Gather the Nations
The 2016 Olympics just ended this past Sunday, and – with the work Cru’s ministry Athletes in Action (AIA) – the seeds of the Gospel are heading to the world from Rio de Janeiro as well. Using the newly-updated Jesus Film Project app about 100 multilingual staff used a short film, and a series of videos called Struggle and Triumph to share the message of Jesus with Olympic athletes, their families, and fans. Some, like AIA staff member Tim Pitcher, are able to serve even as official chaplains in the Olympic village.
Struggle & Triumph
The film, also given out in DVD form, contains the testimonies of 4 Olympians & Paralympians from the US, Brazil, China, and Kenya. Their stories touch on issues of doubt, failure, idolatry of the sport, rejection, sanctification, blessing, and clear calls to follow Jesus Christ.
I found Li Yan’s story particularly powerful – this is how the lead AIA staff member described it:
“…an Olympic speed skater and coach from China and just how people initiated her when she was in the US and in Europe and invited her to church, and through that relationship led her to Christ. Now she has an impact on her team, and through her story she’s able to now impact the millions of people from China and those living outside of China who are interested in her story.”
Rio & Beyond
Now that the games are over, people are headed home, but that’s the whole purpose of this project. Pitcher says. “[AIA staff are] here to be able to minister to the athletes from their country or their language group and really try… to be able to meet with them, resource them, so if they go back home, they’re going to have copies of God’s Word that they can get through security and customs that a normal missionary might not.”
Praise God that He is using technology, people, sports, film, and His word to bring people to Himself, and to send them out to the world, and – sometimes – back to their home countries.
The athletes, families, and friends returning to their homes around the world, that the Gospel will take route
Our continued work on our financial support team is going well, but we still have work to go! Pray for Jayson’s two trips, and for the family as he’s away in September & October.
Fia has started kindergarten as a part of a local homeschool co-op. Pray for her learning, and for Carrie’s new “job” as teacher.