Olympics draw international outreach team

Everyone knows that the Olympics encompass teams from around the world. When Christians strategically reached out to the crowds attending the Games, they too were able to draw on enthusiastic participants from abroad.

The hub, as it became known, centred on the extensive grounds of St. John’s Church Stratford, was used as the base for the Ultimate Gold outreach.

"The Ultimate Gold Olympic Outreach was a huge team effort and my thanks go out to all involved and for those who prayed as it was a very special time," said evangelist Roger Murphy of Through Faith Missions (TFM).

"Almost everyone on our teams led people to Christ – a real privilege. We had UK partners and Christian artists from all over the world who were of a high standard and very flexible."

Partnership brought together St John’s Church, Through Faith Mission, OAC Ministries (Open Air Campaigners) and a range of some twenty other East London churches. This meant there was always something on offer for the constant number of people who used a public footway which runs through the church grounds.

"Our task, at OAC, was to provide a steady stream of preaching throughout the afternoon and evening with messages accompanied by painting on sketch boards," explained OAC Evangelist Steve Gurnett.

"This was interspersed with singing by individuals and groups, various acts using creative object lessons, escapology, acrobats, and dancers. There were many openings to have conversations about the Gospel, as both local people and visitors took the opportunity to sit and relax in the sunshine with the free tea, coffee and cold drinks provided.

"Other features included children’s activities, puppet shows, the offer of prayer in a prayer tent, taking ‘The God Test’, in which people were asked their views on either the existence of God or His nature, and a faith survey.

"Young people’s activities were also popular with everything from table tennis to a football cage provided by Youth for Christ. All these different approaches led on to good opportunities to share the Gospel."

Teams worked incredibly hard as outreach took place daily from noon until 9.00 each evening. Yet all agreed that the results made it worthwhile. During the mission many people were touched by the Gospel and over 160 people chose to follow Christ and another 60 made re-commitments. They are now being followed up. At the same time, OAC London team members are busy preparing to assist St John’s Church during the Paralympics.