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Summer Olympic Games: Ministry on the streets of London

The day of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London is rushing up on us and London is getting ready to meet thousands of athletes, team players and visitors.

David Smethurst with third time Olympian Belarusian rower named Vadim whom he brought closer to God at the Athens Olympics

Jesus always moved through the crowds to search and find those that were hurting, weary, in need of the Healer, so here in London my heart is tuned to serve and to help men and women who are lost and hurting, and bring them to the foot of the cross.

I’ve been in London for two weeks now and have met many special people. The streets are alive with athletes, officials, media people, visitors, tourists, locals and I I’ve been able to speak of a relationship with God with so many.

I have found myself helping athletes from Eastern Europe as I speak a number of languages. If I can arrange it, I plan to ask some of these Eastern European athletes to have a special day, after the Olympic dust has settled, with the 22 orphanages that we support in the Chernobyl area of southern Belarus.

As a missionary, it would be great to get all the teenagers together to meet some of their Olympic team members who can bring their photographers and reporters with them to the event. That would look good on their Olympic profile and also give the 1,500 teenagers a very special time.

David Smethurst with
Belarus doctor, Yauheni

I have met international security guards travelling with various teams and had a good time sharing a relationship with God with him. I sat next to a Romanian film maker, on the train and had a great talk with him about his destiny in God.

I spoke with a man named Daniel from Tel Aviv who said he worked in the management of a hotel there. We got talking about what I do in Israel with the Russian and Ethiopian Jews. He was fascinated and asked why I did this stuff. That opened a huge door to minister to him.

We have met a second time and talked more. I have invited him to come stay with us in Brighton between the Olympics and Paralympics. Please pray for Daniel – he’s very close to God’s kingdom.

Driving in London

I have been doing a lot of driving in London. I’ve even helped transfer people from Gatwick Airport to the Olympic hub. I have a lot of time to talk with them and when they ask me what I do in life that opens such a huge door to talk about a relationship with God.

At one time I drove a Belarusian doctor Gatwick Airport to the Belarus embassy. That generated a very interesting conversation. On another occasion I drove a team director to the Eton Rowing venue. That produced very stimulating discussion.

In central London I see a lot of famous sites like Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Big Ben, but I don’t have time to dwell on these famous icons. I have to concentrate on the horrendous traffic that jams up in central London a peak hours.

I met up with two delightful Kenyan volunteers, Caroline and Kennedy. The Lord was shining out of them and we had some wonderful fellowship.

One morning while running for the bus in Lewisham where I am boarding with my wife’s Margurita’s cousin, a young man on a training run jogged alongside me and introduced himself as Noah, also a volunteer. I am meeting soon with him and his wife to share experiences at past Olympics and Paralympics.

David with some of the athletes from Zimbabwe

Walking through the Olympic plaza one day I met up with some Zimbabwe athletes. I greeted them in Shona, “Zakanaka Shamwari (greetings good friends). Their heads whipped around and big smiles appeared. We had a wonderful time talking about their relationship with God as well as their country (where we once lived for five years).

[Edited by Dr Mark Tronson, Press Service International (PSI) — — which was founded by Mark Tronson, a retired Baptist minister, and an associate member of the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA), and an author of 24 books. He can be contacted at: )



Reverend Dr. David Smethurst is a Lutheran evangelist who developed “Smethurst Ministries” in 1988 with an evangelism ministry along with seven orphanages across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Raised in South Africa, he speaks six languages including Zulu and Russian and is based in Brisbane Australia.


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