This was Break Free’s second time attending the Silverback Open, a UDEF sponsored event. The Silverback Open is one of the largest bboy events on the planet. Over 600 dancers entered the one on one battle. Thousands of people were in the building and Break Free’s very own Josh Meza (Spiritual Warrior) from Chicago and Josh Sazdanoff (Beebop) from Orange County came as ambassadors for Christ at this event. We also met up with a Christian b-boy from Minnesota named Nate, who is not part of Break Free yet but helped us reach out to b-boys. This two day competition feature the best breakdancers in the world. From Korea, Japan, Venezuela, North America, Africa and you name it, the who’s who of breaking was there. The three of us were able to compete in the prelims and have some fun.
We had a somewhat discouraging day 1 of the event, as we were shut down trying to share the gospel with a few different bboys. But we had to keep reminding ourselves that we are fishing for men and many times you don’t catch fish right away when fishing. We just needed to be faithful. On day 2 we attended a predominately African America church (Epiphany Fellowship) in the heart of Philly before the b-boy event. I respect their pastor Eric Mason in how he preaches the word boldly with strong challenges to live it out. Eric’s message that morning was based on Micah 6:8, which says, “He has shown you , Oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. But to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” Eric challenged us to live this passage out in the midst of all the strong racism going on. So after the service Josh, Nate and I went to a popular local Philly Cheesesteak restaurant which hadn’t open yet. While waiting in our car we discussed the message and asked the Lord to use us to reach the black community better. Mid prayer we got a knock on our window from a black woman who needed some money to help pay for her bus ride. We all got out of the car and shared the love of Jesus with her. It was raining and her sweatshirt was soaked and we felt compassion on her. We gave her enough money to stay at the local shelter for the night. Then as we were praying with this woman, another older African American woman came up and started talking with us. She told us her story and her struggles. We were able to encourage her in the Lord and pay for some of her groceries as well. Its amazing how when you make yourself available to God, he gives you opportunities. We just need to be ready in season and out of season to preach the Word.
Then we headed over to the event. God put a b-boy on all of our hearts named B-boy Remind to share Christ with. He is a breakdance legend who made it to the top 8 the night before in the one on one’s and he is almost 40 years old! He comes off as a new age, “free spirit” kind of person, but we never had a conversation with him. We prayed the night before to have an opportunity to share the gospel with him. As I (Josh Sazdanoff) was walking inside the large building we were in, with 1000+ dancers there, I couldn’t really find anyone who was standing alone to talk to. As I made my way around the building, I turned the corner and B-boy Remind was by himself stretching for the upcoming 3 on 3 competition. I was nervous to talk to him because I thought this may be a hard conversation but the Lord gave me the courage. I started first talking to him about breakdancing and his philosophy on dancing. Then I asked him if he had a spiritual background and surprisingly he said that he grew up in a christian home. But later on in life he couldn’t accept that people of other religion’s were going to hell because of not believing in Jesus. So I just asked him what he thought of Jesus and he said had a lot of respect for Jesus and his teachings. As the conversation moved on he really opened up about his struggles and sin. I felt led to share about Gods grace and told him the stories of the prodigal son and Zacchaeus. B-boy Remind started weeping over his sin. To me, it looked like he was broken. I put my arm around him and prayed for him. He also prayed. I didn’t pray with him to receive Christ but prayed for him that he would. Some of his friends and crew members walked by us as we were praying and seemed stunned by what was happening. If you would have told me that this is what would have happened before I spoke with him, I wouldn’t have believed it. God is amazing. The gospel of grace is powerful. Never doubt or hesitate to share the gospel with someone you are intimidated by. You just don’t know what they are going through. B-boy Spiritual Warrior had a tough conversation with a non believing dancer too. Also, on the plane ride to Philly and coming back home, I had great witnessing conversations with a man from Sri Lanka and Virginia. Praise Jesus for all the prayers and divine appointments He gave us on this short mission trip! “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. And always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within you. Doing this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15