I would like to start by thanking those of you who have supported this outreach ministry for the past three years. We have been blessed to see lives changed both in Haiti and in those serving from the US. I could talk about the many bags of equipment we take and how the teams we help are growing and becoming more active reaching into their communities, but I think the story is best told in the context of a story about a visit to a small orphanage outside of Port Au Prince.
Before I share the story let me share one of the things we have learned over the past three years. Our first two years we took two smaller and teams of twelve people consisting mostly of young adults. Last year the team grew to 23 people. We were able to outfit teams with donated equipment and had a tournaments both at New Life and Grassier. The difference last year was we were much more deliberate in sharing the Gospel with all we met on the soccer fields. A group of men from a Chicago church funded the purchase of over 100 Creole New Testaments and four dozen Mission Balls with the salvation message printed on the balls in Creole. We shared that message at each tournament and gave the participants not only soccer items, but a Creole New Testament and the Gospel message. What we came to realize is that soccer in the instrument by which we create an environment to share the Gospel through a message, a New Testament, a Mission Ball and our actions. The game helped to open doors and breakdown barriers for the young men and women of Haiti to receive The Good News.
And now that story… our team traveled to a small home based orphanage in an area just outside of Port Au Prince. It was run by a pastor who had 23 children living in a very small three room house. Our team brought clothes and shoes for the young girls and boys. You could find many of the children in our team’s arms or playing with a soccer ball in a rocky field. The pastor appreciated the things for the children and the prayers we offered for him. Our team leader gave the pastor a Mission Ball and we all prayed for him and the children. One of our team members was so moved by our time together at this small orphanage he broke down in tears as he offered the prayer for our hosts. He could not help but be broken by the words “To whom much is given much is expected” and “What you have done for the least of these you have done for me”. We tearfully returned to our bus and began the journey to our next destination.
So how did our team that traveled under the name of “Soccer Beyond Borders” help this pastor and his children? We outfitted the children in jerseys and shorts and some with socks and cheats. We filled the depot (Pantry) with bags of beans, rice, canned fish, oil and other foods to nourish the children. We supported the pastor and his children with our love and prayers. Most importantly, we used some of our resources to drill a well to provide clean water for the small orphanage. The pastor shares the clean water with those in the surrounding neighborhood. The soccer ball may be the tool that opens the door, but your generosity allowed us to more importantly cloth the children, stock the depot and drill a well. We were blessed to be able to repeat this time of Gospel sharing, prayer, feeding and clothing several more times during our stay in Haiti.
I am not sure who is changed more during our trips, those we meet or those we take.
Thank you for your support and we continue to welcome your prayers and resources to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. Like it says on our Impact for Jesus shirts we “Go and Do”.
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The Impact for Jesus soccer outreach started with an idea and has become so much more. The first trip took place with a team of twelve youth and adults traveling to Port Au Prince, Haiti to share their love of soccer. The team was able to stay at the New Life 4 Kids Children's Home and Rescue Center and then travel to other locations in Haiti to play soccer, feed hungry families and share the love of Christ with others. If you would like more information about this outreach please read our blog and articles or send us a message through the 'contact us' link on our webpage.