Beijing is the host city and main venue city. Events will also be taking place in Hong Kong, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, and Qinghuangdao. The new Olympic stadium in Beijing is known as the “bird’s nest” because of the steel lattice work covering the outside of the exterior. The stadium is one of 11 new competition venues being built to accommodate the games. Beijing will spend nearly $40 billion to build the infrastructure needed for the Olympics Games. Funds will be spent on transportation systems, upgrading energy supplies, and dismantling 69 villages within the city.
Excitement has been high among Beijing residents from the moment the announcement was made in 2001 that Beijing won the 2008 Olympic bid. Construction is already underway around the city and you can bet the national athletes are already looking forward to hosting the Olympics in their own country. The Olympics will offer many opportunities for those from around the world to learn more about the rich culture and heritage of China. However, with people flocking to the city of Beijing, there will be an increased opportunity for Chinese to experience, many for the first time, the love of Christ. Pray for people, both locals and visitors, to be bold in sharing their faith and that people will receive the Word with open hearts.
Many of us don’t truly understand the term 24/7, but the top level athletes of Beijing definitely do. They spend hour after hour everyday training and practicing with one goal… to make it to the top. The top for them may culminate in an appearance at the Olympic Games or a career in one of the few professional sports leagues China has to offer. But, for the hundreds that spend hours upon hours each week striving for this goal, very few actually obtain it. Located in the Chao Yang district north of the Fourth Ring Road in the area between Bei Chen Lu and Anli Lu is the area where Olympic athletes from all over the world will live in the summer of 2008.
Even from the States, you can impact what is happening in Beijing. Prayer is the most critical need. Gather small groups in your home to pray for those who live in cities where the games will take place. Place prayer guides in your church prayer room highlighting key needs of Olympic ministry. The games are also an excellent opportunity to befriend the Chinese in your community, using the games as a natural conversation starter. Consider hosting a big screen party to view the televised events, inviting guests to arrive an hour early to pray for China. Opportunities are endless. It is my prayer that the lighting of the Olympic torch will ignite a great revival across the land of China.
Until everyone has heard in the land…