To Our Partners and Friends,
The coronavirus is sweeping the globe and causing unprecedented challenges in virtually all sectors of society and in virtually all countries. Sports Friends is working in 19 countries across five continents, in some countries with great resources and in many countries with little capacity and capability to respond to the challenges of this global pandemic. The picture across these 19 countries is remarkably the same – social distancing measures, business closures, schools closed, churches idled, sporting activities cancelled, and limitations on many other types of gatherings.
In this environment, Sports Friends has cancelled and postponed many of our normal ministry activities – trainings of coaches, camp programs, and team sport events. We are following the guidelines of all governmental authorities in the countries where we serve and are trying to do our part to slow the spread of the virus. We are thankful for over 13,000 Sports Friends trained coaches who are bringing hope, peace and love to many who are fearful, confused and lost in their communities. Although these coaches are not able to conduct team trainings and events at this time, we pray that they will continue to be effective ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus in their communities where many are living and dying without Christ.
While things may look different in the coming months, we remain committed to advancing God’s mission and purposes through this ministry. We will continue engaging our many coaches to encourage and shepherd them during this time of uncertainty. We will also be investing in various organizational and training enhancements so that we can emerge on the other side of this pandemic stronger and more capable to fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ through sports. Although our leaders around the world are largely working from home, we are committed to continuing to move forward in this ministry as God leads.
One of our highest priorities at this time is prayer. Even when we are restricted in our activities, God is certainly not. Prayer knows no boundary, no quarantine, no containment. Since 1893, SIM’s motto has been “By Prayer”. Would you join with us during the time of this pandemic to call upon God to do awesome and mighty deeds for His glory and for His purposes? By clicking here, you can join us by receiving a brief daily prayer request to bring before the Lord on behalf of SIM’s Sports Friends ministry. At this link, you can also download a list of 10 prayer points and join SIM in a worldwide prayer movement specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic. Please join us in prayer. This is the most important thing we can be doing as God’s people.
At this time, we are not aware of any of our Sports Friends leaders that have tested positive for COVID-19. We are thankful for this. We are also thankful for all of you and your faithful prayers, financial support, encouragement and engagement in this ministry over many years. We are praying for you as well as we navigate these unknown waters together. We are thankful that we have a Good Shepherd who watches over and cares for us.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23
As the coronavirus and related feelings of fear and despair spread around the world, let us, as the people of God, be engaged together in spreading love, care, encouragement and hope to all of those in our spheres of influence as the Lord gives us opportunity and direction.
Tripp Johnston, Sports Friends Co-Founder and International Director