Can you think of something you take for granted? Most of us can think of more than one thing right away, like clean water, a roof over your head or a church community just down the road. How about the fact that AIA teams and clubs teach Christian values while playing a sport? It seems almost so intrinsic to our way of thinking that it’s very difficult to separate the two…Christian values and sport.
Take a moment and imagine what it was like for sports leaders and coaches in Mauritius this past November, to experience the dots connected. To see that team meetings about values and play extend out onto the field during the games. They had never seen what that looks like and never had it modeled for them before.
Despite what may seem so obvious to us there is an overwhelming dedication and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel in the communities with great encouragement. Just one instance of this, which some of our team members witnessed in one of the poverty stricken neighbourhoods, was when the team paired off with locals to go into the streets and invite people to watch the Jesus Film. On another occasion they met a coach during one of the soccer clinics. After sharing the gospel with him, he gave his life to Jesus right on the spot!
Following is an excerpt from one of our Canadian team leaders. As you will read, God is working in more hearts than just the players and coaches. “Today the team had their first outreach. They ran a soccer clinic in the town of one of our AIA volunteers here. Some of the Moms were hanging out on the sideline and one of our local volunteers connected with them, sharing the gospel using the Jesus film app. 5 of them said yes to Jesus and committed their lives to him! Praise God!!”- Roxanne Koop. This partnership in Mauritius may just be getting off the ground, but God has been working already in the hearts of Mauritians. As John 4:35 says “You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ready to be harvested!” Our team witnessed this over and over in the short time they were there.
Pray for this fledgling AIA ministry as we work with the local Mauritians to integrate the gospel in every game, every win, every loss and continue to bless them as they reach out to have conversations orchestrated by God. Pray that the vision of Mauritius becoming a sending nation will come to fruition.