Jul 25, 2016

#TruthAtTheGames: 2016 Summer Olympics Outreach

3 Min Read

With the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games only days away, approximately 7.5 million people from around the world will descend on Rio de Janeiro. Then, just sixteen days later, the games will end. Given that these events occur within a three-week period and are concentrated in and around the city of Rio, there is a unique opportunity to reach a wide variety of people groups within a short amount of time with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Within this time window and by God's grace, we have an ambitious plan to distribute one million copies of a gospel-teaching resource.

For this outreach, Dr. R.C. Sproul created a new book titled The Race of Faith. The book provides a simple summary of the Christian faith using the Apostle's Creed as its framework. The opening chapter begins by discussing a foot race. Competition will certainly be on people's minds in Rio during this time. The book then proceeds to compare a foot race with the race of life. It asks readers, "If life is a race that we're all running, what's the goal? What's at the finish line? . . . What are we pressing toward?" The book seeks to answer these questions from a biblical worldview, and it includes a clear and concise summary of the gospel by Dr. Sproul. It also introduces readers to helpful discipleship resources plus local churches and ministries.

Our goal is to print three hundred thousand books in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Chinese and distribute them throughout Rio and other cities where the games are being held. We also hope to distribute an additional seven hundred thousand copies digitally by providing cards with a code for easy access to the book in multiple languages.

An outreach of this scale in another country can only be accomplished with a strong local partner. For the past few years, we have partnered with Fiel Ministries in Brazil to help reach the Portuguese-speaking world by translating numerous audio, video, and written resources from Dr. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. In 2014, we partnered with Fiel Ministries for our Truth at the Cup outreach and distributed 140,000 books during the World Cup in Brazil. This was our "trial run" to prepare for the Olympics.

The Truth at the Cup outreach in 2014 exceeded our expectations. Requests from churches to distribute books well exceeded how many we printed; we found a strong partner church in Rio that was able to distribute fifty thousand books; people who received the books sought out more resources and visited local churches; and various churches from different denominations worked together in evangelism—many for the first time. These successes, along with others, gave us the confidence to move forward with an aggressive goal to distribute one million copies this summer.

To help ensure this outreach goes beyond the streets and stadiums, we are maintaining Facebook pages in Portuguese, Spanish, and other languages as we are able. The web addresses of these pages will be printed in the books, and our hope is that individuals who receive these books will find a community to hear the gospel, discuss theology, and find additional resources to grow in their faith. This proved to be a successful strategy during the Truth at the Cup outreach, as our Portuguese Facebook page grew from eight thousand followers to twenty-five thousand followers in just five weeks.

We're calling this outreach Truth at the Games, and we need your support. We ask for your prayers now as we make plans and translate resources. We also ask you to pray when we distribute resources in August. In order to realize the full scope of this project, we are seeking to raise $150,000. If you would like to help this outreach, you can give your gift here.

We are so grateful to God for those who have contributed to this outreach, including especially our Ministry Partners, who continue to make considering outreaches like this possible.

We are excited for this opportunity to share the gospel and give trustworthy teaching to people around the world. While we plant and water, it is God alone who gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:7). We trust that He will give that growth. Please visit TruthAtTheGames.com or e-mail outreach@ligonier.org for more information.