Ministry Goes to the Olympics

Published 10:10 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

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A Chambers County-based ministry, the International Sports Chaplains Ministry, will be once again taking the trip to the Olympics to pass out pins to spectators. 

A leadership team of four and two teams of 16 will be heading to Paris to attend the two-week-long international sporting event. 

“Every Olympic games we send teams there for the purpose of sharing Christ with the people that come from all over the world,” said Randall Hamer, pastor of Freedom of Christ Church. “There are millions of people that come to every Olympics and so it gives a great opportunity to reach out and to share Christ with the world.”

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One of the ways in which the ministry spreads that message is through what they call “Jesus pins.” The number one spectator activity at the Olympics is pin trading. Businesses, countries and teams make signature pins that they then trade and collect.

“We don’t trade our pen, we give it away,” Hamer said. “The only way that you can get a pen is we say, ‘This is the only pen at the Olympics with a story. You listen to the story, then we’ll give you the pen.’”

Hamer said the Jesus pin opens an opportunity for the ministry team to share their message. 

“And we’ve never had anyone say, ‘No, I don’t want to hear the story.’” Hamer added. “We’ve seen thousands of people accept Christ as their Savior because of this ministry.”

The ministry began in 1988 with David Guinn through Action Ministries International. Since then, Hamer said the organization has had a presence at almost all of the Olympic games. Because the Jesus pin is different for every Olympics, Hamer said he has met many people who have collected the different pins over the years. 

The ministry fundraises for the cost of the pins and the plane tickets for some of the younger team members. Hamer said they take 25,000 pins at $1.50 to $2 per pin. That totals about $40,000 to $50,000. 

“It’s a huge, collective effort of people that believe in the ministry of sharing Christ with the world,” Hamer said. And God pulls us all together, and the end result is that people have any change in their life, because we’re being obedient and going to the Olympics.”