Rose Parade Missions

( [email protected] ) Jan 03, 2004 12:44 PM EST

PASADENA, Calif.— One million people lined the streets of Pasadena since the night of Dec. 31 to reserve a post to view the coming morning’s Tournament of the Roses. While the eager audience snuggled to keep warm through the night, the warmth of several Southern Baptist volunteers who made balloons, handed out brochures, took free pictures and even put on a mime show greeted them.

A team of 17 teenagers put on Mime shows presenting the Gospel Dec. 31 along the crowded five-mile parade route and another 10 volunteers took free photos of people for JoePix, a ministry where those photographed must first read about the Gospel on the JoePix website before accessing their free photo. Last year eight to 10 people on the street accepted Christ as a result of the mime ministry.

"It gives people something to do while they are sitting around," said Kala Cooper, 14, one of the mimes with Youth in Action, a homeschool organization in San Diego. "The reaction is great. People ask us where are we going next and want to follow us. We stick out like sore thumbs."

The skits performed by the mimes are remembered after the parade.

"We had one man tell us he accepted Christ in April because of a skit he couldn't get out of his head that we had performed at last year's parade," said Cheryl Cooper, mother of Kala, who helps the mime team. "That was enough for us to want to come back and help out every year. It's a unique ministry and the possibilities are endless for groups who want to share the Gospel."

Next year, the ministry hopes to find 100 volunteers.