Football - Middle East

  • Middle East Football Tour- Summary

    Section: Football

    From "Darkness to Light"... This was the theme for our Football tour, last month. 

    In Acts 26:18, Paul was proclaiming his purpose to appoint believers to share the 'Good News" of Christ, to others so that they may turn from 'darkness to light.' To see this play out, we prayed that each one of our 15 coaches would have 3 significant conversations with a player or coach about Jesus. We asked that the Lord would use the sport of football to break down barriers and build a trust and respect that would create opportunities to share the love of Christ.

    The reality is, very few people know about Jesus Christ. The large majority of those we meet were born Muslim, not by their own choice. So many of the people in this part of the world don't even know what they believe. This was something that blew my mind because I always assumed that Muslims were pretty strong in what they believed. With them not really having a clue, it opened up many doors at the end of the week to dig into spiritual conversations. I learned too, though, how big football played a role in this process. Working with our players over the course of four days of clinics had built such a great bond, that we could have good conversations about Jesus, where the players would actually be engaging with us.

    No, no players accepted Christ into their life... That wasn't one of our objectives. We knew going in, our job was to plant seeds, till the ground, and water, so we could provide credibility and professionalism amongst our current in country staff. The reality is, it takes years of relationship and the pouring out of love before there is movement in some cases. We were blessed in our time there to have so many conversations within the week. We pray that God is continuing to work on their hearts even while we are not there.

  • Italian Southern BBQ??? (Tues. April 28th)- Football

    Section: Football

    Football - Middle East

    As Tuesday April 28th started, there was excitement in the air.  Our team was invited to eat at an authentic Italian restaurant, tour Florence and sees some great sites.   At the end of the day, we would go back to Guelfi football team facility for another evening of clinics. And if that was not enough, the clinic finished up with some good ole southern BBQ, orchestrated by our man, "Hoss." 

    The day started perfect and was going according to plan, until we had a few stumbling blocks. After a variety of mishaps, disagreements, and rain, we finally arrived to the facility. However, the rain continued and we walked out onto a rain soaked field.  Despite the rain and soaked field, everyone was excited and joyful.  As Hoss's barbecue filled the air and the rain kept coming down, the practice became exciting and we concluded the clinic with a wonderful rain-soaked scrimmage.

    Inside after practice, there was so much joy and laughter and the dreary rain conditions and muddy bodies were irrelevant. After getting cleaned up, the players enjoyed a great meal with us and we were also gifted with the presence of the woman's football team. We all ate, smiled, laughed, talked, hugged, and just enjoyed each other's company like a good ole southern BBQ. 

    In spite of the rain in our lives, it can be used as a tool of growth or you can do as we did, enjoy the moments in the middle of your rainstorm. 


  • Parma Clinic (Day 1-Italy)

    Section: Football

    Football - Middle East

    Welcome to Firenze!

    After a long day of traveling, we finally made it to our Italian destination. All day we were introduced to the Italian culture and prepared spiritually and mentally for our evening football clinic with a Parma club team. The Parma club team is known as the "New York Yankees" of American football in Italy. Meaning they are very successful and have a lot of money. What a blessing it is to use football as a platform to reach one of the top football teams in the country! 

    During the clinic, the coach decided not to have special team periods (punters, kickers, etc..) which opened up a lot of time to get to know the players that were taking breaks between reps. There I met Jordan. Jordan had moved from South Africa a few years ago to follow his dad who now works in Italy. We started getting to know each other, which led into a spiritual conversation talking about his faith. "I try to go to church every other week for my mother. You know, I think this is what I needed because every time I try to push God away, something keeps pushing me back to Him. I think this is God using our conversation." 

    Getting to talk with Jordan was a huge highlight for me on this trip. My goal in our conversation was to encourage him in his faith, because of the cultural faith society in Italy that can be difficult to navigate at times. I got to swap emails with him and am looking to connect with him in the coming months! 

    Please be in prayer for Jordan.


The opinions expressed in these posts are that of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Athletes in Action, Cru or any employee thereof.  Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of the writer only.