Notoriously the most dangerous prison in South Africa, Pollsmoor, casts a dark shadow over the Cape Town community beyond its walls.
School delinquency, drugs, gangs and teenage pregnancies ensnare local youth, breeding and perpetuating a cycle of darkness and lack of hope.
Wanting to share the hope offered through the good news of Jesus Christ, Freeman Ndlovu put the word out that he was starting a free football programme for boys and young men – the only requirement for participation was showing up.
To everyone’s astonishment, 28 young men came to play. There was just one problem – Freeman didn’t own a football!
Thinking quickly, he got them jogging laps around the sports field, then managed to buy two balls for the following night and Young Legends was born.
The ministry was featured as a SIM story last year, but it continues to see wonderful growth. In fact, it’s having such success that the city of Cape Town has provided Young Legends with the use of land and have accepted them into the South Peninsula Football Association League.
It’s also spreading, with projects being replicated on the other side country in Johannesburg.
Why such success? Because Young Legends is about much more than just playing sports and doing activities.
During the pandemic, they prepared and distributed food to many needy families, shared the word of God, and offered prayer, encouragement, and words of wisdom to people.
Discipleship, in partnership with local churches, is also very important. Each Young Legends leader is assigned two members to mentor. As a result, there continues to be a growing spiritual awareness and sense of purpose in the children and young people
Their testimonies speak volumes. One young man says: “Being around the Young Legends family and living with one of the members, I’m taught about the word of God, and I started attending church.”
Another says: “Young Legends is a blessing from God, and I’m proud and happy to be part of it.”
Xolisa Mdamoyi, a Young Legends football player, puts it like this: “The vision is not about playing soccer, and winning tournaments and leagues so that we can make money, but it was something totally different. Basically, what the Young Legends family wants to do is to change lives.”
Thanks to the initiative of Freeman and his friends, in partnership with churches and organisations like SIM, that vision is becoming a bigger and brighter reality.
By Lee Forland (Main photo by Kennex Media SA, via Pexels)
• For God to use this exciting youth ministry to see more lives transformed.
• Give thanks that the gospel of Jesus can be the anchor to enable young people to be selfless, respectful and understanding.
• For the upcoming training, at the end of November and first week of December to go well.