I was quite nervous before my race. Although it was great to meet new SA athletes, I was out of my comfort zone as the para-athletes were only five in total and only two were from our training group.
We only met up with the athletics team in Gemona, Italy. Surprisingly it was only us and one other athlete called Rocco van Rooyen, who was a great blessing getting to know. Rocco is, like me, part of Shofar Stellenbosch and I believe The Lord also used him to be a link between us and the able-bodied athletes.
God showed me specifically in His word not to be afraid, but I was still stressed out about the race. Afterwards I felt a bit ashamed that I stressed so much after God told me not to!
When I walked out of the stadium the crowd was pumping, singing sweet Caroline I embraced the moment and sucked in the vibe. What a great race it was! Afterwards, we joined in with praise and worship in their local Sunday service.
After the games I had the opportunity to serve as a chaplain to provide pastoral care at the IPC European Champs which focused mainly on giving spiritual support to athletes in prayer, bible studies and church services.
Rocco and I were asked to share our testimonies. It was amazing to worship God with people all around the world. We were challenged during that week to see people as Jesus saw them, to not overlook them, and not only get to those who achieved well.
God constantly reminded us in His word that He came especially for the overlooked and outcasts and to become all things for all men so that some might be saved. Although it was a challenge, I was so thankful to share the gospel with people I usually just compete against.
by: Fanie van der Merwe