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.