Since arriving in London from Australia, I have been ministering on Sundays in churches around greater London and the UK. In fact, just before the Olympics began I had the privilege to minister at a great Sports Outreach Sunday at the Hillingdon Church near Heathrow Airport where many responded to the gospel.
The following Sunday I spoke at the Wimbledon New Life Church in south west London, which was a sweet time of fellowship. The next Sunday I preached at the A10 Mission Church in Puckeridge, a hamlet in East Hertfordshire, with great worship and fellowship around God's Word.
I then had to rush down to Tonbridge, Kent to speak at a large combined churches Olympic Outreach at Tonbridge Castle. I had the privilege of sharing for 20 minutes with over 300 people in the castle grounds. Many came to speak to me afterwards, saying they had renewed their commitment to Jesus and opened the door to Him for the first time. In all I drove about 350 miles that day.
One morning, in the Olympic hub, I noticed that the South African Olympic management had arrived. I said, "Gooie more, almal. God seen julle ryklik vandag". (Good morning, everyone. God bless you richly today). I repeated the greeting in Zulu. Work stopped and heads whipped around to respond.
It was great to catch up with Leon Fleiser, an Elite Powerlifter from past Paralympic Games. He informed me that Michael Louwrens, the Elite Champion shot-put, discus and javelin thrower has qualified for his 4th Paralympics.
I look forward to seeing Michael again since my privilege to pray for his healing at the Sydney Games when he tore a muscle in his groin that would have excluded him from the medal contentions. God graciously healed Michael and he went on the next day to win gold in the shot put and break his own world record. In addition to that Michael gave his life to Christ and has been sharing his faith for 12 years with great effect.
I also had a very interesting talk with Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt, two very big muscular guys who are the South African beach volleyball players. Chiya comes from Durban where I was born. We enjoyed a few minutes speaking in Zulu to each other and shared about Jesus.
On the train to the Olympic Village one morning I started talking with Nora from Tipperary, Ireland. She asked what I did at the Olympics and also normally for a living. I told her I was a director of a charity that supported 5,500 orphans in Eastern Europe. Her eyes filled with tears as she asked, "What motivates you to do that?"
I told her how I had embraced Jesus 50 years ago at 18 years of age and His love growing in me motivates me to do what I do. She then burst out, "I want to know Jesus like that." She opened her heart to the Lord on the train.
Sharing the grace at the Olympics
Published 01 August 2012 | David Smethurst, Press Service International Media Team via ASSIST News Service