Christians are excited about Olympics, but for a different reason

By February 10, 2006

Italy (MNN) — While the war on terror, drought, and political uncertainty continues around the world, people are now assembled in Torino, Italy for the 2006 Olympic Games. Security is tight. Tensions are high, but so is the excitement of athletes, spectators and volunteers, including Christians who are sharing their faith.

Operation Mobilization is just one organization that’s on the ground. Luka Brignolo is a volunteer serving the American Delegation as an interpreter and country host. He hopes that as he does so he’ll be able to share his faith in Christ. “Not directly in the village or in the sports venues. There’s an agreement to avoid any kind of proselytizing with in those spaces. I meet so many people that it’s easy to share about my faith and also trying to explain why I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brignolo is also a part of the “More Than Gold” Olympic outreach event in partnership with the evangelical church there. “We have about 50 churches within the country, mainly from Turin and other areas. And then we also have quite a lot of mission teams and groups coming from abroad, mainly from the states.”

The group will be encouraging church attendance, but the main thrust will be open air activities. “Like creative evangelism. For example we do face painting, pin trading, mimes in the streets in order to attract people, get to know them and maybe share our faith,” says Brignolo.

According to Brignolo the evangelical church is less that one-percent in Italy. He says there was another reason mobilizing the church was difficult. “The evangelical denominations do not always work together. So, it’s not always easy to cooperate altogether. So, they are so happy about the fact that in reality all of the evangelical denominations present in Turin are working together under the umbrella of ‘More Than Gold.'”

Bognolo is asking people to pray for the outreach. “My prayer would be just to have many opportunities to talk to people, to share the Gospel and to talk about their faith, (and) that no one will feel offended or attacked by our attempt to simply share our faith.”

We’ll be following Brignolo throughout the Winter Olympics.

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