Around the world, Lutheran Hour Ministries outreach centers use sports as an effective tool in gathering youth, building relationships with them and telling them the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. In May, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Ghana sponsored a multi-sport event they named the Luther Sports Fiesta. The festival featured competitions in which everyone can participate—a Bible quiz, an egg-and-spoon race, a fill-the-bottle race, a sack race, and so on—along with a soccer match that was the climax of the day’s activities.
The Luther Sports Fiesta was not all fun and games: “The objective for the event was to bring the youth of the local Lutheran churches together and to encourage their faith” says Lutheran Hour Ministries—Ghana Director Justice Oman. “The ministry used this opportunity to share the Word of God with participants and to encourage the youth to read their Bibles, meditate and pray to help build their faith in Jesus Christ.
“For many, this was also a time to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones,” Justice adds. Fellowship among the youth from local parishes has on occasion been strained, but this event, he says, helped the youth to “build bridges of love.”
Participant Joshua Purpry agrees: “This was an opportunity for renewal of faith and the commitment to promote God’s work in unity,” he said.
As a bonus, says Justice, “About a hundred young people participated, and the ministry received 84 responses to our outreach.” He concludes that, at the end of the day, “This really was not about who wins which sporting activity….”
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1