While athletes get to grips in Rio with the Olympics, a Ballymena pastor will undertaking Christian outreach in Brazil during the famous Games.
Billy Jones, Assistant Pastor at Ballee Baptist Church, plans to carry out Christian outreach work alongside his daughter, Rebekah, who is a member of Pegasus Hockey Club in Belfast.
The nation of Brazil already occupies a special place in Billy’s heart because he, his wife Agnes and their daughters, Sarah and Rebekah, served as full-time missionaries there from 1995 until 2005.
They have never forgotten the country or it’s people; Billy returns on a biannual basis to undertake outreach work and this time round he will be working with the Nilopolis Evangelical Church.
He said: “They have a sports ministry and one of the games within that is hockey. hence I am taking some sports kit and hockey sticks out with me.”
Qualified hockey umpire Billy has already met with the Irish team that will be going for Gold in Rio, some of whom have also donated clothing and equipment to the sports outreach.
During his expedition, Billy will also leave some Portuguese-English bilingual Bibles with one of the Brazilian international hockey players, who is also a Christian. He hopes to use them amongst athletes in the Olympic Village.
Also in Billy’s suitcase will be a number of ‘solar Bibles’ which have the Bible stored on to a microchip which is recharged daily by the sun.
Additionally, Billy has been approached by some Irish spectators to do some interpretation and orientation work and, of course, Billy and Rebekah also hope to be able to take in some of the games as spectators themselves and are particularly looking forward to watching hockey, beach volleyball and athletics.