God has given us the powerful tool of sports to share his love with young people all around the world, offering them a hope found only in Jesus Christ.
Sports Friends is a SIM ministry where multi-ethnic teams use sports to share the gospel, built around more than 13,000 godly coaches, who pour their lives into the young people on their teams: They love them, pray for them, get to know their families, share with them the truths of God’s Word, and connect them to the local church.
More than 265,000 youngsters have been helped by thousands of Sports Friends coaches in 19 countries all around the world, since the ministry began 20 years ago.
In 2012, Sports Friends sent their first workers to Peru. Read this encouraging story by mission worker Sandra Gargate, about the impact of this amazing ministry on a young boy called Luis and how he became a catalyst for change in his community:
Have you ever tried to find your way in the dark without the help of a light? As a parent longs to see their child walk safely and firmly, likewise, our God in heaven also longs for us to follow his light, because it’s the best way for our lives. Ten months ago, in the city of Pucallpa, Peru, coach Tito Braga began doing sports ministry with just four children on the small football field at his church. But then, little by little, the children’s mum invited other children to join and the group expanded to include nieces, nephews, schoolmates and neighbours’ children.
Among the group was Luis, who’d been invited to participate in the team by one of his aunts. He was very kind and laid-back and enjoyed learning new sports techniques and the teachings of God’s word. However, Luis had a burden in his heart that meant he was badly behaved towards his mother and family at home. When Luis learned of Christ’s love through the teachings of God’s word, he began to change his attitude with his mother; God’s word was illuminating and changing his heart day after day. The God of light made Luis a child of light — a little candle for his family and friends to see!
This new change in Luis’ life was a great light to other children and adults in his community. One day, his neighbour asked Luis’ mother where Luis went every Saturday, because she’d seen how different he was wanted her son to be the same. Luis’ mother replied that he attended the sports ministry of the church, and so the neighbour began to send her son as well.
More and more, the light of Christ is reflected in the lives of Luis and the children of the sports ministry of the Pucallpa community, impacting others and encouraging them to follow Christ. Give thanks with us for this little community of light!
- Praise God he’s given us the powerful tool of sports to share his love with young people all around the world, offering them a hope found only in Jesus Christ.
- Give thanks for the faithfulness of thousands of volunteer coaches who serve sacrificially.
- For churches and church planters to join partner with Sports Friends, here in the UK.