Posted by: macahajo | October 9, 2014

Jesus and volleyball

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As a teenager, I was extremely passionate about sports. I enjoyed the competition and challenge of facing off against an opponent and beating them. It was especially enjoyable within the context of team sports. So, it’s no surprise that coaches had a huge influence on my life. One really stands out though.

I was 15 when my friend Young invited me to go to youth group. I remember walking into the gym where the kids gathered before youth group on Friday nights. It was there, that I was introduced to volleyball.  The youth pastor was very passionate about volleyball, and he was a great player. But he saw something so much more significant and important in the game.

You see, he used volleyball to teach us about Christ. He showed us how to worship God as we played. He taught us to pursue excellence not for excellence itself, but because if we were to play, we should always give our very best as we played in worship of Christ. We learned that it was not the result that mattered most, but the testimony we had. Did we play in a manner that God would be pleased with? Did we play with honesty and integrity? We began to look for ways not only to encourage each other, but also to encourage our opponents! Offering an encouraging word or a high five for a nice play by our opponent became a way of life for us on the court in all settings and circumstances. I learned that God could use this sport to bring honor and glory to himself if I was willing to be humble and submit to Him. Volleyball became a means to an end in showing Jesus Christ to the world through the way I played.

Over the years, I continued to play volleyball, and coach as well.  When we moved to Cameroon, I didn’t think I’d play or coach.  But, Cathy and I started playing volleyball in Yaounde shortly after we arrived; it’s been a great way to exercise, have fun, and get to know people…. people like Didier.

Didier is a Cameroonian who is even more passionate about the sport for the same reasons that I am.  God used volleyball to reach him with the Gospel and now, he is using it to reach kids in Yaounde with the message of salvation. Last month, he asked me to join him on Saturdays when he coaches some children and teens. I started going, and it has been so enjoyable! It has been a blessing to get to know Didier better, as well as the young volleyball players. I want to encourage each of them to live all of their life for Jesus and worship Him in the good and hard times.  I am so excited that my passion for sports can be a vehicle for reaching people with the Gospel.

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What is the interest or passion that God wants to use in your life to show the world who He is and to reach the lost with the Gospel?

Mark


Responses

  1. I am so happy to see this! You were an inspiration to Ella and her team when you coached them. You have a special gift and I will be forever grateful for your time in my daughter’s life. And I told you to take your volleyball!!!

    • Sorry I just saw this! Yes you did tell me to bring them. And now I regret it! We have about 4 usable practice balls for up to 18 kids! Quite the change from TopFlight. Miss you and Ella tons and pray you are both well.


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