Family Matters

May 6, 2021 | Sports Friends Africa, Sports Friends Nigeria

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16)

Although the COVID-19 crisis has caused much suffering, our coaches are seeing amazing opportunities to deliver critical aid to players’ families that are struggling, and more and more homes are opening up to receive them. One young person comes from a family of nine, and because of his connection to Sports Friends his family received not only the food that they needed but also the presence, encouragement, and love of God through his coach. Many young people and their families are recognizing the help of their coaches as a direct answer to their prayers, and are choosing to truly follow Christ because of how He is caring for them. God is on the move in Nigeria. 

Icy (Sports Friends’ coordinator of the aid distribution in Nigeria) visited the home of one family he knew, and the father opened the door. Four of this man’s children play on Sports Friends teams, so Icy told him that he had come to share food supplies with the family. The father was surprised, and exceedingly grateful because he had never expected his children’s coaches to share in such a way with his family; he had only hoped the government would send help. Though this father had always encouraged his children to attend Sunday school and worship services with the Sports Friends team before, now he excitedly said there was nothing and no one that could keep them from joining them for worship. He stopped in that very moment to pray for the Sports Friends leaders, coaches, and ministry!

Because of the critical help that God has sent through Sports Friends, many more young people are asking to be a part of teams. They want to join this community that cares about them even enough to share their own food in times of distress. This is the mark of God’s people, to love their neighbors as themselves, and others are recognizing it. Our team is expecting up to double the number of young people to participate on teams after restrictions are lifted; they are praying for more coaches to train in order to meet the demand!

Coaches Trainer Moses says, “Young people have seen the Light [of Christ] through our lives, and they are playing differently. They work differently. We are encouraging them to be more serious with their lives, and we are asking the Lord to help us further impact them.”

Leaders and coaches are also opening up their own homes to friends and neighbors who have lost their incomes and have no money for food, medication, or housing. Some are hosting up to 16 other people in their homes, caring for their most basic needs, sharing their own family’s food.

Join us in praying for more coaches, more provision, more passion, more endurance, hope, and courage to continue building the kingdom of God in Nigeria. Pray for this future generation that is being changed forever through witnessing love, generosity, and servant leadership in unexpected and powerful ways. 

We pray for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, but in the meantime we seek every opportunity to demonstrate the presence and mercy of God right in the midst of it. 

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