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Ross Georgiou

1995 / Bachelor of Divinity selected studies (Henderson Campus)

A memory for me was in Biblical Greek under Tim Meadowcroft. I was offered credit for the first semester of Greek, as I had learnt modern Greek having married into a Greek family and having lived in Thessaloniki for three years. I turned the offer down as modern and Biblical Greek have quite some differences. As part of our lecture we were required to read out loud before the class. For most it was a challenging experience, as even many academics read Greek incorrectly. When it came to my turn, I read some and then stopped. Tim asked me where I was up to, as he and the class were not used to either the pronunciation or the pace. My response was, naturally, "I am finished".

One of the things I appreciated about BCNZ was the willingness to have varying denominational backgrounds and theological experiences. For example, my study group was made up of Baptist (me), Anglican, Presbyterian and Elim members.

After studies we had intended to return to Greece, but we ended up being called to Germany. The clarity of the call was rather profound as the European Director with Athletes in Action passed away with a brain tumour. Despite being the youngest in the European office I was challenged to be the European Director. The ministry grew from ten countries to twenty, and from 38 staff to 140. We also ran a sports ministry conference near Athens prior to the Olympics. By God's grace 797 people attended from 175 countries.

Since then I became the Vice President with Athletes in Action, the Oceania Director AIA.

In partnership with 22 denominations and sports and other ministries we set up Engage, a legacy ministry for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. I operated as CEO and we had an excellent partnership with Martin Snedden and Therese Walsh. This ministry provided chaplains for nineteen of the twenty international teams, home hosting for rugby players’ families and a range of community activities. The Rugby World Cup in France in 2023 will be the fourth time that Engage will happen. Post Engage, we pioneered Sports Chaplaincy New Zealand, a ministry that identifies, trains, appoints and guides sports chaplains in NZ.

Presently we are living in Europe, leading Global Sports Chaplaincy Association. The NZ ministry SCNZ is growing further under new leadership. Global Sports Chaplaincy Association's vision is to see a Christian sports chaplain placed wherever sport is played. Globally we work in 24 nations and have approximately 5,370 chaplains.

I also chair the Major Sports Events Chaplaincy Council. I have been chaplain to three Olympics, two Commonwealth Games, the Rugby World Cup, and a few other events.

In 2007, having recently returned to NZ from a ten-year stint in Europe, I was admitted to hospital with a tumour on my pancreas. Acute pancreatitis was the shocking and extremely painful diagnosis, with a prognosis of not seeing Christmas! After five scans and global prayer the tumour miraculously disappeared. North Shore medical experts could not explain outside of a miracle. God's grace is incredible. I try to remember that truly each breath and each heart beat are gifts of His grace. I try to treat each day in gratefulness to that gift I have been given.

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