A harvest more precious than gold at the Olympics

By August 30, 2004

Greece (MNN) — Athletes in Action a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, says dozens of Olympic athletes graciously received copies of the JESUS Film Project’s’ special release of JESUS on DVD. As a result seeds of the Gospel were planted and athletes from around the world came to Christ.

AIA staff from Paraguay and Kenya are overwhelmed at the response and opportunities to minister to numerous athletes who want to receive Christ as their Savior and understand how principles in the Bible can give them a “victory beyond competition.”

Several Olympic athletes prayed to receive Christ, including a boxer and swimmer from a central American country and 5 athletes from a central African country. 26 Olympic team members from a South American country have indicated a desire to grow in their faith after meeting with an AIA staff couple.

A Christian woman on a major Western country’s archery team has been told by her coach that part of her training regimen every day must include a discipleship appointment with her spiritual pastor, one of the AIA chaplains in the Village.

The Athletes In Action (AIA) Jesus DVD for the Athens Olympics uses new “life journey stories” from current athletes which introduce the classic feature length film on the life of Jesus – their personal favorite as “World Champion.” Easy to ship, carry (“to pack into a bulging suitcase for the trip home”) and distribute, AIA’s Gary Beckman says it is also more “valued” simply because it is in a more up-to-date format.

He says, “What really excites me is that research has shown these DVDs will reach the most remote corners of the earth as the athletes return home and share the it with others.” “The ‘ripple effect’ of a tool like this is almost beyond imagination.”

This resource has been finding its way into the hands of athletes in miraculous ways. A female athlete from a former Iron Curtain country was glad to accept a Jesus DVD from us at a practice Gymnastics session. The sister of a crew member of a western European Olympic Sailing Team gratefully accepted 2 copies and promised to give one to her sister.

One of the AIA staff in an African country was with his countries’ volleyball team immediately before their game against an Asian country. When it was discovered that his country’s “manager” had not brought enough gifts for the traditional pregame gift exchange, the AIA staff member offered some Olympic Edition Jesus Film DVD’s – which was what the Asian competitors received.

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