and professors at the University of Mobile for pouring into his life and teaching him to strive for excellence and fulfill the Great Commission.