Joyce and I have been invited to bring my one-man play Beyond the Chariots to Paris during the Olympics. We'll be performing my one-man play about Eric Liddell in the Scots Kirk, on the centennial of him preaching there on the Sunday he was being pressured to run in the 100m qualifying heat for the 1924 Paris Olympics.
An organization in Paris is working with several churches to rent a larger space where they can all gather and invite friends to see a play about an Olympic champion who refused to prove he was the fastest man alive because one of the heats of the 100m was on the Lord's Day. That story was told in Chariots of Fire, which won four Academy Awards in 1981. My play tells the rest of the story: How, after switching gears and breaking the world record in the 400m, Eric Liddell moved to China, where he served the people as a teacher and track coach.
Here's what one of the organizers wrote after seeing the screener:
Le spectacle est vraiment saisissant*.
(The show is grabbing.)
La présentation de l’Évangile est claire!
(The presentation of the Gospel is clear!)
-- Pascal Vermès
Grand admirateur d'Eric Liddell!
*Saisissant - adj. Seizing, grabbing, capturing, won’t let you go.
We've been told that there is a good chance we can bring the play to the Athletes Village, as well. Please join us in praying that we'll be able to inspire today's Olympians with Liddell's godly example.
When we brought the play to the London Olympics in 2012 we reached people from at least 30 nations. We're praying for that kind of reach in Paris, especially since it was in the Paris Olympics of 1924 that Liddell broke the world record. Never before has a city hosted the Olympics exactly 100 years later, and ministry leaders in Paris are excited about how the Lord is using this centennial to shine the spotlight on Liddell.
There are folks in Edinburgh, Northern Ireland, and Frankfurt who have expressed interest in us performing while we're over there, and we're reaching out to contacts in other nations, too.
We need help to cross the Pond!
At this point our housing in Paris is covered! Praise the Lord! We're praying it will be in Edinburgh! Our expected expenses will be for transatlantic flights, flights and train trips around Europe as bookings develop, room and board where necessary, local transportation.
If we're able to raise more funds than needed, we'll put the extra funds toward a tour of Wales, where we'd like to bring Songs of Revival: Hungry After God Himself in 2025.
We are not a non-profit organization, so donations are not tax deductible.