Planting Seeds in the Next Generation

Jan 24, 2024

“It was great to see them not only having an awesome time playing soccer, but also hearing about the gospel.” 

Sean is a leader in the soccer and church community. He’s a former Athletes in Action Camp Coach and Camp Coordinator for his local church. Though he’s several years removed from coaching with AIA, he caught the vision of how sport can be a way to share God’s love with his community.

Sean regularly invites the kids he coaches to attend AIA camps. “The first year, a few came, the second year a few more, and this year we had 10 kids that I knew come out. The majority of them never go to church, as many of them are Sikh.” 

The kids who attended camp even brought their siblings—like Jasminder (Jas) and Aasa. 

two kids and a young coach smiling on a soccer field

While Sean can’t share the gospel openly in his community coaching role, he could in this camp setting. The boys from his community soccer team were so excited to see him each day. Over their lunch breaks, they had deep conversations around questions like:

“How do you know that God is calling you somewhere?”

“Who is Jesus, and how was he God and human?”

“Do demons exist?”

Sean sees how God uses his persistent and faithful missional presence in the boys’ lives. “It was very encouraging for me to see the relational foundation that I had been building for years lead to great spiritual conversations that were child-initiated.”

Sean not only showed these children how to physically improve at soccer, but also participated in the spiritual planting of seeds towards even more lasting fruit.

Hearing the Gospel for the First Time

Ethan, a first-time AIA sports camp coach in BC, served the kids alongside Sean. One day, he stayed with a group of kids—including Jas and Aasa— who were waiting for their parents to pick them up. The children asked Ethan to tell them a story.

young coach with whistle around neck smiling

“I told them I had the happiest story, and I proceeded to share the gospel. While some had already heard the story, Jas said she hadn’t. She was deeply engaged and ecstatic to hear that Christ had come to save us! Two days later, I asked Jas and Aasa if they believed in the Gospel I had shared, to which they responded, “Yes.” I then asked if they believed that Jesus had come to earth, died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the grave, to which they responded, “Yes,” yet again. They both said they were not ready to make the decision to follow Christ, and one said that she would think about it more when she comes back next year.”

Jas and Aasa’s eagerness and enthusiasm encouraged Ethan—he’d planted seeds for a strong foundation. He believes that God is moving in both the children and is showing them His truth and love. We couldn’t agree more!

Will you continue to pray with us for Jas, Aasa, and all the kids who attended our summer camps this past year? We know God is at work in the next generation! We can’t wait to share more stories of how God answered your prayers as children and youth gathered on fields and courts to hear the hope found in Jesus.  

 

Written By: Maria Schroeder

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