We continue to be grateful to you all for coming to Salzburg in May! So many blessings have come from that trip! This week it’s all about the World Cup – watch parties with refugees – friendly matches – a tournament – a day at Red Bull and Sammy Surge is traveling with me! The following week Sammy Surge and I will be running a soccer camp in So California!
We were at the dump today giving out hot soup, drinking water, and peanut butter sandwiches. The people working here are, believe it or not, in the recycling business and on a good day may make about 1 dollar. Some are trying to support families with multiple children.
Playing games at a community center as part of the final week of camp. All these efforts are aimed at the end result of providing better care, education and hope to keep families together and to help young people avoid working on the streets.
Al and Lori leading a team of 9 to minister to the very poor in the Dominican Republic. June 19-24 – Al and Lori Lotz will be leading a team of 9 from Northside Church, Rome, GA to Sosua, Dominican Republic. This is our second trip there partnering with Crossover Cups Ministries – working with the very poor who work and live in the garbage dump, with those caught up in the very prevalent sex trafficking industry, and helping with a VBS program in several communities.
Whether this opportunity will be an on-going ministry or not, remains to be seen. But the potential for making a significant impact on people’s lives on this continent is limitless. Some countries are in turmoil, ripped apart by civil war and decimated by poverty, famine, genocide, disease, ethnic conflict, and religious extremists. Many people struggle to get a single meal a day! The average income is less than $2 a day. In some countries, the child population is nearing 50% of the total.
Imagine the chaos – older siblings caring for younger ones, no employment, no education, few resources, little hope but plenty of hunger and suffering. We cannot just sit by and watch! With instant media today, it is easy to get lulled to sleep with just another statistic, but we MUST wake up and love our neighbor as ourselves. Extreme needs may require extreme resources. Are you willing to be involved?
Surge International was invited by church leaders and the Football (Soccer) Federation to bring a soccer team to help grass root development of the sport with intent to motivate and assist young people in their quest for a better life. Our strategy is to cooperate with existing agencies already involved in reaching people for Christ to ensure there will be good follow up in the aftermath of our involvement. In June 2014, with the “World Cup fever” in full pitch Surge brought together an international soccer team of professional and amateur players to play 4 matches in 3 cities. Many heard the good news that we hope will bring healing and restoration to a war torn country. Besides the soccer, the Surge team hosted several seminars for pastors, offered counseling for trauma in the aftermath of war, visited orphans and assisted several local ministries. Our motto of “bringing hope through soccer” continues to have long-lasting impact at grass root levels especially among the huge youth population. Click here for a Statesman Journal article about this effort.
All eyes will be on Russia in less than two weeks as the 2018 World Cup takes place! But what does Surge Soccer and the World Cup have in common?
This is a great opportunity for you to look behind the scenes of the top level of soccer. Surge Soccer Founder, Dave Irby, has written a booklet that tells four soccer stories. Two Brazilians who were never destined for greatness. The tragic story of a famous German. And a story about the Manchester United plane crash.
On-site in Romania: May 13-18 and in Austria May 19-24
A Primary Objective in Romania was partnership with Outstretched Hands and several of their community centers and churches around Calarasi and Chiselet. They minister predominantly within impoverished communities. Many of the children are without parents. One Center estimates that 80% of the children have lost or been abandoned by their parents.
While we faced exhaustion from the cumulative activity of the ten day trip, the Surge women’s soccer team ended with a friendly match against a local club in Salzburg. The tiredness showed itself in our “first touches” but the girls still hung on to make the match competitive and interesting. Unfortunately we lost the game, but more importantly we won the team.
Friendly match with the Afghanistan refugee team. It was far more than a friendly match in that it continues to build positive relationships all around. It was cool to see the women sing a song of praise after losing the game and even more cool to see the men respond with one of their favorite songs. Read More
Another highlight was getting to see the professional Red Bull match where they won the game with a single goal in the final seconds of extra time. It also happened to be their planned day of celebration winning the league. We enjoyed the event with the Afghanistan team which made it extra special. Read More
So thankful we could invite them in for a program including this skit and snacks. The effort was in support of a new center for Outstretched Hands of Romania in one of the poorest communities of Călăraşi. It was especially meaningful to see the children respond to this love shown to them.
Check out a series of videos from the day. Read More
We were able to get in free to watch the last 20 minutes or so of the soccer game in the Călăraşi stadium. Interestingly enough this is where the Houghton soccer team painted curbs two years ago on the previous trip. You can see some of the curb in the picture. The home team recently promoted to first division won this match 2-0. Needless to say we are having fun!
"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination." - Nelson Mandela