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Alabamian among volunteers witnessing at Olympic gamescomment (0)

September 28, 2000

Thirteen proved a lucky number for a team from the United Sates competing in the recent Olympic activities in Sydney, Australia.

Andrea Mullins, a member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Homewood, led a group of women from across America who worked with Northside Baptist Church in Crows Nest, a northern suburb of Sydney. The team assisted the Australian church in hosting an official Olympic Information Center.

But along with their official duties, Mullins said the work also brought opportunities for winning Aussies to Christ.

“Because the center is an official Olympic venue, we could not be openly evangelistic in the center, only as the visitors asked,” said Mullins, director of counseling services at national Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). “Our main evangelism occurred outside—around the church and in the community and business area.”

Mullins said the women, all active members of WMU’s Women on Mission in their individual churches, has “many opportunities” to share Christ on trains and ferryboats.

The need for sharing the gospel message cannot be overstated, Mullins said, noting Baptists represent only one percent of Australia’s Christian Community.

“Dr. David Jones is the pastor of the (Northside) church and a visionary individual who led the effort to convince the Olympic Committee to let the church host this information center,” she said.

Building relationships

“We also did prayer walking throughout the community and built relationships with the businesses,” Mullins said. “Many of the store owners came into the center to visit us because we visited and witnessed to them in their businesses.”

The information center was located in Northside’s ministry center, a facility next door to the main church building. Two outdoor stages featured music and cultural programs each afternoon by professional Christian performers.

Working in the information center, Mullins said her team did everything from answering phones and serving as greeters to hosting an exhibit of Aboriginal art and doing face painting and making balloon animals. The entertainment also provided an opportunity for ministry, with the team distributing flyers and witnessing to audiences.

Mullins said the team also witnessed during their time away from the information center.

“We went to the harbors many times, witnessing through pin trading, face painting, balloon animals and just interacting with whomever would talk with us,” she said. “The excitement was incredible and people were so open to meet people from other countries.”

The team worked with Southern Baptist missionaries Tony and Marsha Woods, who were assigned to work with the Olympic ministries. Woods also serves as pastor of a Japanese Baptist Church that meets in the Northside Baptist Church building. Mullins said the Woods’ primary assignment in Australia is with the Japanese community.

It wasn’t all work for the team, however. They were able to enjoy some of the Olympic games. Mullins said they witnessed the

(Please see ‘WMU,’ page 16)

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