Four Athletes Whose Testimonies Were Distributed in the Underground Church in China Win Medals and Give Praise to God
Contact: Steve McConkey, 608-469-7956
MADISON, Wisconsin, Aug. 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- Starting in 2006, 4 Winds Christian Athletics distributed the testimonies of Olympic track and field athletes worldwide, including in the underground Chinese church. Outside groups that work with the underground church asked to take the testimonies into the underground church, estimated to be over 100 million people according to China Aid and the Voice of the Martyrs.
Four of the athletes whose testimonies were consistently distributed won five Olympic medals: Stephanie Brown Trafton (discus gold), Bryan Clay (decathlon gold), Allyson Felix (200m silver, 4x400m gold), and Nick Willis from New Zealand (1500m bronze). Stephanie and Nick were not expected to gain medals according to the experts.
4 Winds never wavered through the year leading up to the Olympics. In November, when a rumor circulated about Bibles being banned in the Olympic village, 4 Winds took a stand and was quoted in an article from the Associated Press, saying banning Bibles would be a "deep violation."
Then in May, 4 Winds took another stand when Franklin Graham preached in the Chinese government's Three-Self Patriotic Movement church and then told people they should not evangelize during the Olympics. Steve McConkey, 4 Winds president, told Reuters, "Christians should use caution and do as God leads" in China during the Olympics. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement churches have thirteen seminaries that teach Marxist liberal theology.
The athletes who won medals shared after their performances. Stephanie Brown Trafton told NBC after her gold medal win in the discus, "I was singing a gospel song based on the Bible verse Joshua 1:9. This verse actually carried me to a winning toss and I knew that whatever happened at the end of the day I was not afraid of loss or success. Winning or coming in 10th place did not determine my worth as a person, but my worth in God's eyes is much more than a gold medal."
Steve McConkey believes that we should not forget the Christians in China, "We need to keep these people in our prayers and support organizations that help them."
4 Winds Christian Athletics is an evangelistic and teaching ministry in track and field. They offer a website that covers current track and field news. More importantly, 4 Winds operates the first sports apologetic news site called subterraneanNEWS. This part of the website gives people current news and articles countering cults and beliefs that are contrary to Christianity.