Sports break down barriers of cultures and tradition. We’re all the same on the court or field. Playing a sport is a great way to connect and share the love of Christ to others. The OC team in Taiwan is committed to building relationships and supporting local church communities through sports ministry.
New Year Winter Sports Camp
Shuang Lien Presbyterian Church and the OC Taiwan team finished the third annual New Year Winter camp with encouraging outcomes. Out of the 56 campers, 23 kids accepted Jesus as their personal Savior! With the theme of “courage,” Alex, an OC worker in Taiwan, says he learned something about young people’s struggles with envy and comparing themselves to others.
“So often (young people) feel a lack of confidence, trust, anger, insecurity, and fear. I was thankful a couple of our coaches shared testimonies about their experiences with the same struggles,” says Alex. “Pastor Peng’s message was powerful as he made the challenge for them to ask Jesus to be their Savior and Lord.”
Support for Young Believers
There is great need for prayer for these young believers from camp. Most come from families who worship idols in temples as well as worshiping their own ancestors, so growing in their faith may be challenging without support.
Over the Chinese New Year many young believers face challenges and pressure from families. “Younger believers struggle with the tension of honoring God in their life while trying to honor their families when they are asked to worship in the temples during this superstitious holiday,” says Jeff, an OC worker. “I praise God for mature believers who can share with new believers, particularly with the youth who are still living at home, on how they have been able to deal with this in their life.”
Jeff shares the story of Howard, who is an encouragement to others in this issue. “Howard, a counselor at the summer sports and English camp, shared that whenever he is asked to accompany his family to worship in the temple, he tells his parents he will go and pray with them, but he is praying to the one true God for their salvation,” Jeff says.
Developing Youth Programs
Jeff continues to work on developing multiple club programs at public schools and invites students to weekend programs where they share the gospel. They hope to also organize friendly competitions between schools. “The goal is to use these clubs to develop the relationships necessary to share the gospel on a deeper level and to invite them to attend a local church,” Jeff says.
One of these clubs is for a game called Dodgebee. “Our ministry received 12 Dodgebee discs from a supporter in the U.S.,” Jeff says. “Dodgebee is dodgeball with a specially padded disc. It has become very popular in Asia and has taken root in some places in Taiwan.”
For these programs a challenge is to find local churches who will “adopt” a school nearby and run a club program. This is an important prayer request for the team.
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for churches to “adopt” schools and run a club so kids can learn about Christ.
- Pray for young believers as they navigate growing in their faith and honoring their families.
- Pray for upcoming events that may be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Pray for wisdom for organizers, governments, and those great effected by the virus.
Sports Ministries One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge uses sports as a vehicle to create opportunities for sharing the gospel, planting churches, helping churches engage their communities, and developing disciple-making networks. Contact the OC Sports Ambassadors at SA@oci.org