Christian Ulster rugby players share their life-changing stories

Christian Ulster rugby players Johann Muller, Ruan Pienaar and Paul Marshall shared their life-changing stories in an interview with BBC’s Mark Simpson at Lagan Valley LeisurePlex on Wednesday April 16.

The Christian outreach event was organised by Christian Vision for Men in partnership with churches in the greater Lisburn area.

Gareth ‘Spud’ Murphy, a full time CVM Evangelist, welcomed the audience of about 700 people and gave a special Lisburn welcome to the well known Christian rugby players who were given rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

During the interview the players spoke of what it is like to be a Christian and a rugby player, explaining that even though they are successful in their sport, their lives would be empty without Christ.

They also said that even though they may achieve prizes, trophies, money and cars - there is nothing more important than having the strength and inner peace of Jesus in their lives.

Following the interview the Ulster Rugby Chaplain, the Rev Andrew Thompson (Minister of Elmwood Presbyterian Church) used a rugby illustration to speak of the great prize that God offers us through His son Jesus Christ.

Explaining the hope of Easter, Andrew said that Jesus was lifted up, stretched and nailed to the cross so that we can have that prize and in a closing prayer he invited all present to respond and take the stand for Jesus

The evening concluded in an emotional farewell to Johann Muller, who will retire at the end of the season and return to South Africa.

In celebration of his time in Northern Ireland, Sir Nigel Hamilton, former president of Ulster Rugby, presented Johann with a large framed family photograph.

The event proved to be hugely popular, with everyone agreeing that it was a great privilege to hear the sportsmen speak about their faith and devotion.

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