Posted by: macahajo | February 18, 2016

Then the match began…

When two worlds collide, you never know what will happen. We had that experience last week.

One world: a group of boys who once lived on the streets of Yaounde but now live with an older Christian woman named Mama Pauline. These boys have few clothes to wear, and they often have very little to eat. Mama Pauline doesn’t always have the funds to send all of the boys (15 of them) who live in her home to school.

The other world: missionary kids and wealthier Cameroonian boys from Rain Forest International School. Their parents serve the Lord in full time Christian ministry or they make up some of the elite in Cameroon society.

The differences are staggering, and these are just some of the surface differences.

But our hope was that the RFIS students would be able to show and share their faith. We prayed that the RFIS students and the boys from Mama Pauline’s home could begin to build relationships with one another. We also prayed that if there were any boys who did not know Christ as their Savior, that they would come to know Him.

As I drove Mama Pauline’s boys to the field, I could tell they were excited but also nervous. I think at some level they were afraid to play with the RFIS kids and wondered how the day would go. The ride was a bit subdued, and I was praying for them.

When we arrived at RFIS, there was a collective “woahh” verbalized as they saw the field for the first time. The majority of Cameroonian soccer fields are dirt. The only grass fields many Cameroonian kids see here are on television. They could never hope to play on a good quality field. But RFIS legitimately has one of the nicer fields in the country so they were excited.

I gathered up the RFIS boys and we prayed. I encouraged them that this was one of the most important games of their lives, but the final score of the match was not going to determine success or failure; that would be determined by how well they showed a Christ-like attitude and grace that God wants us to show to a world lost without Him. I could tell that they were focused, but I didn’t know how much so.

We made our way to the soccer field, and the RFIS boys began to introduce themselves to the boys from Mama Regine’s home. We bought jerseys for each person, which removed obvious material differences while bonding the kids together in teams. The match was not RFIS against Mama Pauline’s boys. On each team, there were RFIS students and youth from Mama Pauline’s home. All of the boys began to warm up and kick a few balls around.

Then the match began!

I was so impressed by the good attitudes and sportsmanship displayed by everyone. They all played hard, and while they fought for the ball, no one played dirty. No one lost their temper. During the game, if someone fell, another one helped him up. They were often giving each other high fives.

Later, a boy from the home and a boy from RFIS shared the Gospel and testimonies of the Lord’s faithfulness. It was so awesome to hear them praise God and lift Him up for His work in their lives. It felt like God descended on that field, and His peace ruled the day.

We closed with a meal together, and enjoyed fellowship with each other. As often with these events, most kids went back to their close friend groups. But one table was a mix of boys from Mama Pauline’s home and RFIS students. And then another mixed group began to juggle a ball together.

Small steps, but steps nonetheless.

The RFIS students rose to the occasion that day, and they lived out their lives for Christ on the soccer field. I was and am so proud of them.

This whole event was about so much more than soccer. It was about breaking down man made walls that can separate His children. When two worlds collide, violent, powerful reactions can occur. But in this case, the powerful reaction was covered by God’s grace and peace. The reaction was more powerful because God glorified himself in it.

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In Christ, Mark

An additional note:
We organized this event with Hope Social Action, the Cameroonian Christian ministry that cares for widows and orphans. Hugue, the leader, will continue to go to Mama Pauline’s to study the Bible with the boys and help care for their needs.

Please pray:
* for the boys in Mama Pauline’s care; that they will come to know Christ and draw closer to Him, being transformed by Him.
* for Mama Pauline; that the Lord would give her help and strength as she cares for all of these boys!
* for Hugue as he ministers to the boys.
* for us; that the Lord would give us wisdom and guidance as we partner along side Hugue and Hope Social Action.


Responses

  1. This was such a good event on many levels. Thanks for partnering in a way that is enriching and including so many others as well!!! We pray God’s blessing on this developing ministry.

    • Thank you for your sweet, encouraging words! We appreciate your feed-back. So glad you guys were there. ❤ Thank you for praying for us!


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