Our Sports DTS team travelled to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia during the two weeks of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. As we began our DTS outreach some of us on the team expected to see God move in a very spectacular way. However, as we adjusted our focus to celebrate the things that God was doing rather than what we were expecting to happen, we realised
God was definitely moving, it just didn’t look like what we were expecting.
Our team met John* one afternoon at the beach where we went to play sport and meet people. As we began playing a game of volleyball, I could tell he was a going to be lot of fun to hang out with and enjoyed joking around. We had such a great afternoon together and as our time at the beach came to a close John asked, “When will you be back?” We told him that we’d be back tomorrow and said our goodbyes.
The next day John joined us again down on the beach for a game of volleyball. After the game John sat down with a few of us, talking about life and telling stories from his past. We weren’t sure if he believed in God but we found out that he loved to help people.
In fact, helping people, loving others, and making people laugh was his mission in life.
A personal example of this loving nature was when I met up with John outside some shops and he asked me if I was hungry. He bought me a meal from McDonalds even though we hardly knew each other. I was blown away by his generosity and it showed me how aspects of God’s character can shine out of individual people.
We continued to hangout with John over the next week and he even came down to Tweed Heads where YWAM had a large tent set up in a park so we could hold events throughout the duration of the Commonwealth Games. John stayed with us until our last day when we were packing up to leave.
In reflecting on our time together there’s one moment that stands out to me. Kevin, the main outreach coordinator for all the teams that had travelled up for the Games, came over with a video camera to “catch moments” from within the tent. He was filming us and asked how things were going. John seized the opportunity to express his appreciation, sharing about the great community atmosphere and how he felt blessed to be included. He continued by saying,
“I’ve made some new friends and I’ve met an old one… Jesus.”
It was clear from his statement that God was moving in his life. I am thankful and blessed that God chose me to be a part of this man’s journey, not only was I able to be an influence for God but in return my relationship with God was influenced by him.
by Ben Wirth
YWAM Sports DTS student
*name changed for privacy purposes