By: Lindsay Geverink, SF Peru
You pay for the court, you play on the court. Right? Well, according to the boys in Coach Aaron’s neighborhood, the person with the loudest voice wins. For many of us, we would just get louder to prove the court is logically ours. But Aaron choose a different road.
When Coach Aaron began soccer ministry through his church about two and a half years ago, there were many roadblocks and frustrations in regards to the players’ behavior and attitudes. Looking at these boys now, you’d hardly even recognize them and almost laugh at the incredible 180 that God has done in their lives. Through constant mentoring, sharing of God’s Word and love, Aaron and his leadership team have been able to build into the lives of these young people and show them God’s way of living.
When Aaron was in the middle of his soccer practice and was rudely interrupted and shoved off the field by the neighborhood boys, it wasn’t anything new to him. Amidst the chaos, confusion, cursing and arguing from the unexpected visitors, Aaron had an idea to solve the problem with minimal disagreement while showing Christ as well. He chose to be an example and a light to his team, as well as to the pushy teenagers.
“Ok boys, so let’s share the field. You play for 10 minutes and then it will be our turn.”
Surprisingly, the boys quickly agreed and cooperated, and the playing continued for some time back and forth like this. Finally, the new guests wanted to play a game against Aaron’s team. You can probably imagine that the team was struggling with the idea of having to unexpectedly share THEIR practice time. It was the moment for the team to decide if they were going to truly practice what God had been pouring into them through Aaron for the past two and a half years. Praise God, because they chose to follow their coach’s leadership and demonstrated good attitudes and sportsmanship on the field, even in the moments of unwarranted penalties, yelling and cheating.
Finally, share-time came to an end and the new “friends” headed out. However, when they got to the corner, one of them turned around and yelled, “Hey Coach! See you next week?”
The incredible thing is that Aaron was ready to whole-heartedly welcome them back, because he knows that God’s work is not yet done and he desires to love and serve the people in his community.
Although some may see the situation only as a stolen court, God was able to give Aaron His eternal perspective to see the priceless opportunity. Please join us in praying for the youth of Peru, that they may see and experience God’s light and truth.
“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16