Countries from around the world have sent in 300,000 True Love Waits sexual abstinence pledge cards, which will be encased in glass plastic boxes that will be used to form an international display at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Although the vision of the international campaign is to receive 1 million pledge cards by August 1 to prepare for True Love Waits’ fourth international display event on August 22, the current tally of pledge cards is the largest ever.
“Even if we had those cards (already received) then it would be more than we ever had before,” said Jimmy Hester, senior director of LifeWay publishing resources. “We are receiving them everyday.”
True Love Waits, which is celebrating its 10th Year Anniversary this year, reports having received the highest response from South Africa, which has sent in 240,000 pledge cards. Other countries joining the effort by sending in pledge cards include Brazil, Argentina, Philippines, Korea, England, Germany, and the US, according to Hester.
The True Love Waits 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."
Previously, “True Love Waits-Thru the Roof” had the highest number of pledge cards sent in for the second ever international display. The international display had 340,000 cards stacked from the floor to the roof of the Georgia Dome in Georgia, Atlanta in 1996.
With less than 2 months left until the pledge card deadline, True Love Waits is continuing its promotion efforts.
“There is a lot of promotion going on around the world,” said Hester, who has been with True Love Waits since its inception 1993. He said the organization is contacting some of its former contacts in other countries in order to rally more support for the display.
“We just trying to provide a platform for students around the world who want to declare their position on sexual abstinence until marriage,” said Hester.
According to Hester, two or three locations for the international display are still being considered. He said the display boxes will form a picture of the world.
For the presentation ceremony of the Athens international display, Olympians who believe in the cause will be invited to speak. It has been confirmed that 200-300 teenagers in the area will be attending the event.
The event will shown on a delayed Webcast beginning 5p.m. EST on the True Love Waits Web site (www.truelovewaits.com).
Hester said the first commitment listed in the pledge is to God and by signing the pledge cards, students are making a commitment to remain sexually pure until marriage.
“That was His plan from the beginning. That was what he planned for humankind,” he said.
True Love Wait pledge cards for the Athens display are available for purchase on the campaign’s Web site.