09 February 2016

MARDI Gras celebrations are bringing a party atmosphere to the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival this week, while The Salvation Army in Brazil is looking ahead to an even bigger event in the city’s calendar. The 2016 Olympic Games take place this August, and The Salvation Army is still seeking volunteers for two international mission teams.

Fifty people have already signed up to travel to Rio in August to assist local Salvationists and Christians of other denominations. A further 50 volunteers are sought to help with the range of outreach and evangelism that is planned. The focus – not surprisingly – is on sports ministry, but there are opportunities to serve in a variety of ways. A truly international team is desirable because of the large numbers of spectators from across the world who are expected to travel to Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Training for the Brazilian team begins next month, with Lieut-Colonel David Bowles (The Salvation Army’s Europe Sports Ministry Coordinator) travelling to five cities across Brazil, from Recife to São Paulo. He explains that this is about much more than simply delivering some sporting fun for the duration of the Olympics: ‘We want to equip people to incorporate sports ministry as an ongoing part of the Brazil Territory’s strategy – making disciples through sport and play.’

Major Dan Ford, The Salvation Army's Divisional Commander for Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Federal District, says: ‘The world is coming to Rio and we’re excited to welcome them to our beautiful city. We invite Salvationists from around the world to come and participate in ministry during the Olympics – to be a help to those who are coming to our city, to be ambassadors for The Salvation Army and to help people understand the warmth and love that we have.’

International volunteers are requested to submit their applications by Monday 29 February. More information and the necessary forms can be found on the Sports Ministry website. The website also includes an article about The Salvation Army's ministry in Brazil and the hopes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, written by David Giles for All the World magazine.

Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

Tags: Rio 2016, Americas and Caribbean