The South African team were a colourful group. I had an amazing access to this team. I walked into their official briefing meeting and asked the manager, in the Afrikaans language, if I could address them. They took one look at my uniform and the clerical collar and said yes. I first greeted them in the Afrikaans language, then spoke to them in Zulu, the most widely spoken Black language,and then English. They were amazed. I invited them to stop me anywhere, anytime and talk. So many took advantage of that offer and received Christ as a result. The world record holder of the shot put, Michael Lourens, opened his heart to the Lord wonderfully. Just before his event he injured a muscle in his groin which would have put him out of the running. I laid my hand on his shoulder and prayed a simple prayer for healing. The next morning, to the amazement of his coach, this damaged muscle was perfectly healed. This was a huge testimony to many of the others, resulting in more open hearts to Jesus.
I had an amazing introduction to the Puerto Rican Team. These Catholic Boys saw my collar and asked, “Father David, may we come to you for a “blessing” before our events?” To which I replied, “Of course. I’ll pray for you, but we’ve got to make sure you’re really on Jesus’ side to invoke His blessing.” They were ready to come to Jesus. The Irish Team were a beautiful group, again all Catholics. 1 did them a simple, practical favour by organising transport for them, which “peeled” them open to share Jesus with them.
The Paralympians were a fiercely independent bunch, ready to prove to the world that the could more than manage by themselves. So we weren’t allowed to force help on them, One day I found a little French athlete, named Elwyn, hunched dejectedly in his wheelchair. He was tired and asked me push him up die hill. He said he was a table tennis player and was going to practise. I offered to push him to the area about ½ a km away. We came to a downhill stretch and the wheelchair began to speed up and almost run away. I ran along behind it holding the handles. He looked back at me and said, “Not bad for an old man!.” I said, “None of the “old”. mate. It’s all in the breathing, and beside that I run and work out 5 days a week.” When we arrived, his partner. who’d seen all this, asked why I’d done it. I asked them, “Haven’t you heard that the love of Christ constrains you?” Both of them came to the Lord!