We are so excited to be serving in Malawi. We invite you to take this journey with us. Keep the beautiful people of Malawi in your prayers, and us too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

When Stealing is Good

The tiny village of Nyachipere being flipped upside down through a couple small homemade soccer balls and a little church whose goal is to kick the devil in the face.

In our football (soccer) and netball trainings, one of the things that we teach our kids is to steal the ball.  We show them how to look for an opportunity to snatch the ball from the opposition and score for their team.  Many of our coaches and kids have become masters of stealing.  Not just stealing the ball but something much greater: souls.  The thing we emphasize most is that there are youth all around them who need Jesus and who’ve got to be snatched from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the light of Christ.   We fish for men and in doing so, we steal from the devil.

God has entrusted us with something wonderful: His Good news.  And because we have heard this Good News and God has opened our eyes to the truth of the Gospel, we now are set ablaze to proclaim it to others.  He also has designed a deep love for football (soccer) in just about every little boy in Malawi. So, in this Sports Friends ministry, we want to link the two (the Gospel & Football) to introduce many young people to their Savior.  In doing so, we have found the Word of God to be true and that the Lord really has many people in remote places whose hearts have literally been longing for the Good News of Jesus Christ.  As Ephesians 1:4 says, “For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ….”  In this process of equipping, discipling, and commissioning sports ministers we have found this Word from Eph 1 to be true.  The Lord has people out in the most remote, forgotten places that we must bring the Gospel to.  But it does not end with just proclamation of the Gospel…no way!  Then, Eph 1 talks about how God has got people chosen in these places whom He’s appointed to be adopted into His family since the beginning of time!  This is crazy!  God has got this thing rigged and it’s beautiful.  We simply need to proclaim the Gospel to people. We’ve got to tell them because there is a good chance that they are going to be one of those who have been chosen from the beginning of time and they are going to respond in faith, have their sins forgiven and be filled with the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life.  Yes!  Hell is being depopulated and robbed from humble servants who are willing to go to lost people where they are at and tell them about a King and a kingdom that is worth surrendering everything for.  So…we go. We go with the Gospel and we preach it and live it out with confidence, not of our own, but confidence in God and His Word.  Confidence that He has got people who are just waiting to hear. He’s already got them elected from the beginning of time and we trust in Him to do the heart-work and transform their lives form the inside out.  All glory be to God!  He is using simple people like us to depopulate hell and bring many into the Kingdom!  Here is one example of a brother in Malawi who is “stealing” souls from the devil and introducing them to Jesus on a daily basis.

This update just came from our brother and fellow worker in the Lord, Pastor Fostance.  Read and be encouraged that this world is not our home and our one purpose is to depopulate hell by the Holy Spirit’s life transforming power. 
The youth are hungry for the Word 
Sports ministry is new to the small village in southern Malawi called Nyachipere. The church has elected a sports ministry leader and sent him out to the community.  His name is Stanley Joe and we recently met with him and heard how God is using him. He is going hard at obeying the Lord’s commands in Scripture and God is making His name famous in Nyachipere because of it.  He said the ministry started very well and many youth from all over came to play football and hear about Jesus.  But he did not just stop with one sports ministry team but he has now gone and started three teams.  Two teams for boys football (under 10 and under 14) plus one ladies netball team.
Stanley Joe with other sports ministers from his region

From the time we shared the vision of sports ministry with his church back in March, Stanley really has had a heart to use sport as a platform for the Gospel in his community.  And praise the Lord that he also has received continual encouragement from his church.  From the first day we met with him back in March, he went that day and got together the kids of his village and shared the vision with them.  The kids were very happy but still they had no ball.   But this was not a stumbling block for long because their coach is creative and he quickly made a cheap local ball from plastic papers. His transformed heart was able to see past initial difficulties.  His passion for souls fueled him to think outside the box to make sure this ministry did not stall and die.  Jesus didn’t give up on us, so Stanley was not going to give up on them.

For the last several months, they have met several times each week and have used these local balls.  Each day that have to stop in the middle of their practices and repair pieces of the ball that fall off but it has been something that has bound them together.   Because of the passion of this one coach, today there is a healthy youth sports ministry and it continues to grow in both number and in spritual depth. He said his church has even managed to come up with some money for them to buy three good balls.  This is a big deal and he thanked the church for their amazing support. Also Stanley praised God for the support and encouragement he continues receiving from Sports Friends Malawi.  We are committed to going and following up with them in their villages and this means so much to our sacrificial coaches.  
It is so humbling to see what great things God is doing in these many places!  Jesus is revealing himself more to malawian young people and churches.  I can remember very well when we were just starting in 2011.  It was not easy for the church to support their local team with a ball. But now we just praise God for the support we are seeing contributed from churches.  They bring the little they have materially and give it for the furtherance of the Gospel in their community. There are many things that these churches need to do in order to support their teams. But even in little things the Bible tells us to give thanks. We hope by the grace of God to see more churches take initiaitve and have a willingness to support the ministry like the one in Nyachipere.  Because of this, over 50 youth are weekly being ministered to through Stanley and God is using him and his local church in a profound way to contextually bring the message of Jesus to these people. These people of Nyachipere were in sin and locked into the powers of darkness but now a great Light has risen in their land and they are introduced to Jesus, are responding to Him, and we again are stealing from the Devil.

Colossians 1:13  “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

No comments:

Post a Comment