Today, I observe something else again, the Olympic movement is alive and well. It has become a centre for missionaries. Another question on a wider scale is deciding who and where are the missionaries in their comings and goings. I'm witnessing that there are now more black African Christians coming to serve the Kingdom of God in the UK than British missionaries going to Africa.
As an Olympic visitor and talking to a wide range of Christians in London, there appears to be more black Anglicans than white.
Such is the case with London's Kingsway International Christian Centre where almost the entire congregation are from Africa. Moreover this church is going from strength to strength. It is reportedly to have a congregation of 12,000 souls!
Part of the LWCFI Team in London
I'm in London as part of the (LWFCI) Lay Witnesses for Christ International 'Bridging the Gap 2012 UK Outreach'. LWFCI is based in Dallas, Texas under the leadership of Dr Sam Mings and this is their eighth Olympiad in ministry.
The LWFCI team arrived at KICC in force to celebrate the London Olympics and share the testimonies of a host of their "Stars for Christ" athletes who have discovered that to hold the Spirit of the Living God in their hearts is better than any gold medals around their necks.
Seoul Olympic Gold medalist sprinter, Joe DeLoach, the only man ever to beat Carl Lewis in Olympic competition, told how two weeks before his event in Seoul he suffered an injury in training. Despairing of the years of preparation and with hopes dashed, Joe was desperate for answers.
He declares "I discovered that God is the script writer for my life" and compares the experience to watching a scary movie when the heroine is about to fall victim to the villain and as you're perched on the edge of the seat, shouting. "Watch out behind you". Of course, no matter how you shout, nothing can change in the movie unless it's written in the script and Joe has found his answers by submitting his will to that of his Savior, Jesus Christ who leads him every step of the way."
Joe DeLoach miraculously recovered from that injury and went on to win gold in the 200 meters.
Not all are athletes
It needs to be noted that not all the LWFCI stars are athletes. We witnessed an incredibly talented young man from Malaysia and now resident in Texas. Alfred Lee who composes, conducts and plays a Technics KN 2000 electronic keyboard, sweeping his fingers over the keys at such speed that it is hard to believe all the sounds could come from just one pair of hands.
Alfred Lee is no stranger to success, he has written the music for the opening of Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games and writes scores for the "Three Tenors". Among his musical accomplishments are a solo recital for the 2000 Olympic Games at St Andrew's Cathedral in downtown Sydney, and together with Lay Witnesses for Christ International for three weeks ministered the Good News to many people in Sydney.
Alfred was a finalist at the first San Jose Symphony Orchestra Young Composer Competition in 1998 with work dedicated to the late Princess Diana entitled "Farewell to You, My Princess" and also performed for the Archbishop's enthronement service at Nassau, Bahamas, before 3000 people.
But what about London and her Olympics?
It seems that despite all the media forecasts of commuter chaos and nightmare traffic jams, that once the road system fell into place and glitches iron out, and with so many Londoners choosing to miss the Games or go on holiday, the situation is not as crazily-madening mid Olympics.
As a visitor, the Londoners who have not engaged the Olympics have missed out on a very exciting time. To stroll through Trafalgar Square and meet Koreans, Belgians, Zambians, Russians and Greeks, all decked out in their Nation's colours has a special magic to it.
London is abuzz with the 2012 Olympics and it's an exciting place to be . . . even if you don't have tickets for the events.
But here's another scenario. You're in a Burger King just off the Square, you're wearing a track suit of brilliant "only in America colours" emblazoned with "Stars for Christ" across your back and you're approached by a disheveled man, smelling of alcohol who says. "If you give me a fiver to get home to Liverpool, God will bless you for it". . . and I'm thinking, please Lord, show me a spirit of discernment?
I'm Jonathan Mayne in London for Press Service International – Christian Today