Two sisters traveled five hours by bus from a jungle area to attend our training program. Their area was known in the past for its “headshrinkers.” As a child, another one of our coaches was shuffled around to seven different orphanages. Abuse during that time of his life led him to a life of alcohol and drugs. As an adult he met Jesus and is now serving the children of Riobamba, Ecuador through soccer.
After two years of waiting to travel, Al Lotz and I trained twenty-three coaches in soccer coaching and sports ministry last month in Ecuador. Seventeen of those coaches work for Compassion International at seventeen different sites, each attached to a local church. Each site has from 100 to 525 children.
Even as we were touching down in Ecuador, we received a message from Youth for Christ (YFC) Ecuador asking if we could meet with them. As we found out later, they had been praying for one year to start an outreach soccer program in their town. They had received, what they thought was a strange message from someone they didn’t know in Sri Lanka, only to find out that the message came from a gentleman attached to YFC Sri Lanka. So, even before we start working in Sri Lanka, we are answering YFC Ecuador’s yearlong prayer for help.
We ask for your continuing prayers for every opportunity, and specifically we ask that God will break wide open the doors to minister through soccer to the whole country of Liberia. We are close to an agreement with the Liberian Football Association (LFA) to develop soccer/football throughout the country and to help develop their Women’s Program. This would open doors to “…bring good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” And as you know, most of our opportunities come from poor countries in which only rarely can they help with finances – SO, as we do each December, we ask you to consider a year end gift. Last year we received $5,600 in year end gifts. Our dream goal is to raise $10,000 this year; when opportunities come to us, even to the ends of the earth, we want financially to be ready to go!