Equipped, Encouraged, Strengthened

God loves people, loves justice, loves unity, and loves to use acts of loving service to overcome the challenges of this suffering world… Even in the case of waste management in certain areas! 

One of the first churches in Nigeria to work with Sports Friends has been a faithful partner for 14 years. It was a slow start in partnership, as sports ministry was a newer idea to denominational leaders. Now this church has sent out and supported many coaches who are running successful teams in the northern part of the country, where the gospel is often not welcomed. These coaches are greatly respected within their communities, as they demonstrate a Christ-like commitment to their individual players, but also add to the overall well-being of the community itself. 

In one of these northern towns where Sports Friends is present, there were no toilet facilities. As good health practice (to avoid cholera outbreaks, etc), the Sports Friends coaches and players decided to serve the community by digging toilets themselves and allowing the entire community to use them. Inspired by the young soccer team’s ability to accomplish this, the local elders decided to implement more toilets throughout the town. Now, even many of the individual homes have toilet facilities, and the community is preventing the spread of waterborne infectious diseases that had previously been very difficult to contain. Praise God!

When God the Son came to us as Emmanuel, He met us in our place of humanity. He responds to all of our various needs -even the “unmentionable” types- and brings transformation to our lives through His wisdom, grace, and love. It is a remarkable thing, that in Jesus’ Name we can love others in the simplest ways and see Him move among entire villages. Young people can band together under good leadership, and practice serving their families and neighbors with willing performance of “menial” tasks that make a life-saving difference. Elders can humbly observe new practices and take opportunity to lead their communities in wisdom. Soccer coaches can reflect the incarnation of Jesus Messiah by living in powerful and practical humility, and leading a generation of young team players to freely serve those around them. Praise God!

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