Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Second Post - Toronto Para Pan American Games

Wow, I can't believe it, it feels like time has flown very quickly. We are half way through with the Para Pan Americans already. I'll be returning home on Monday (5 days). But the days I have been here have been truly blessed. I feel like I have joined a international family. Meeting with athletes from South America, Caribbean and Mexico. They have accepted us into their lives like we were brothers and sisters. There have been two special athletes I have followed. Both have been encouraged as well as encourages and great witnesses of Christ to their teams.

In the Multi Faith Center, we do Bible Studies twice a day. 9 am and 19:00 pm. If the athletes are competing they miss the studies. But after the competitions they stop by for a vista and let us know how they are doing. Your prayers have done wonders this first week. But I urge you to continue to pray. It feels like we hit a wall. Knowing that we are fighting against Spiritual powers in dark places This is what Paul writes in Ephesians, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

 Prayer not only protects us as we minister, but it also helps to open up doors to some of the athletes lives! Why mention this, because we need all the prayers you can muster to effectively minister here in the village. Pray that the Bible Studies would continue to grow and that the Christian athletes would continue to feel free to share about Christ with their respective teams.

On a lighter side of things I want to thank all of you who sent birthday wishes. It is nice to know that we are remembered by acquaintances and friends. Though I was not home physically, I was able to celebrate with my spiritual family here in Toronto. In the midst of a fast paced city, ,God is teaching patience. My prayer is that the lessons I am learning will carry. Over into my life in the slower paces of Nampa. In ending I want to share a picture of two of the athletes I have met in action "on the court". 

                  Maria from Brazil (Silver Medal, individuals, Table Tennis)

                        David from Brazil. (Gold Medal, individual, Table Tennis)


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Toronto 2015 - Post 1 August 6,2015

 I finally feel settled in for the Para Pan American Games. It was quite the trip getting here. Arriving in Denver my flight was delayed for a half hour, than another and another until after 4 hours of delays at 11 pm they finally decided to cancel (delay) the flight 12 hours and put us up in a hotel. After 5 hours of rest they called and told us it would be another 6 hour delay, which allowed us to leave 24 hours after we were scheduled to leave. Trying to book another room in Toronto and working with my supervisor of Chaplains was a challenge, but worked its way out. Arriving at Midnight I found out there was a Festival in town similar to Mardi Gras. Waking up the next morning I headed to get my accreditation. Wouldn't you know it, they had the wrong birthday on it and told me it would take a few days til they could let me he into the village. Luckily, my supervisor was with me and he encouraged them to expedite the process and they were able to approve me (Praise the Lord) rather quickly. This allowed me to start the very next day.

Though the games don't officially start until Friday (one day away) there have been many athletes arriving in the village. Chaplaincy at this level of sport is very much a Relational Ministry. Being the way Chaplains work, I was glad to have the opportunity to greet some new people from the nations involved and renew old relationships.
   Chaplain Laura Kyte, Maria (Table Tennis), David (Table Tennis) both from Brazil, Myself
These are a few old friends from Guadaljara games in 2011. 

We began Bible Studies and I had the privelage to meet two participants (one from Columbia and the other an assistant to a Canadian Athlete). We briefly discussed "Going for the Gold" out of 1 Cor. 9:23-25 and Hebrews 12:1-3.

              Berta (Colombian Weight lifter) Charlene (assistant to Canadian Boiche athlete)

Please continue to pray for all the Chaplains at the Para PanAm games. That God would continue to move in the athletes lives. God Bless you, P. Craig