Report back from Rio from our man on the spot

bronze henri
South African triathlete Henri Schoeman in Rio yesterday with his Olympic bronze medal.

[notice]Professional triathlete, sports ministry worker, fitness coach and Gateway News columnist Cobus Kruger who, together with his wife, Philna, has been ministering with Athletes in Action at the Olympic Game in Rio, sent us this report last night.[/notice]

I arrived back in South Africa early this morning. How awesome was it to see that my fellow triathlete competitors, Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray, took Bronze and 4th place in Rio today.

Henri struggled from illness this week and I prayed for a speedy recovery, and he got Bronze. Truly a champ.

It was awesome to watch that race from South Africa while Philna was still there in the crowd in Rio. The Lord opened a door this afternoon in the restaurant where I watched the race to give a man the Struggle and Triumph DVD which features athletes testifying about their faith. Praise Jesus!

Back to our time in Rio. Time and time again we had chances to share the Love of Jesus as we spent time in the coffee shops with the athletes, coaches and parents.

As we travelled between stadiums and events the Lord opened a lot of opportunities for us to share the love of Jesus with spectators from different countries.

A great thing about our stint in Rio was that we were able to make contact with athletes and spectators from countries that are closed to the gospel. We pray that the Lord will enable the seeds that were planted to grow through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philna and I had the privilege of spending some time in the Olympic Village the day before I flew back. I had some great time with some of the Fiji Gold medalists there, and it was awesome to give them some of our More than Gold bibles and to motivate them to keep going to glorify God in their success as they do.

We also spent some time in the house of the SA team where we maade some great connections for future kingdom growth opportunities.

The story that stood out for me in the village was when I sat down and one of the gold medalists from one of the closed countries came and sat next to me. I had a great chat with him, and gave him a Struggle and Triumph DVD. After that conversation Philna reminded me that one of our staff of our Athletes in Action colleagues in Rio works in that gold medalist’s closed country. Later that night we told our colleague about giving a DVD to the gold medalist from that country, and he was overwhelmed with joy, because he had been praying for a long time for an opportunity to get to a top athlete. I cannot share the name of that country but lets pray for the Holy Spirit to use that planted seed for the sake of His kingdom. Praise Jesus!

The third and last thing I want to mention was how exited I was when we spent an afternoon on Copacabana Beach, the same beach where the triathlon competition was held today. Locals invited us to play a volleyball game with them, and afterwards as we walked around we saw more than three youth groups from the local churches using the hype of the Olympic Games to share the gospel with the world that came to their front door. It was so exciting to stand still with them — to pray there with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and to motivate them.

We met members of the local youth groups again the night before I flew back, after the track and field event that Philna and I attended, to give them Struggle and Triumph bibles and DVDs to assist them with their gospel work over this time. It was exiting to see them becoming all things to all men to reach people, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

Please keep the ministry teams in Rio in your prayers, for more opportunities as they — including my wife — will be there until Sunday.

For myself, I am competing on Saturday in the 5150 Bella Bella, and will minister on Sunday in one of the churches in Bella Bella. We will send a more full report on our time in Rio within the next two weeks.

Blessings Cobus

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