Right Place, Right Time

Aug 15, 2022 | Sports Friends Canada

A few years ago, Charles and his family were disappointed to have to return to their home in Canada after having served with Sports Friends in South America. Charles loved connecting with youth and young adults by inviting them to the football (soccer) field. He loved building relationships with them and speaking into their lives with Christ’s wisdom, encouragement, and love. He loved meeting the families of those young people, shining the light of Jesus into their lives and homes from his position as a coach. Most of all he loved to see churches rise up to build sports ministries that cultivate a rich, sustainable method of loving their neighbors well and training young disciples of Jesus Christ from all nations. Rerouting back to Canada wasn’t what he had planned. Through diligent prayer his family sought what God had next for them to do.

Then the pandemic descended on the earth and almost everything everywhere simply stopped.

Bob was working with SIM in Canada to help churches engage people groups who do not recognize Jesus as God, whether they lived halfway around the world or right next door. Bob spent his lockdown time working on a proposal for how to reach a particular people group with more than 700,000 living in his own country. They belong to an Asian diaspora that has lived in Canada for over 100 years, yet very few Canadian churches had attempted to engage them in a way that could truly infuse the grace and truth of Christ to their families. Bob was looking for multiple platforms that could welcome these distinctly different families into meaningful relationship with followers of Christ. Bob knew of the Sports Friends model at work in other nations SIM served, and he wondered if that might be just what they needed now in Canada. 

Regie was also on the ground in Canada, working as Director of Mobilization for the SIM Canada office. Her team (including Bob) was focusing not only on recruiting workers for international ministry needs, but also seeking opportunity to engage and educate churches in their home country to be aware of the diverse populations that surround them in Canadian cities, then equip churches to minister to them well. This task of mobilizing believers to serve Jesus faced a tremendous challenge when the world locked down. Regie’s team quickly developed ways of interacting with churches remotely and launched SIM+, an ongoing series of webinars workshops presenting ministry-related topics, techniques, and opportunities. Through this virtual platform, churches from across the country were tuning in to find more creative ways to minister to others from home. 

All of a sudden the stage was set! Charles, Bob and Regie were all precisely in the position for God to make this next move. The need had been there for ages, and it was time for a fresh response. Regie had dedicated technological practices in place to span the miles that people could not, further networking strategic servants of Christ to cooperate and train together. Bob, precisely assigned to inspire and implement outreaches among Canadian churches, had vision to use non-traditional methods to minister specifically to a people who carefully avoided Christian influence. And Charles, the trained and experienced Sports Friends worker, was back in Canada waiting for God to make his next assignment in sports ministry clear. As He does, God took notice of a people He loved yet who had no access to Him; He met every need for His disciples to become the access point, then beckoned His dispersed Church to unite and take action.