Since 2012, Sports Friends has trained more than 150 women from local churches all across Malawi. While Malawian boys love soccer, netball is absolutely loved by girls in every village and town. Jenny saw an opportunity to use the sport to reach young girls in her community, and her church supported her vision and sent her to training.
After attending a Sports Friends Basic Training in the eastern region of Malawi, Jenny was excited to put into practice what she had learned. Straight from the training, Jenny went back to her church leadership and laid out her strategic plan of action. Jenny’s church supported her new ministry initiative by buying a ball, committing as a church body to pray for her, and then mobilizing others from the church to help her. Jenny had a deep burning fire for the girls of her community to know the satisfaction and joy that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Jenny started in August and within just a few weeks she had many girls from mixed backgrounds begging to join her team. Her church leaders told us, “Many girls feel deeply valued for the first time as they are coming from a society and religion where they are treated as nothing or nobody.”
Jenny is overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity to share with many young ladies that there is a God who treasures them, who made them in His image, and who has given them a purpose in life. In Jenny’s region, many girls are married off as early as 12 years old. Once married, they no longer go to school and are locked into a life of strict adherence to their husbands’ commands. Most girls in this region live their whole lives without hearing the Good News and then die without ever experiencing love. In addition to building Gospel relationships and sharing the love of Christ, Coach Jenny is also teaching these girls that school is important and is challenging them with the fact that knowledge is power.
In just two months, Jenny’s team has grown to nearly thirty girls, a mixture of Christians and non-Christians. These 12-16 year olds meet at a school netball court every Sunday afternoon. Some of the families of these girls have thanked Jenny and her church for the positive change of behavior they have noticed in their daughters. Some girls have left bad relationships because of what Jenny shared from God’s Word. Others have even begun attending church services to learn more about Christ.
Jenny is simply a tool in the hands of her Maker. Twenty years ago many who tried to take the Gospel into her villiage lost their lives to resistant people. We praise God that He is allowing Jenny to share the Good News through sports ministry. Please pray for Coach Jenny and the other 18 coaches we trained in this region. May the Holy Spirit empower them for making disciples of Jesus in hard soil!
(To protect Jenny's security, we have changed her name & not posted photos of her in this blog)
For His Fame,
Luke & Becca