WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING?
A year of growth…
What a year we have had! As a charity we are so pleased to see acts of love, ministry and sport grow across the world. 2016-2017 has been a real catalyst for lives changed.
As you can see from the infographic, our 53 teams have carried out over 1,500 ministry activities helping to reach 17,466 people. Amazing news! But even greater than that is how 2,058 people have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!
Nationally, teams across the UK have reached 5,620, through sports camps, schools work, detached outreach and even Quizzes. In previous issues of the Latest Score, you can read about some of the lives changed.
Since our CST training in Kenya, over 8 nations have used the CST model to multiply teams across their countries. Subsequently, outside of the UK there are 48 teams who, in 2016-2017, have reached over 7,360 people. Praise God.
One of those teams is the Care through Sport Team in Pakistan. Every year, Akeel (our Bristol Team leader) goes to help train, support and encourage them in their sports ministry. You can find out more about the amazing vision and passion the team has in the Game Changers Section.
People with a Passion for Pakistan
Last month, Akeel – who heads up the Bristol CST – went out to Pakistan to serve and train Care Through Sport (CTS).
Regarding his time in Pakistan Akeel said: “It was a very fruitful Trip . I have seen Care Through Sport getting mature and finding new ways to reach their tough Muslim community. ReadySetGo training was very useful for them as it would help them to build up great relationships within their communities.”
Akeel also gathered a few thoughts from some of the CTS team:
Simon Javed ( member of CTS )
“It is a pleasure to Serve CTS and as a team, last month we did a kids games with 90 children in a Muslim school. We also learnt how important it is to use sports as a tool to make an impact and bring change in our local community.”
Nadeem Qaiser (CTS Leader)
“It is honour to serve and lead CTS . Our vision is to bring more churches on board, to train and equip their leaders and organise more projects because Pakistani’s love sport and it is a great way to connect with non Christians . Since we have started CTS and carried out some projects, we have noticed the religious barrier has been broken.”
Praise God for the work CTS are doing, the cricket tournaments and schools work they are carrying out!
Please pray for protection and more lives changed as they continue to grow their team to impact their community.
How far is your reach?
Physical flexibility was never my strength as a player. Reasonable strength, good stamina but my hamstrings needed serious attention for my hands to reach beyond my toes!
God has given us all a sphere of influence – people groups and territory; this makes up our mission field, so how far is your reach?
Here in Western Europe, the annual six nations Rugby Union championship has just finished with England topping the lot this year. Cricket has it’s four yearly ‘Champions Trophy’ this June with the top eight nations competing this June for the prize. Yet, you may be aware that football/soccer’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers are in full flow where eventually 211 nations will be whittled down to just 32 in time for the finals in Russia; what a reach the game has!
In Mark 16:15, Jesus said to His disciples “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” ‘All the world’ means everywhere geographically and ‘all creation’ means every man, woman and child. God calls us all to join in and ‘make disciples’ of all nations in the great commission, (Matt 28:18-20, more on this next month) so how can little you and I do so?
We are all so different and yet we have one God who has one main purpose – to seek and save the lost (Matt 1:21) and we all have the following in that He will use if we align with Him:
How much of your time is spent on eternal purpose? Praying, serving, reaching and investing in others can have an everlasting impact.
Matthew 25:14-28 reminds us that what God wires and gifts us to do, should be used for the King. Don’t bury your talent – get busy with it!
Regardless of how much you have, your ‘sowing’ can determine others’ ‘going.’ It takes money to travel to unreached territories, train new leaders, plant new churches, print Bibles etc. How we use our treasure can enable other’s to gain the treasure that will never perish.
Ask The Lord today, how you can extend your reach for Him today. One way can be to partner with WSM as we seek to partner with others throughout the world, plant disciple-making teams and proclaim the gospel to all. Click here to see how you can become involved!
The Power of Prayer
Prayer is powerful. In the November issue we looked at how thankful we are to those who pray for us! Our teams and their projects have seen prayer work.
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it!
We want to continue to see Jesus lifted high in all the projects, people and planning. We believe that if we ask in Jesus’ name , mighty things will happen! So come join us in prayer…
Please Pray for:
- Lives changed at the GetSported Easter & Summer Sports Camps.
- National CSTs to pioneer projects to help reach their communities further.
- International CSTs to establish strong teams and healthy links with churches.
- Care Through Sport in Pakistan
- The Global Sports Ministry movement
Could you pray for us regularly?
- Sign up to receive our prayer diaries/requests via email/post
- Join our Facebook prayer group
- Get your church praying for the Global sports movement
- Share the Latest Score with friends and family
Model, mature, multiply…
The past month has flown by but God has used it wonderfully to continue to build His kingdom.
Our heart as a ministry is to be faithful with the vision The Lord has given us and so we seek to model it, mature it and multiply it.
Locally we have seen many children hear the great news of ‘why Jesus came’ during Christmas themed school coaching sessions. Over 40 teenage young leaders continue to be mentored and disciple as ‘Game-Changers’ in their spheres of influence. We also praise God for a personal fitness trainer called Dan who decided to follow Jesus this month!
Nationally we have served the sports ministry movement in the UK by helping facilitate a leaders gathering where kingdom partnerships are growing including our own with two key organisations that should lead to the planting and training of new sports ministry teams and the growth of outreach sports camps.
Internationally things are developing rapidly. We helped lead a Ready Set GO national conference in Serbia where 5 new teams look set to begin reaching their cities and our partners in different African countries continue to grow in the impact they are having by training leaders and staging outreaches on the back of our African leaders gathering in October.
This included a new team in Burundi, leader Fiacre writes:
“We ran a Christmas time event on lake Tanganyika where we preached that Jesus won’t come back as a child but as a King. To receive Him now is to be ready for His coming and to celebrate Christmas truthfully. Four people committed their lives to Jesus.”
Glory to God.
Body, Mind, Spirit
Meet Kay – she directs our GET Sported camps, Youth Sport Leadership course and serves in other elements of the ministry as well. She is one of our sports coaches in schools and also teaches Pilates. Kay is passionate about keeping fit and healthy and has a heart to encourage others to do the same as well as share the Gospel with them. We asked Kay to talk about her passions and how she impacts those around her. This is what she had to say:
The Bible talks about the importance of looking after your body, keeping fit and healthy. In 1 Timothy 4:8 it specifically mentions working out:
‘Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come;’ therefore, although working out is important, the ‘working out’ of our ‘souls’ has greater value. Our bodies will naturally begin to lose their function and aesthetically fade, but pursuing how we can be more like Jesus will have value beyond this life and hence is of greater importance. Considering the trio of ‘body, mind and spirit’ all being connected is correct, however I believe it goes further than that. Having a healthy body helps you to have a healthy mind; ‘Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’ Philippians 4:8.
The Bible emphasises the importance of a good and healthy mindset, and with it we can understand that we are made right before God, as it is Him who makes us righteous through what Jesus accomplished on the cross and He now gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us.. Romans 8:6 says: ‘So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.’ Therefore, ultimately the ‘Spirit’ is the greatest of the three.
I believe this is a vital principle for everyone (Christians and non-believers) to grasp. For me, teaching sport and Pilates opens up opportunities to discuss this concept. Health and fitness is the fastest growing ‘sport’/activity in the world. The increasing popularity of ‘new age’/mindfulness/yoga type of activities enables many conversations to link to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People are chasing alternative ways to find ‘peace’ when in fact there is only one way to find true Peace. Teaching Pilates regularly enables me to develop relationships and to ‘do life’ with people. I have been able to pray for people who have cancer/various illnesses as well as countless opportunities to share what I believe and show God’s love and generosity to people. My aim is to live out 1 Peter 3:15 ‘And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.’
Christmas brings a wealth of opportunities to share the Gospel; many will go to church, or even contemplate the real reason for the season; so, my challenge for you this Christmas is – are you ready to give a reason for your faith? How will you make the most of the opportunities you may have with people this Christmas?
Need or want?
Christmas was coming and I was 10 years old. Like almost every child, the excitement of what lied ahead was palpable; with my wish list duly submitted on time, I was like a player anticipating a cup final. Then the big day arrived.
My desirables were wrapped and under the tree; the cricket bat was obvious and the wrapping wasn’t on it for long. Then I got to my next main ‘hope;’ It felt like it might be it and when I eagerly tore away the santa designed paper covering it, it sure was a new goalkeeping shirt that I was desperate for, BUT…..it was the wrong one! Arrgghh! It was suppose to be the gorgeous blue one I had looked at and touched for months, but no, this was yellow and black! My disapproval was disdainful and I spoilt a wonderfully generous moment from my parents who I know could only just about afford to buy me anything.
I received what I needed but not exactly what I wanted.
Through the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:19, God reminds us that He meets our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. The Lord longs to give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4) as long as our desires are His desires, but not all of our ‘wants’ get met because they aren’t of Him and they aren’t needs.
In these last few days leading up to ‘the big day,’ millions of people will be scurrying around to buy others gifts as a token of their love and friendship; this of course, should be to symbolise God’s gift to us at the ‘first Christmas’ – Jesus Himself. His gift for the world back then is the same as it is today – new life, new hope and the greatest future imaginable. Have you received this gift? If you haven’t yet, don’t be like many in Bethlehem on the first Christmas who didn’t make room for Him; open up ‘the stable’ of your heart today and let Him in. Christ in you IS the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
If you ‘ve done this, it’s the best thing you have ever accepted and so please, in this season and indeed in every season, pass it on to others. Most people cringe if someone they know was given the same present as themselves, but not so with Jesus – everyone can and everyone should be given the opportunity to receive Him.
People may want other things, but they need Jesus. Show them why He came and why they need Him and then they will soon want Him.
Have a wonderful Christmas and may you sparkle in the light of Jesus during the days ahead.
The gift of life…
The Shepherds bought little lambs
The Wise men bought gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Little did they know their gifts would pale to insignificance compared to the gift of life that the One who received their gifts would give. Jesus came to give us the best gift of all – a lasting gift which has eternal value and that is LIFE. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” John 1:3-4.
As a ministry, our mission is to point people to the giver of life that they may know Him and believe in Him and receive eternal life. [John 3:16]
He is the best gift anyone can get this Christmas – will you help share him?
Two ways in which you could help:
- Give someone the best gift this Christmas – share the Gospel with someone you know!!
- Give to support the cause of WSM – help more people hear the Gospel and receive the gift of life as we continue to make disciples in the world of sport and play!
- Click here to support the work of WSM>
WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING?
Riding the rapids of change…
From October 2nd – 7th 2016 a small training and mentoring team of 3 from WSM engaged with 20 current or aspiring sports ministry leaders from 8 different African countries in Sagana, Kenya.
Our time together was centered on being devotional in God’s Word, relational through team building and time off (including white water rafting!), resourceful through ReadySetGO/Community Sports Team training and intentional in developing ministry plans for everyone.
Having spent quality time with each leader and listened to a presentation of their plans, we trust God and are very hopeful for great growth in effective outreach and disciple-making in each region they represent and beyond. The likely outcome is that 18 new Community Sports Teams will begin within the next 3 months and be equipped by the new trainers that we trained; this should lead to many evangelistic sports concepts reaching thousands of people.
Each leader has a heart to establish and model a mature outreaching team that can then be multiplied throughout their country and in some cases across borders into neighbouring countries. Described best by one delegate, Archie from Zimbabwe:
“My exposure to Kenya, gave a new insight to how we can best model our efforts in Zimbabwe and beyond. Notably an effective structure enhances our effectiveness. As a team in Harare leading the ministry efforts in Zimbabwe, we will use the material on skills, gifting and time available to enhance our team projects.
The aspect of preparation, initialization, maturation and multiplication is helping us establish a transferable model in Harare as we seek to strengthen existing teams in Bulawayo, Buhera, Victoria falls, Marondera and Chinhoyi.
The bigger/ long term expected outcome will be devoted to giving more room to us as Harare team to not only expand nationally but also to influence regional efforts of making disciples who will continue to make more disciples. This will see us achieve our goal of [Restoring and enriching lives through Christ centered sport and play in zimbabwe and beyond]
In summary the Kenya gathering added the growth/support ingredient to our efforts which we are excited will see us establish and multiply respectively within Zimbabwe and beyond in making disciples for Christ through sport and play.”
Watch the video of highlights here>
Making disciples in Malawi
We interviewed Khetwayo Banda (KB) from Malawi on his time in Kenya with us and what he feels called to do back in his home country:
1. What has God called you to do in Malawi?To make disciples for Jesus through sports by enhancing progressive partnerships of churches and organisations.
2. How do you spend your time doing that?Praying for and planning sports related activities, organising and co-ordinating partnership/network meetings, training ReadySetGo materials provided by the ISC/WSM, making training follow ups, coaching and serving leaders, resolving conflicts and fundraising,
3. What’s your vision & hope through sports in Malawi & beyond?To see a united ReadySetGo movement in Malawi and beyond that will stir up the church to make and multiply mature disciples (by planting self-supportive churches and Community Sports Teams (CSTs) through servant leadership)
4. You attended the recent African Leaders gathering in Kenya – how was it for you?It was an eye opener…”I was blind but now I can see”. WSM has simplified the ReadySetGo content/materials further which makes it more understandable and practical. The prayers and morning devotions reminded me to totally depend on God for his direction. It also helped me make more local and international partnerships. I also felt honoured and humbled to co-facilitate some of the topics. The WSM UK team made the training environment conjucive to effective learning. Of course, the Sagana Rapids added a nice flavour to the gathering! It was really an unforgettable moment.
5. How do you see a partnering relationship with WSM?
It’s encouraging because you involve us in making key decisions. It’s a win-win relationship. The foundation has been laid and we can start building the walls now!6. How can we be praying for you & your ministry?By asking God to strengthen our local and international partnerships, by asking God to give us servant leaders, by asking God to bless our fundraising strategies so that we become self-supportive, by keeping the huge sports opportunies doors open and having courageous hearts to utilise them.
Put your ‘Game Face’ on?
Continual, uninterrupted PRAYER
- Rejoice always
- Pray continually
- Give thanks in all circumstances
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us that these 3 things help us know what ‘God’s will is for us’
To rejoice means to feel or show great joy or delight in something. There are many things around us that can give us joy, however the one thing that we can always be joyful in is our hope in Jesus Christ. His victory on the cross is our victory. That is something to delight in ALL THE TIME.
The definition to do something ‘continually’ is to do something without interruption; and frequently. In a world of distraction, the Word tells us to pray without interruptions frequently. How often do we do that?
Part of our praying continually includes THANKING the Lord no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.
Prayer lays the foundation for any significant ministry/work of God. Mostly all revivals can be attributed to faithful and CONTINUAL PRAYER. We are so grateful to God for all he does through WSM, despite being a small staff team this last month we have training 20 african leaders in Kenya, helped develop sports ministry training around Europe in Vienna, helped disciple and develop over 50 youth on our Youth Sport Leadership Course, impact over 400 children a week through ’total coaching’ in schools and reach over 100 children through GET Sported camps. There is much to be thankful for ALWAYS. The latter would not have happened had it not been through continual and faithful prayer. Through prayer: the funded needed to send the team to Kenya were provided, the leaders who served on camp were available, more children than were expected attended the GET Sported camps. Not only that but God did some amazing things on camp 5 children gave their lives to Jesus, many were discipled to share their faith and we saw youth (13-17 year olds) leading children to Jesus and testifying of the amazing work of God in their lives. Prayer WORKS!
Could you pray for us regularly?
- Download our Autumn/winter2016 prayer diary
- Sign up to receive our prayer diaries/requests via email/post
- Join our Facebook prayer group
- Get your church praying for the Global sports movement
Winning the Ultimate Race
What a phenomenal summer we had at our GET Sported multi-sports camps and GET Serious Cricket camps.
Here is what happened:
- 482 children attended our camps and heard the Gospel of Jesus
- 152 children gave their lives to Jesus
- 80 children took home bibles
- 107 Leaders/coaches/young leaders served on the camps
In the Word, Jesus mentions a few times the importance of children. For example the time when he rebuked the disciples saying “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14.
We had 107 people serving across the camps, as leaders, coaches and Young leaders we have so much to learn from the children. It was so powerful to see children grasping the Gospel, praying for forgiveness and healing and about sharing the Gospel with friends.
Our main mission is really to raise up a disciple-making generation.
Here are what some of the parents had to say:
“Our children have all really enjoyed camp. They have all grown in confidence and developed team skills.”
“This is a brilliant way for my boys to burn off energy in a wonderful, positive environment. They’ve loved the variety of sports, great leaders, reward structure, making friends and we’ve all so valued the Christian values and teaching. We’ve had some beautiful prayers at home from both of them this week.”
Passing on the baton…
George is a 20 year old, from Bath who recently gave his life to Jesus. Over the last few months he has qualified as a sports coach and has been ministering to children through sports coaching in schools and on our sports camps. He is a talented sportsman himself and an extremely passionate cricket player; the type that lives and breathes it! George’s story of coming to faith is an amazing testimony of how God works in ways we wouldn’t think of. Not many people would go to the ex-girlfriend’s dad to talk about faith – George did as a last resort and it ended with him being lead to Christ in a coffee shop.
We interviewed George to find out more:
Tell us a bit about what led you to give your life to Christ?
Earlier this year I was in a very bad place, struggling with mental illness, Helena (my girlfriend) suggested I go speak to her dad (a former pastor of a church in South Africa and now founder/director of the Filling Station ministry.) At the time Helena and I had just broken up, so it was slightly awkward to say the least to speak to her dad, however I felt it was my last resort to speak to him. He was great to talk to, and helped me gain an understanding of what Jesus had done for me. He then asked if I wanted to pray a prayer of salvation and I honestly thought if it ‘works it works if it doesn’t it doesn’t’. What happened next is hard to explain and sounds quite cliché, but as I walked our from the coffee shop I felt like the world was lifted off my shoulders, I felt happy and I smiled for the first time in months. I started going to church and meeting new Christians. Helena’s parents has connected me with GET Sported as I had a heart to coach but I hadn’t yet realised the impact and opportunity that one can have in reaching children.
Since giving your life to Christ has your life changed at all?
Before giving my life to Jesus, people had noticed (which I only found out after) that I looked very flat and low/tired. But now I look happy, full of life and calm. Even my mum has noticed a difference that I deal with situations a lot better now – I don’t fly off the handle, don’t get angry and I talk it through. My mum has also come to church with me. My faith has definitely changed the way I think about things and I feel like I have more of a purpose. Coaching with GET Sported has also helped me discover more of my God-given purpose and I don’t see my work of sports coaching as ‘work’.
Have you always wanted to coach?
I’ve always wanted to do something in sport. I went to a sports college, did bits of coaching, never knew what exactly I wanted to do but SPORT was the key thing. Over the last year I worked in a few bars and clubs but never really felt it was really a career – I was really just wasting time, but I did learn a lot of life lessons along the way. GET Sported popped up whilst I was working and I gave it a go. After that week fell in love with coaching and knew that was what I wanted to do.
At Easter camp, just after I had made a commitment to follow Jesus, it was like I was looking through a new set of eyes. I realised the potential that sport has to change lives and I wanted to get in on that. Having gone through life not seeing many happy people, I came into the staff room on camp and saw 50+ leaders/coaches who were happy and wanted to see me and were supportive and that made me wanted to go further and get deeper in it.
Tell us about your journey in the coaching world and the impact you’ve had on the children…
Over the last few school terms I have been coaching in schools and at the summer camps. I am so grateful to the coaches at GET Sported to have the privilege of learning from them and to model what’s been shown to me. I have progressed from taking elements of a session to know being fully equipped to competently take a whole coaching session and be able to evaluate it. One of the head coaches also gave me some freedom to plan some of the cricket sessions at GET serious cricket camps over the summer.
How did you find the summer camps?
They were a blast as always, I found it’s quite hard to engage with 10 year olds however I found it worked when I was honest with them and told them my story – they connected a whole lot better and it was more personal and relevant to them. In one of the team talks I led – 8 children put their hands up wanting to give their lives to Jesus. I have also learnt the power of prayer over the summer camps and saw breakthrough in conversations with some children.
What’s your biggest challenge in your walk with God?
Definitely touching base with him, praying. Also, reading the bible doesn’t come naturally to me but I’m excited to read and learn. I heard one of our head coaches give a sermon at a church in the city, I really felt that gave me a kick up the backside to live what I believe.
Going forwards what’s on your heart…
Well over the last few months I’ve seen the amazing impact we can have coaching in schools – we are in the life of a child for 4 years but then as they move on to secondary school the impact we have is suddenly gone and often these children drop out from cricket and stop playing. I have spoken with our head cricket coach and we’ve agreed to pilot a ‘transition’ club to engage with 11/12/13 year olds as they transition from primary to secondary school, transitioning from childhood to adulthood and transitioning them from a position of ‘darkness’ (i.e. not knowing Christ) to a ‘position of light’ (knowing Christ). From here we would then look to do an academy style club for the elite players as they get older. I am really excited to see the impact we have can as children get older.
Faster, Further, Stronger
Did you catch any of the Olympic Games? Amazing wasn’t it? With the Paralympics good to go, it’s been an amazing ‘season’ of sport to enjoy. So many Olympians and Paralympians have spent years making personal sacrifices just to get to the games – an incredible achievement! As for the 974 medalists, true reward for their dedication, skill and execution when it counted. There were 307 gold medalists throughout the Olympics who now return home as ‘heroes’ with acclaim and recognition awaiting as part of a ‘changed life.
For some of these great athletes, gold means the end of the road through retirement, for others it’s looking ahead to the next competition; having received the ultimate prize; for both it’s a case of ‘What’s next?’
As you may have read in this newsletter’s ‘Highlights’ –Winning the Ultimate Race many young people on our summer sports camps chose to receive the REAL ‘ultimate prize’ by accepting Jesus Christ into their lives. The Bible says that this relationship is worth ‘more than gold.’ (1 Peter 1:7) Have you done this? If you have, it’s the greatest prize you can ever receive that will not rust away or perish – it literally lasts forever! So what next for you and those young people recently saved by Jesus?
‘And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.’ Colossians 2:6-7
Three keys come from this:
- Follow faster – You’ve made a start but don’t stop there – the proof of your desire is your pursuit.
- Go further – The strongest trees have the deepest roots; our Lord doesn’t do shallow!
- Build stronger – The foundation you build upon determines how strong you become and remain; He is our ‘Sure Foundation.’
The fruit of the above application =
- Faith – An unshakable and unwavering believer is who you become.
- Thankfulness – A consistent attitude of gratitude is how you become.
GROW for it!
Multiplication to the nations…
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7) and for those of you that love to support the work of ministry multiplication to the nations, here is our request to you and an opportunity for you:
New African Leaders gathering, Kenya, October 2-8, 2016.
At WSM we have a heart to partner with others, plant ministry teams and equip them to proclaim the gospel. Jesus told us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone,.” (Mark 16:15) and so by working with other sports ministry practitioners in the international movement, we have invited and are hosting a training and planning gathering of new leaders that have applied to partner and begin ministry teams in 12 African countries.
The week long engagement will include prayer, training, planning and ministry mapping enabling new leaders to start new ministries in new territories for Jesus.
- We need to raise £8,700 to achieve this.
- This equates to just £725 per new nation or £290 per new leader to ‘get them in the game.’
Anything you do will be so appreciated.
Thank you friends.