Soccer and the Gospel
Soccer and the Gospel
By Lino Pascacio
Your servant, Pastor Lino Pascacio, greets you from Panama. I would like to tell you about the Jerusalem Free Will Baptist Church located in the eastern part of Panama. In 2017, our church worked on different fronts to rescue souls. Philippians 4:19 reminds us: “My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Trusting God’s Word, we have worked on numerous projects and emphasized a new program in the community of Cañita—soccer.
The Jerusalem Soccer Club has greatly impacted our community this year. This project has prompted a movement. We have had an influence in homes, schools where they teach secular classes, and government institutions. At the beginning of the soccer project, we were concerned about finances. The club required a financial investment we did not have. We saw the hand of the Lord at work as the young people themselves helped meet the financial costs. During the season, they scheduled sales of rice with milk to raise money for uniforms and sports equipment. They purchased their first uniforms to participate in sporting events in different areas of Cañita. Then, they began traveling to other regions of Panama to represent the church with their sports talent.
Many young adults and teenagers in our church have been reached through sports outreach.
God sent young people with needs to this program. Not only health needs but spiritual and material ones. We serve young people with drug addictions. We serve young people with behavioral problems at school. Through the soccer project, we meet the needs of young people in extreme poverty. We work with young people who have learning problems in school.
THE SOCCER PROJECT IS BASED ON A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPAL—REACH LIVES WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Our community has been negatively impacted by the numerous problems of young people in our society. What a great impact our church had! We saw lives changed, and souls were added to the Kingdom and our congregation. They are young, and as young sheep, they have challenging problems that need attention. We cannot solve these problems with our human strength; but by grace, by the favor and wisdom of our Lord, we have been able to minister to the diverse needs of these youth.
Brothers, we have also reached into the public schools in Cañita, since teachers are unable to deal with these kinds of problems. School leaders have taken notice of our church, and admire the church for this vision to reach young people and adolescents.
The soccer project is based on a fundamental principal—reach lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Recently, we inaugurated a second club named Soccer B Club. These events in our town of Cañita, in the region of Chepo, have had a huge impact on us and on our community.
We discovered young people not only have a talent for sports, but also a wide variety of other talents. As we cared for the youth, we came to realize they have talents in drama, singing, and playing instruments. In just the last few months of 2017, young people started helping the children’s ministry—working with children, Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School.
Because of the musical talent of the young people, we introduced music to our sports team, beginning a Christian music band. The young people use the Christian band to perform at public civic events in our district. Thanks to the Lord, we have reached homes and youth through sports.
Thanks to the Lord, today we have many young people serving in our church, and we pray they will produce the fruit of repentance in our community.
From Panama, we send greetings and ask for your prayers.
About the Writer: Pastor Lino is a graduate of the Chame Bible Institute. Contributions to the World Missions Offering support ministry in Panama: fwbgo.com/wmo