We just wanted to update you from what's been happening in our lives over the past week. From May 17-25, Fostance and I (Luke) flew to Ethiopia to learn how to effectively and strategically do sports camps in Malawi. We just arrived home in Malawi yesterday after an incredible time of learning, serving, and watching God transform lives for all of eternity.
Upon arrival at the camp, Fostance and I were both given a group of 10 kids who had come from all over Ethiopia. The focus of this camp was evangelistic so Sports Friends invited sports ministry coaches to bring with them 5 kids from their teams that are not followers of Jesus. The kids came and nearly every one was a Muslim. Their coaches were all trained sports ministers and are strong believers in Jesus but many of them minister in areas where it is very dangerous to share the Gospel openly so this camp presented that opportunity. For years, these coaches have poured their lives into their Muslim kids on a weekly basis hoping that the kids of their team would follow Jesus. But up to this week, these kids have been resistant to Christ. They have been born into homes and communities that have no Christians, aside from their coach, and they have counted the cost of following Jesus as too costly. Until this week.
Friday night was one that i'll never forget. After an amazing week of camp where we gave EVERY last ounce of energy and love we had to these kids, we saw God. He showed up. The camp climaxes on Friday evening with a drama of the parable of the prodigal son. As several of our passionate Ethiopian brothers and sisters acted out the parable of the lost son, i watched tears roll down several of the faces of the Muslim boys we'd poured into all week. They were learning for the first time what it meant that God forgives. God forgives. He has made a way through Jesus. Through Jesus you can be forgiven and God is gracious towards and loves sinners and salvation is not dependent on our works. Jesus is the way!
These words are often in our prayers for our lost family members and friends but this week, I saw how to present this message to resistant in Africa in a way that is more effective than anyway I've every experienced before. Jesus people, born again by His Spirit, coming together, full of passion and love pouring everything they've got into lost people. When these kids looked at our life and love for each other and for them over the period of 1 week, they saw Christ, and they cried out to God for His risen Son to welcome them into his family with open arms like the father in the prodigal son story. Of the 80 kids present at the camp, dozens surrendered their life to Jesus and now they are back in their village as a light-bearer with the committed coach discipling them and encouraging them into maturity. Beautiful. Absolutely a wonderful picture of heaven on earth. God's people united for making His name praised. I've NEVER seen people work so hard and love so well as i saw the Ethiopian sports ministers do that week.
All that to say, Fostance and I were deeply impacted and can't wait to start these camps in Malawi. Our first one will be with 80 girls in our city of Blantyre from June 20-22. Below is more information about Sports Friends camping ministry this year.
Thanks so much! We love you guys and are so blessed to have you in our lives. Please pray for the campers around the world who will be coming to camp in the next 2 months. Jesus is worthy of their praise so please pray that they see a clear picture of His love for them and their need for Him.
Luke, Becca, Lyzee & Zeke