Athletes in Action, 2016 Rio Olympic Outreach Project

God at Work
In the world of sports, those who compete at the highest level push themselves, and their bodies to their limit.  As Christians, we know that once we reach that limit we can lean on God to take us beyond that which we can achieve on our own.  It is such a beautiful example of Christ manifesting himself in our lives.  However, there are many in the sports community who will never experience this supernatural phenomenon because they do not have a relationship with Christ.  Athletes in Action ("AIA") works to help sports-minded people think and live biblically at the intersection of sports and Christianity.

AIA was on the front lines during the 2016 Rio Olympics, reaching out to the athletes, coaches and the community.  Barnabas Group ("TBG") member, Scott Sorrell, worked alongside AIA to help make their Olympic outreach possible.  Craig Harriman with AIA recently sent us the following update regarding the Rio Olympics, and Scott Sorrell's support:

"Scott Sorrell has been a key part of my AIA ministry prayer team for over a year.  Through his and others' prayers and support, I was recently able to attend the Olympics in Rio. 

The AIA Rio 2016 Olympic Outreach Project brought together approximately 120 staff, students, athletes, sports chaplains and Olympians from 40 different countries around the world for two weeks of ministry in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The purpose of the project was to engage Olympians, coaches, Brazilians, and visitors in spiritual conversations that would lead to sharing of the Gospel.  We interacted with people at the Olympic Village, the Olympic Park, training sites, and throughout the city.  We offered them a DVD with testimonies of Olympians from around the world, in 30 different languages.  Go to   Struggle and Triumph to view an online version!

From daily athletes' chapels in the Olympic Village, to one-on-one conversations in "divine appointments," to ministry outreaches in the Rio de Janeiro community, project delegates were able to share Christ with hundreds of people.  Many of those led to friendships, and connections for further follow-up.

Dozens of Olympians such as Simone Manuel, Gabby Douglas, Kelsi Worrell, Missy Franklin, Lauryn Williams, David Boudia, Steele Johnson, Wilson Kipsang, and the entire gold-medal winning Fiji Men's Rugby Team also shared their testimonies.  Christ was definitely proclaimed with power at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio!'

We also received the following comments from TBG member, Scott Sorrell, regarding AIA:
"Many people are shocked to learn that the Olympics, which look wholesome on the outside, are a seething hotbed of sin.  These young competitors try to fill that empty place in their hearts with immorality of all kinds.  The Olympics are a microcosm of the larger athletic world overall.  That is why I pray continually that Craig Harriman and the AIA ministry are successful in reaching these lost souls all over the world.

Supporting Craig and AIA has also been a tremendous blessing to me.  When I hear Craig's reports of how Christ has impacted young lives as they experience both victory and defeat in their athletic endeavors, I can't help but think how these temporary outcomes will fade into irrelevance when they experience the ultimate 'victory' over death that Christ brings!  I'm so thankful that TBG exposes us intimately to people and ministries we otherwise might know nothing about!
For more information about AIA, please visit

AIA Swimmer's Chapel