Emily and Nate recently served with Sports Friends on a missions trip to Kenya for Messiah College AROMA student athletes. Interested in a short-term trip with Sports Friends? Find out more at: www.sports-friends.org/go
Emily wanted to be bold in her faith. She admired the life-coaches in how bold they were. On the first day, the Kenyan coaches introduced themselves to the team by standing, stating their name, and saying, “I am a Christ follower,” “Jesus is my Savior,” “I am born again through Christ,” or something similar to that. They prioritized God. Emily desired to prioritize God as the coaches did. She needed to have her identity in God. She realized that God needed to be her sole identity. Not soccer, or the school she went to, or anything else. Only God.
During the boys camp, Emily had the privilege to pray with two boys who accepted Christ into their lives. It was such a special moment to be with them, and she prays they will grow in their love and faith as they are ministered to by their coaches back home.
The Lord was on the move in the boys and on the team. But the Lord was also on the move in Emily too. God showed Emily that she can be bold in Christ, if she asks Him to help her.
Kenyans are people oriented– they don’t live by their watches. They went out of their way to talk to the team. This amazed Nate, for he was used to a different way of life in the U.S. This made Nate begin to wonder how he could take time to know others, instead of focusing on his schedule.
During the boys camp, one boy told the coach about the hard life he had been having. The boy’s father left him at a young age, he lived in an abusive home, his siblings alienated him, and many other aspects of his life were harsh. This boy was shy, and always in the background for all social events, even practices.
Nate and the team gave extra attention to this boy, for they wanted the boy to experience God’s love. Towards the end of the camp, the boy accepted Christ.
Hours after the boy had accepted Christ, he was laughing and smiling and was involved with the team. This boy had been transformed right in front of Nate’s eyes. Nate was so awed that he had the privilege to be in this boy’s life and to see God’s hand at work in the boy’s heart.
From witnessing this miracle, Nate realized the importance of reaching out to others with intention during his busy school and soccer schedules, because that was sharing the love of God. It is hard to stop what you are doing and focus on others, but this is Nate’s goal after seeing the work of God in this boy’s life.
Written by Callie West, Sports Friends Communications Intern