‘Presence’ at the games, circa 2000

“Special Presence” at Sydney Games

The YWAM New Zealand outreach team experienced a “fruitful” three weeks at the Sydney Olympic games this year says Jay Granat, team leader.

The New Zealand team, according to Mr Granat, saw twenty-six people “ask Jesus into their hearts and lives”.

Brent Williams of YWAM Sydney says 930 people received salvation with over 4700 people personally spoken to about the gospel at the Games.

More than 7800 pieces of literature were given out and 600,000 copies of “The Alternative”, a Christian newspaper dealing with community issues, were distributed.

Eighty-four teams attended the outreach, half of those from Australia, and worked with over seventy churches.

Mr Williams explains the outreach was “saturated in millions of hours of prayer including up to 3,000 intercessors from South Korea praying every morning.”

Churches were very impressed with the attitude and commitment of the teams notes Mr Williams. Subsequently, churches have been inspired to reach out in new ways.

“Many local churches were unsure of what a team could do but now have a whole new view of ministry.”

One tool that has never been used before in evangelism is the Bible in 43 languages on a single CD-ROM, complete with study tools, ten Christian songs and an e-book called, “How to study the Bible”.

Mr Granat says the tool came in handy for a visitor from China, who was “led to the Lord” by a female team member and who was able to take the Bible CD back to China with her.

The New Zealand team helped lead a “kid’s club”, with children aged between 9 and 13, at a local school during the mornings. Mr Granat says twenty children “asked Jesus to lead their lives” because of the sessions.

The most rewarding day for Mr Granat was at Bondi Beach where the beach volleyball competition was being held.

“At first we weren’t making any headway and it seemed no body was open to have a discussion with us.

“After an hour or so, I called the team together and we did some spiritual warfare praying. After five minutes we started talking to people all over the beach.

“That evening I led two men into a personal relationship with Jesus!”

Mr Williams noticed a very special “presence” during the Games and they chose to acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the reason.

He said in a letter to team members about the outreach: “Without Jesus in you, it would not have been possible.”

By Peter Veugelaers.

Published 2000, Challenge Weekly

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