God pulls His weight

19 Sep, 2014 | Africa
OM International
Children in the village of Mussa playing soccer barefoot at sunset.
Football is the most popular sport on the planet, with fans numbering from 3.3 to 3.5 billion – and it’s deemed by many Africans to be “Africa’s first language”. As anyone can imagine, the FIFA World Cup is only the tip of the iceberg of myriad adult and youth tournaments that take place every year around the world, including the African Youth Championship in Namibia.

Solomon*, a worker in a Central North African country, had participated in an International Sports Leadership Training in Zambia, where he learnt about the Discovery Bible Study that took him back, in his own words, “into how the early church worked/studied the Word, and it bore fruit.” He learnt how to become a more effective leader and to build an effective team around him.

In May, Solomon and Chris*, another worker, went to a stadium in the capital city of the country to watch a league match, not knowing that it would become what they felt was a divine appointment. As they sat on the terraces, youth who were preparing for the African Youth Championship sat down in front of them. Chris knew the trainer and asked if they could pray with the players before they departed for the games, to which he agreed.

Two days later, they went to where the players were camping to encourage and pray for the youth who were going to the championship in Namibia. Solomon and Chris shared the Word with them and responded to their questions.

The players felt encouraged, as no one had ever done this with them. In this region, many view sportsmen negatively. There was no joy in this camp when they arrived, but Solomon and Chris saw the young players open up as they shared their fears and doubts through the questions they asked. At the end, an atmosphere of joy remained in the camp.

Solomon and Chris gave their contact details in case some of the youth had questions, or if they needed encouragement. As they were leaving, one of the players, Atahir*, accompanied them to their vehicle and asked for prayer. He wanted to see God in his situation: There was going to be a player selection for those who were in that camp. Atahir’s problem was that his weight (57 kg, about 125 lb) was above the maximum requirement of 55 kg (about 121 lb) for each participant, and he hadn’t been able to lose the weight. Solomon and Chris prayed for him.

Joyfully, Atahir phoned the following day to say that his weight had gone down to 55 kg, and that he had also been selected for the team.

This answered prayer has opened doors for other players to see God’s glory.  

Please pray for Chris and Solomon’s work. Pray that Atahir and the other players would meet the God who hears and answers prayers.

 * Name changed

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