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Enjoy it and share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Welcome to another episode of Q&A with Koloff, the Devil's Nightmare. Today is extra special. I've got an incredible, incredible friend on the line, on the phone with me today on the Q&A, Randy Shepard.
Welcome to the Q&A with Koloff. It's a blessing to be here, Nikita. Thank you so much for having me. Well, it's great to have you. And Randy, you are, we're reaching you today from, I guess, are you, your hometown, Asheville, North Carolina? Yes, sir. Getting ready to speak to a football team of about 100 players here in about an hour and a half.
A football team. Well, you are out and about. And let's do this. Let's give our listeners a little backdrop on Randy Shepard. You know, we mentioned Asheville, but just a little bit of your family and what you do.
Sure. I was born and raised here in Asheville and played basketball in Asheville High School, was blessed to get a scholarship, fall Division I school, UNC Asheville. Lord got a hold of my life there. And then he called me into full-time ministry, 1988 to 92, with a ministry in Memphis, Tennessee, called Spirit Express, which is a basketball ministry. And then in 93, my ministry partner, Jamie Johnson and I, were blessed to start Crossfire Ministries here in Asheville. We preach in churches, youth rallies, student rallies, revivals. We have summer basketball camps. We go into prisons, rescue missions. God's allowed us to go to 68 countries, 47 states.
We just use the silly game of basketball when we need it, but we're evangelists disguised as basketball players to share the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and try to lead people to the cross. 68 countries in 47 states. That's amazing. Do you have a couple of countries that have been favorites that kind of stand out like, oh man, we really loved going to that particular country?
Definitely. The Philippines, we've probably been 20 times. And when COVID came, we were just short, a week short of another trip to the Philippines and they shut the Philippines down, and it's now just barely reopening. So we've got some pastors there that are inviting us to come back. We'll go into villages and arenas, take a basketball team of all Christian players, play their teams, and then preach the gospel at halftime. And there's been several churches started from those that have made decisions at halftime.
So we, like you, work with the local pastor to assist them and their church in evangelizing and try to get them in their church where they can grow in the Lord. So Philippines is a great place. I've been to Israel 23 times.
23 times? Yes, sir. Been blessed to speak in some schools in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem. There's a neat story, another time we can share it, but I got chased by a bunch of ascetic Jews on the streets of Jerusalem, got spit on, a bottle thrown at me. I needed you and Lex there that day, buddy. I could have used you guys. We could have put him, Lex could have put him in the torture rack, and I could have given the Russian sickle, Randy.
That's right. I could have used you, buddy, but I try to do what the scripture said and love our enemies. It's a great story. I got out of there, but Stephen didn't.
He got stoned, but thank God I'm still here, buddy. Well, amen to that. Okay, well, since you brought up Israel, okay, short of that experience, 23 trips to Israel, what's one that just pops in your head, one of your favorite memories of Israel? Oh, yeah, and the Garden Tomb area is such a blessing, where you can see where they believe Calvary was. Obviously, they can't say this is the very spot because things changed in 2,000 years, but Calvary is also always a blessing. Then right down from that is the area known as the Garden Tomb area, where Joseph of Arimathea gave up his garden for Jesus to be buried in it, and where he rose, and there's so many things that, Nikita, I pray you've had a chance to go. If not, I want to challenge your board to send you to the Holy Land, or somebody listening, send Nikita Kull off to the Holy Land.
If he hasn't been, it's a blessing of a lifetime. That's why I've been 23 times. You learn something new every time you go, and it's just a—and you can be scared, well, I'm not going over there, Randy. They're fighting over here. Well, friends, I tell you, they're fighting in Charlotte.
They're fighting in Asheville. They're fighting all over, so you're safer in the will of God in Israel than you are out of the will of God in Fort Mill, so we got to go where God leads us. Yeah, there's been other nations I've gone to, and people, and I'm sure you as well, like that have said, aren't you afraid to go? I'm like, you know, I've got a confirmation the Lord's sending me to to go, so I've said this, Randy, maybe you have too, I've said, so one of two things, either I'm coming home or he's taking me home, but either way, I can't lose in this deal. I will start using that. I like that. It's all, nothing new under the sun. If you've never, but I'm like, I was for real, I'm like, I'm either coming back home, or if not, he's taking me home, so either way, I win, so I can't lose.
I like it. So, yeah, so, well, that's, let me ask you this too before we get on to your questions for me. So, you've been a chaplain to the Olympics, and how many Olympics, and maybe, maybe a favorite story of your experience at one of the Olympics.
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You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Oh, yes, it comes to mind right away. Nikita, I was blessed to start going. Our good friend Frank Shelton, Frank started a couple Olympics later. My first one was in Sydney, Australia, and then London, England, and then Rio, Brazil, and then been to Athens, Greece at the Olympics and went to Atlanta, Georgia won in 1996.
I missed China because of the health situation. Here's a story real quick, and I know your time is valuable, so I don't want to take a lot, but Frank was with me on this one. There was a drug lord, they took us into what's called a favela, and that's like a real poor area. If you look up Rio, Brazil there, and you look at there's favelas on the side of the mountains there. So we went into one of those favelas, and they told us going in, we were on an old school bus, as we're driving in, there are drug lords there on their cell phones with AK-47s.
You probably know the weapons better than me, or you may not. I may get one wrong, but they had weapons on them, and they were signaling ahead that there's a bus of ministers coming. You might say, well, they let y'all come in, Randy.
Well, they do, because they don't want their little brothers and little sisters to end up in the drug situations they're in, which is amazing. So they will let you come in there and share the Gospel. So we get in there, and because the Lord has given me a boldness, I give the glory and honor to Him. The people on the bus said, now Randy, you can't get off the bus and just start running into this favela, into the houses in there, because that's dangerous.
We all need to stay at the basketball court. So we were, and one of the guys drove up on a motorcycle. He had an AK-47 around his neck, and he had a pistol on his side with a t-shirt on and shorts. So you knew he was a drug lord. So I spun the ball for him on the toothbrush, the spoon, the cell phone, and I shared the Gospel through that, as you graciously gave me the opportunity to do at the latest Man Up Conference, and he listened, and it really intrigued him. So the ministers that were there, local, they said, you've got to go into some of the homes that do this, because there's people that aren't going to be able to walk to the basketball court.
Some of them aren't healthy. So I looked at the person that had just told me, don't go, Randy, and he looked at me, and he said, okay, I'm going to let you go, but you're going to go with these ministers, and you do exactly what they say. I said, yes sir, I will. So Frank was with me. So we started going in these different homes, and these little huts, if you will, and little small cottages, and sharing the Gospel, seeing people pray to receive Christ, praying for the sick, and we came out of one of those, and the guy on the motorcycle was there that I had encountered earlier, the drug lord guy. And God just gave me a bowl, Mr. Kidd. I can't take any credit for him, but I looked him in the eyes, and I said, buddy, you're playing for the wrong team. I said, you need to be on Jesus's team.
He's got a plan for you. And it was definitely the Lord speaking through me, glory to God, because tears began to roll down his face. And his aunt was a minister that had been praying for him for years. So I shared the Gospel with him very quickly.
It wasn't anything elaborate, just the power of God unto salvation. And he prayed to receive Christ right there out loud, with about four or five of us, including Frank, with our hands laid on him. And so I had the bright idea, if you will, after he did that, I said, can I get on the back of the motorcycle with you, and you drive me through the favela, I'll spin the ball on my finger and we'll invite the youth and the kids and whoever wants to come to the basketball court. And he said, okay. So I went by faith, like what you just said, either I'm coming home, or I'm going home.
And I got on the bike with him, and he took me through the favela. We invited people to come to the court. And that day, glory to God, we saw several hundred people that may profess the faith there on the court, as we had music, Frank testified, we did some basketball, but most importantly, we shared the Gospel. So that's a story that comes to mind, and I give the Lord all the praise and glory and honor for that, Nikita. That's amazing. Well, if people, Randy, wanted to find out more about Crossfire, how would they do that?
Yes, sir. They can go to our website at crossfireministry.com, singular. We call ourselves Crossfire Ministries, but that website wasn't available when we got started. So just to break down any confusion, crossfireministrysingular.com, or our number is 828-2559111. We'd love to hear from whoever wants to talk.
Well, that's fantastic. And there's more to that story, and we're going to segue here, transition into Randy's questions. But I would encourage you to go to the archives, The Man Up Show, and listen to more of Randy's story. You'll be blown away.
Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, to drop a couple names, and many others that Randy's had an opportunity to encounter. But you'll have to go to The Man Up Show to get more of that story. So on that note, let's segue here, Randy, to your first question for me.
What do you got for me? Well, a question you asked me, and we must have liked minds in the Spirit, you asked me earlier on your program. Name some people, Randy, that—and we're not boasting in this, Nikita. I've not watched you. I know you're witness to an orphan. You're witness to a person struggling with alcohol, anybody. But with the platform that God has given you, I got to share briefly with Ric Flair about a year and a half ago at Clearwater Beach, and Hulk Hogan, just briefly. They wouldn't remember me from Adam. But I wanted to ask you, and I'm sure people would be interested to know, what kind of folks like that or celebrities has God given you the opportunity to witness to?
Not that we're boasting of them. God cares just as much about the person that nobody knows as He does them, but we need to be faithful when God gives us those opportunities. And those guys know you. I mean, Michael Jordan would know Nikita Koloff if I mentioned that to him.
So what's some folks like that, maybe a one or two, that God has given you a chance to minister to? I know you reached a funeral where there was a lot of wrestlers there. That was my first question. Yep, so I appreciate the question. And yeah, mine centers probably more around the wrestling world in that I've had some level of—or a role, you might say.
You said some waters, some plants, some water. God gets the increase. But a few of the wrestlers that come to mind that I've had an opportunity in some form or fashion to impact Sting, the icon Sting witnessed to him in December 1995, about a year and a half after I surrendered my life to the Lord, only to find out in 98, of August of 98, he surrendered his life to the Lord. And then there was a period of about five years there that I flew out to his ranch once a quarter just to disciple him.
And yeah, and his kids. Lex Luger, you know, I saw him at that same event, a wrestling event in Charlotte in December of 95. Didn't see him again until June of 2006, 11 years later, when I had heard and found out that he had given his life to Christ and came to an athletes' conference in Phoenix. And that reconnected us to where we now do camps and conferences.
And we've done all kinds of things, autograph signings and all kinds of things together, Lex and I. And he regards me to be one of his mentors and opportunity to disciple him. Ivan Koloff, Uncle Ivan, invited him to a revival for this evangelist from South Africa who I was assisting with. And Ivan surrendered his life to Christ at the altar, at that revival, and it forever changed his life. And so Ivan, so those are just, those are three that immediately come to mind. That is awesome.
Yeah, I'm gonna throw one more. The Road Warriors, Animal and Hawk. Animal and Hawk. And witnessed Hawk come to Lord at that same athletes' conference in Phoenix, Arizona. And then a year and a half before he passed, had him on the road with me, discipling him and mentoring him as well. And Animal had a role in his decision as well.
So those are a few of the wrestlers. Praise the Lord. That's awesome, buddy. I appreciate you sharing that. Yes, sir. Another question is one thing that you said to me at the Man Up Conference when we were eating lunch together, which really I've been thinking a lot about it. I've been told it before, but I look up to you, Nikita, and I appreciate your kind of a distant mentorship. You can call anything out in my life anytime you want to. But I asked you this question, or maybe no, you said this to me, which was wisdom from the Lord. You said, Randy, what kind of downtime do you get, buddy?
I need you, I want you to rest on. You said, I just talked to Frank about that. You need to put something in your calendar. And that's true, Nikita. I'd go like you do, but your wisdom on that.
So how did that come about in your life, Nikita? When you mentioned to me you have two 21-day downtimes where you just get away, you relax, you hear from the Lord, you get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday ministry. I think that's still good for those that are listening. Even if you're not a full-time minister, if you're a businessman or whatever, we all need that downtime as a believer and even as not a believer in our life. So I wanted you to expound on that a little bit. We do. It's important that our bodies and our minds get rest and our inner man, our spirit man gets rejuvenated on a regular basis. The biblically we call it the Sabbath, right? Whether it's a Sabbath day, six days created the universe, created the universe, and the seventh day he rested.
And so that was kind of a, that should be a clue for all of us that we don't need to be working seven days a week, week after week, year after year, et cetera. And that same evangelist from South Africa where Ivan surrendered his life to the Lord said to me one time, we're standing in the lobby of a church. And he said, Akita, just know this. He goes, Christ died for the church, so you don't need to. He's already done it. He's already died for it. And he said, I could, he goes, I could die on the floor. As much as these people say they love me, I could die on the floor of this lobby and they would step over me to get to the next speaker. That's how much they love me.
Because, right? And so he said, always make sure to factor in some downtime, some rest time, you know, and don't go out and try to kill yourself in building the kingdom, right? And do the kingdom work, but also have some designated downtime. So yeah, so I've implemented now a 21-day sabbatical mid-year centered around the 4th of July, and then the end of the year centered around Christmas, New Year's, and the first of the year, as well as other times in between on, you know, shorter.
It might be a couple, couple, three days here or there. And definitely try to every week get a 24-hour period where, where I get a Sabbath. Especially like you and I, we're out ministering on a Sunday where a lot of people would have their Sabbath on a Sunday and be fed on Sunday and rest their bodies and minds. So you and I, and those in ministry need a day other than, because we're not getting it on a Sunday, we need another designated day. For my pastor, it's usually Fridays, so it just depends.
It doesn't, it's not critical, you know, what day of the week it is. It's just critical that every week we get some, some downtime, some rest time. Amen. That is awesome. I appreciate you sharing that. Also, the last one that I have for you, and you can go as deep, as personal as you want to, or as shallow, I know we've got to be careful how much we share, but what would you say would be your greatest struggle in full-time ministry, Nikita, where maybe I could pray for you, others could pray for you, because I know I have some struggles in full-time ministry.
We're human. What would be your greatest struggle in full-time ministry? Maybe greatest pressure, maybe greatest stressor, if you will. I know we're trying to cast our anxieties on the Lord, but what do you think that would be, buddy?
That's a really good question. I don't know, I don't think I've ever really in that way been asked that question before, but I guess a couple things that come to mind is the word balance comes to mind. It kind of ties in with taking sabbaticals and taking time off, but is the word balance, knowing how to balance ministry, life in general, relationships, friendships, and spending time with others, in addition to just being so laser-focused on sowing seed and getting the gospel message out there, which is critical and important, as we all know, because eternity weighs in the balance, but at the same time, being able to have some holiday time, some balance, and spend some time, important time, with family, and not just be a workaholic, but, you know, having some holidays and going on, you know, on a vacation, you might say, and then travel, too, because as much, I mean, you've been to 68 countries and 47 cities. I've been to 30 countries in all 50 states. I said city-states. I've been to all 50 states. You've got three states left that you need to get to, and I've only been to 30 countries, but traveling can take its toll on your body as well, and I know that from my wrestling days when I used to wrestle 300-plus times a year, and so it's just the rigors of travel and protection in our travels, just because of how crazy it's getting out there more, especially on the roads, not so much up in the airways, but especially on the roads, so I would say, you know, prayer-wise, you know, just maintaining that balance and protection in my travels, and the last part of that, of this equation would, you know, just continue to, as with you, you and I are similar in the sense that we're faith-based ministries. I know you've said, you know, you don't have set fees.
I don't have set fees. I realize you've relied 30 years on the Lord putting food on your table and clothes on your back and a roof over your head. I have from day one, from that same evangelist in South Africa, day one, you know, I instituted, implemented being a faith-based ministry and just relying and trusting the Lord to provide for all of our needs, and He's done that. I haven't missed any meals, and so I'm thankful and grateful, so there you go.
There's the answers to your question. That is awesome. I felt like we were a lot of like in that area. We could be brothers, but we're definitely spiritual brothers, but I appreciate your honesty there, and those are some of the same things that I have to work on, so thank you for letting me be on the program today, buddy, and sharing Old Man Up on the CAST radio program, and looking forward to some more ministry together.
Absolutely. One more time, your website, in case you want to get in touch with you. Crossfireministry.com.
Crossfireministry.com. We can preach for you on a Sunday, speak at a school, do a basketball clinic, a camp, rescue mission, prison, teach people, encourage people how to share their faith. Just whatever God wants, we're available, and thank you again for the opportunity, Nikita. Thank you, Randy Shepard, and thanks for tuning in to another episode of Q&A with Koloff. God bless you. Have an amazing day. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts.
May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to koloff.net and donate today. Hi, Nikita Koloff.
Be sure to check out The Man Up Show, now available on television, broadcast, and podcast. Go to MorningStarTV.com or The Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings, or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. Nikita Koloff here.
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