On the heels of a successful camp in the capital of Addis Ababa, the sports evangelism team from Oregon drove south to a town called Wonji to partner with a Meseret Kristos Church to put on a soccer camp as a way of reaching children with the Gospel message. The local stadium was rented and the first day 100 younger children came to camp in the morning and the afternoon hosted 100 older children. By the last day, the number had grown and over 300 kids a day learned soccer skills and were introduced to Bible truth. The pastor is so excited about the results of this camp he began immediately to plan for next year!
Mark Wolbert, our Mission Director, is so proud of this team of young athletes. Each one of them went the extra mile to give of themselves in every way. The team remained strong through daily time in the Word and prayer and successfully thwarted any discouragement and frustration the enemy threw their way, exhibiting godly character in every situation.
The next several days the group partnered with another local church in a bigger town called Adama (sometimes referred to as Nazaret). For pastors and leaders, friendship evangelism through sports is a brand new concept, but they are seeing the value of using sports as a vehicle to reach children and youth with the Gospel. When camp is done, the partnering church follows-up with the children and deepens their understanding of the CHAMPION the coaches talk about following!
Mark reports that each day he and the team woke up eager to see the impact God would have on young people. They were light bearers and acknowledge how privileged they were to spread the fragrance of Christ! We are reminded that sharing the light and fragrance of Jesus is not an opportunity just given to those who have sacrificed to go to Africa, but we are ALL missionaries right where we live. We are all called to carry His light.