Toronto: As thousands of athletes from around the world prepare to leave the Toronto area to return to their homes after the 2015 Pan Am Games and upcoming Parapan Am Games, they will pack up their memories and their mementos – and for the fortunate few, their hard-won medals.
Many athletes will also tuck a special edition Sports New Testament or other Christian literature into their bags: life-changing resources created especially for them and distributed by caring volunteers during the course of the games.
The Canadian Bible Society partnered with More Than Gold 2015 (representing 10 denominations and more than 50 Christian organizations) and Scripture Union Canada to provide these special Christian Scriptures for distribution at the Athlete’s Village (built to accommodate 10,000 athletes) and other locales around the greater Toronto area.
Sarah Chaudhery is a Canadian athlete and a More Than Gold representative. “Our highlight has been providing Bibles as they are requested for the residence of the athletes,” says Chaudhery.
“This has been a huge answer to prayer, and we’ve been very excited to be able to provide for them.”
As an elite athlete herself, and a veteran of women’s rowing in Canada, Chaudhery experienced first-hand the power of Scripture to rescue and restore lives. She briefly tells her own story and her hopes for the athletes who receive the Bible at these games in the attached video.
Although the numbers are still being compiled, early reports indicate more than 1800 Bibles given away to athletes from at least 16 countries. “Many more have been given away one-by-one at the Multi-faith centre as well,” explains Chaudhery, with still more boxes to be distributed at the upcoming Parapan Am Games happening in early August.
“We are so pleased with the impact the Canadian Bible Society, along with our partners, has had on these games,” says Don Miller, Director of Canadian Ministries for the Canadian Bible Society.
“But most of all, we are full of joy for the athletes who received the Bibles. Sarah’s own story demonstrates the potential impact of this very scenario. Because we know God’s Word changes lives, quite simply, we know that lives will be changed around the world because of this outreach. How could they not?”
The Canadian Bible Society (CBS) exists to promote and encourage, without doctrinal note or comment, the translation, publication, distribution and use of the Scriptures throughout Canada and Bermuda, and to co-operate with the United Bible Societies in its worldwide work.