SILVER SPRING, Md. — The North American Division held an all-day prayer vigil for Team USA ahead of their crucial July 1 soccer World Cup game against Belgium.
The entire second floor of the General Conference building (which also houses the North American Division) was devoted to prayer from the moment division employees came to work at 8 a.m.
“It’s crazy, 10 years ago American Seventh-day Adventists barely knew soccer existed and today we haven’t done an ounce of office work because we’ve been praying so hard for team USA,” said junior Treasury employee Toby McKeenan, describing preparation for the game which would see one of the teams ejected from the tournament.
The prayers were briefly interrupted by a furious gaggle of Belgian pastors descending from the third floor. The group stormed the massive prayer huddle demanding an end to what they called “unAdventist behavior and blatant prayer abuse.”
American building security personnel quickly ejected the outnumbered Belgians telling them to “form their own prayer circle or do some work.”
As the opening whistle sounded, the volume from the second floor reached what workers called a “near-Pentecostal din” that continued without ceasing until Belgium’s 2-1 victory in overtime.
“I know our actions today raised some eyebrows,” said a senior NAD leader who wished to remain anonymous. “Given the final score some will say that we were wrong. We still think it was worth a shot.”
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