By Lindsay Geverink, SF Peru
A hammer, a saw and a soccer ball. What do these three things have in common? They are all tools. They can be used for good or bad purposes; to construct, bring together and benefit someone, or to destroy and tear apart. The hearts of Sports Friends is that sports would be used to reach out to others with Gospel, disciple youth and their families, and glorify God at all times.
Pastor Alejandro Obregón caught this vision three years ago and chose to implement the Sports Friends model of sports ministry in his church as an instrument to extend the Gospel. Peruvians would proudly say that “fútbol” is the national sport, and the pastor is no exception.
Pastor Obregón’s huge love for sports began years ago as he was part of a couple different professional Peruvian leagues and was even pre-selected to play for the national team in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. With a heart for his community, a love for God and his favorite pastime of soccer, he saw great potential in using sports to bridge the gap between his church community and the people in the neighborhood. In his opinion, sports ministry is a “divine inspiration” and great strategy in laboring together to reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel.
Seven Futbol Club, the church’s soccer ministry, is approaching their two-year anniversary and Pastor Obregón can’t help but give thanks for the way in which God has utilized the group to open doors. He’s observed how it has fostered church mobilization as they reach out to the families around them, and he has witnessed a growth in trust, particularly in regards to the parents of the players. He is especially pleased and amazed at the success in regards to the ministry to the younger boys, which is a group of about 25 players. Originally, the majority of these boys were not in a relationship with Christ, but they have since accepted Christ and are being discipled by the team leaders.
“It’s a good tool for all, not just because it brings youth to church,” Pastor Obregón says, “but more importantly because they are hearing the Gospel and choose to accept Christ.” Please join us in prayer for Pastor Obregón and the leaders of Seven Futbol Club as they minister to and lead this group of boys, while displaying the love of Christ to them. Please also pray for more leaders in the church to arise and join in supporting the ministry and reaching out to their community.