We recently held a Basic Training to equip new coaches in Thailand. Meet four of our participants who are now trained and ready to take the gospel to the young people in their communities through sports ministry:
Koy is a developer of Children’s Programs with Compassion International from the Lahu hill tribe region of Mae Fa Luang in Thailand. Every Saturday and Sunday, Koy (along with four other staff and two volunteers) work with 230 young people to teach them about the spiritual, social and emotional aspects of life. Five members from Koy’s church attended our Sports Friends Basic Training in Chiang Rai in October 2019. They hope to use what they learned to start doing sports ministry with the young people who attend their weekend program. God has provided the youth, and now He has provided resources for the team to disciple them through sports!
Koy’s coaching philosophy is: Play from your heart, do it for Jesus.
Bpu is a church planter among the Balong people group whose religion is predominantly Buddhism. He became a Christian 20 years ago through missionaries with CEM (Chinese Evangelical Mission) from Hong Kong. His mother was the first to become a Christian in his family. Bpu hopes to grow the sports ministry in his church, though there are some obstacles. The youth love to play football and volleyball, but their parents are often hesitant to let them join with Christians because they are from a strong Buddhist background. Some parents would also rather their children earn money in their free time to help support the family.
Bpu’s coaching philosophy is: For the sake of the gospel.
Karn is an accountant for Phayapay Church in Thailand. She works for Compassion International, which means her Sundays are very full. There are about 300 young people in her community that show up on any given Sunday for activities. They are not able to come on Saturdays because they all attend Chinese School. On Sundays, Karn works with a team to take care of the young people and teach them. The church does not yet have a sports ministry outreach, so Karn is excited to take what she has learned at the Sports Friends Basic Training and use it in her church. Karn’s first step in starting sports ministry will be to invite the teenagers to start a volleyball team. She is hoping that sports and discipleship is something that they will be interested in!
Karn’s coaching philosophy is: It’s not about skill, it’s about standing out and doing the right thing.
20 years ago, a small church began in a Lahu village in the mountains of northern Thailand. The church started with six families and was comprised mainly of grandmas and grandpas. Today, Chai is the pastor of a church plant from this original church. He has been serving there for six years. His church has just started having two services on Sunday; one in the morning, and one in the evening geared towards teenagers. Chai is a from the Yellow Lahu hill tribe, and it is his dream to start a football team across cultures and tribes through the power of Christ. He longs to see different hill tribes such as Red Lahu, Akka, Yaw and Lishu all playing together on one team. He believes this would be an amazing testimony of the power of God’s love, and keep youth away from the lure of drugs that is so strong in these parts.
Chai’s coaching philosophy is: It’s all about ministry, not skill.
Would you consider making a year-end gift to train more new coaches like Koy, Bpu, Karn and Chai who can pour their lives into the young people in their communities? Just $75 would train one new coach as an agent of God’s love and hope, or $3,750 would sponsor a training for 50 new coaches. We have thousands of new coaches waiting to be trained. Will you help us equip and send them? www.sports-friends.org/give
Thank you for your partnership in bringing the good news of Jesus to young people all around the world!