Saturday, 15 August 2009
A global reality
Friday saw me head off again to the other Team Hotel in the morning, to prepare for my next duty in the 'Oasis of Silence' there. Before my duty, I spent time 'loitering with intent' ready to speak to people who might be around. During this time I spoke to 2 athletes whom I recognised from seeing them on TV. There was a good reminder that all famous (sports)people are individuals in their own right and none of us must forget that - after I'd introduced myself to them, they reciprocated - as we'd never met before this was a natural thing for them to do even though I obviously knew who they were. Back to the 'Oasis' and it was good when people arrived for the devotional time - a Team Attache from one country and a Team Manager from another. A chaplain from a third country read the Bible reading in his mother tongue, and I led the devotion in mine - a vivid reminder of the reality of a worldwide church. There was another reminder of this later in the afternoon when all the chaplains gathered for a service in the chapel in the Olympic Stadium - the 24 chaplains come from a total of 16 different countries, with every continent represented. The walls are also decorated with the Lord's Prayer and other Bible verses written in many different languages. The Olympic Park and Stadium itself is an awesome site, not because of its size alone but because of all the reminders of its 1930s origin which were retained in recent renovations. This blending of history and global reality was also present in the open Welcome Event staged around the Brandenburger Tor the same evening.