But first, it was a sensational run by Usain Bolt has retained for him the 200m crown in 19.32 seconds and he now declares he is the greatest athlete to ever live. That is a tough claim to dispute after all, he now has 5 gold medals, two from his current successes in London. He still may take another in the 4 x 100m given his team mate, Yohan Blake finished second to Bolt in both sprints and now fellow Jamaican, bronze medalist Warren Weir made it a clean sweep for Jamaica in the 200m.
Added to the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay gold medals at Beijing, this certainly establishes a record for Usain Bolt that will be a challenge for anyone to equal. Muhammad Ali might disagree and so too Michael Phelps and it seems Carl Lewis is now off Usain’s Christmas card list after his answer to a journalist’s request for a comment on this latest gold medal. Carl responded, “time will tell” and this is from a man with 5 gold medals in sprint and 4 more in the long jump.
K4 broken European stranglehold
Australia has just had a lift in gold medal stocks when brothers, Tate and David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear snatched a stunning victory and won gold in the K4 x 1000m event relegating the more favoured Hungary and Germany to the silver and bronze medal positions.
This is the first time in the history of the event that the gold medal for the K4 has departed Europe’s shores and the Europeans must be in shock. Despite having the largest Australian canoe/kayak sprint team ever, the Aussies have not had their best Olympics to date. Germany, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic have dominated this event for decades. Like Usain’s 4 x 100m, we will have to wait for the K4 x 200m to see if the Aussies can do it again.
Larry Randall on saxophone
At Kingsway International Christian Church, the Lay Witnesses for Christ International outreach to the London Olympics was in full swing as Larry Randall, founder of the Joshua Big Band presented a stirring rendition of “How Great Thou Art” on saxophone.
Larry Randall travelled the world as the band leader on cruise ships before retiring from cruising to form the Joshua Big Band, a team of Christian musicians who perform all over the world at Christian outreach events. Then it was Larry’s wife Orlana’s turn to share her moving testimony.
Orlana Randall’s testimony
Orlana told of her life encountering successful people at the peak of their careers where everything appeared to be going their way, a stark contrast from her early beginnings in an average American home where Jesus was simply not known. In fact the name of Jesus was only ever heard as profanity. Through school she played all kinds of sports and played them well but all the time hurting deep down inside.
Following serious abuse as a child, Orlana married at the age of 15 and as poor, inexperienced teenagers the marriage was a disaster. Divorced while still a teenager, now with her first child she felt she was worth nothing. Married again, this time to an abusive husband and subject to beatings that seemed to confirm the worthlessness, this abusive husband convinced her that nobody else would want her. Afraid to leave and afraid to stay,
Orlana says, “Jesus called me at an early age”. A friend took her to Church and although her parents said “no” to baptism, so radical was the message of love she heard there compared to her hopeless domestic situation her self esteem grew as she began to trust in Jesus, the One whose love never fails.
Orlana once endured a situation of smiling at a policeman at the door, assuring him that everything was OK while all the time terrified, knowing her husband was holding a gun at her back. She stayed in the marriage almost 10 years and most of that time her husband spent in gaol.
Now married to Larry and with a clutch of children and grand children, all following Christ, this once bruised and battered woman has a message for abused women everywhere. “It is not God’s will for you to stay in an abusive relationship”. “Your life can be wonderful in Jesus”. “Stand on His Word and trust Him". In conclusion Orlana says, “Putting my trust in Jesus took me from a life of shame to a life of fame”.
I’m Jonathan Mayne in London for Press Service International - Christian Today