Saturday, August 22, 2009

We are traveling

Joy will be teaching Stewardship in the Otavalo Women's Institute next week. Then we are off to Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for the next two weeks to meet with staff there.

More High Power Soccer

Wow! A team from Hillsboro, Oregon Alliance Church came to Ecuador and worked with us to present High Power Soccer to the Carcelen Alliance Church. Here are some photos to look at.

The youth of Carcelén are dedicated to service and helped with this program very well. They had already done two other Vacation Bible Schools earlier this Summer.

What is exciting is that this has been the most effective program that we have ever seen to present the gospel to children so that they can understand and share it with others. Soccer is the drawing card to bring in unchurched children. It worked. We had a very small group - perfect for learning. Forty children signed up and 15 of those made professions of faith.

This church is faithful in training children, so they will get a good grounding.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

High Power Soccer in Guayaquil

Hans and Luli Facanha (pronounced Fah-sah-nya) held High Power Soccer in Spanish in
Guayaquil, Ecuador February 9 to 13. It was a wonderful success. I visited on Wednesday and arrived in a downpour of rain. That does not stop soccer.

86 children participated at a rented outdoor, artificial turf soccer complex. In Guayaquil many of the young ladies do not like to play soccer so tables were set up with handcrafts and they enjoyed those. Most of the children took the opportunity to practice soccer drills, learn new skills, work as a team, and burn up some energy. After about 30 minutes,
the rain stopped and the drills continued. An hour later the activities were stopped for drama, music, stories, and Bible lessons started. Following the lessons they broke up into their teams for a more personal application time. Hans estimated that at least 30% of the children were non believers. Luli also commented that even among churched children, many were unsure of their salvation and this was a time to help their faith.

We are excited about this possibility for many churches in Ecuador as this was just the turn out for one church. We have requests to do this in other cities and even one camp ground asked that we do it there during this vacation period for them.

One of our Awana goals in Ecuador is to become self sustaining and not need financial support from the U.S. We are investigating the possibility of starting a ministry under Awana, where we would have a soccer complex such as this that rents out at around $50.00 an hour for each court. (Hans got a discount for his group.) If we can find donors who would help purchase a piece of land large enough for 2-3 soccer fields, then put artificial turf on it, we could hold evangelistic soccer camps year round. Proceeds would help fund Awana in Ecuador. We could reach hundreds of children that would not darken the doors of the church, and there are many believing professional soccer players that we could call on for assistance.

If you have suggestions, comments, or warnings, we welcome them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

High Power Soccer in Spanish

We were able to start a new program called High Power Soccer - Futbol de Alto Poder -- an Awana program for a Vacation Bible School type program in Catamayo, Ecuador. Catamayo is in the Southern part of Ecuador near Loja. The program teaches soccer skills (of which I have none) and give an evangelistic lesson each day.

A workteam from Verndale Alliance Church in Minnesota came Mid November to help do some construction. While there we decided for them to try out this new program. The pastor expected about 20 children to participate but did go to a local school and promoted the program.

At the end of the week there were over 150 children who were participating many of whom made professions of faith. The neighborhood was thrilled with the program and has allowed the church to paint the Awana game square on the community ball court. Over 50 children are attending the Awana club weekly now.