Before I became a follower of Jesus I was wholeheartedly pursuing a career in professional soccer. While I was touring Europe playing soccer God revealed himself to me and I felt compelled to leave the sport and serve Him in full-time ministry.
Fast forward a few years and my wife and I had moved to Redding to attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. While at school we made connection with an incredible missionary named Tracy Evans who invited us to go to Mozambique to run soccer clinics. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world yet the children and adults love soccer and will often use anything for a ball, even plastic bags held together with string. This seemed like the perfect convergence of all my passions. At the end of the school year my wife and I were offered positions as full-time pastors at a church in Melbourne, Australia. So, we returned to our homeland with what felt like a divine dream: to organize a team of eight leaders from our new church and head to Africa to run soccer clinics.
When our team arrived in Mozambique to run our first soccer clinic we had one hundred and twenty energetic and enthusiastic fourth through eighth grade students. It was inspiring to see the passion within these beautiful children as they played each activity wholeheartedly. As we coached them, we used soccer analogies to teach them Biblical principles. In the middle of the second day, I shared how Jesus rescued and redeemed me from an abusive home and placed me into a loving, adoptive family who showed me how to be a son and no longer live like an orphan. Many of these kids were touched to the heart by this message of hope and as we prayed for them they began to be set free and healed. Forty kids gave their life to Jesus during that clinic.
At the second clinic we expected four hundred high school students but ended up with eight hundred! Again, I shared my story and six hundred students responded by making a decision to invite Jesus to be Lord of their life. Over the next few days we taught them about their new identity as sons and daughters of the King, how to pray, how to listen to God and how to prophesy. The students responded by boldly stepping out in faith praying for each other and prophesying. This trip blew my mind! God brought me full circle, allowing me to not only teach my sport but to also lead more than six hundred kids into the greatest life there is-a life in Christ Jesus.