Kicking for Christ

Youth Soccer Evangelism Camps
by Brad Graber

An exciting movement involves soccer as a way to communicate The Gospel and connect with young people in the Congo. This idea started during the Centennial celebration of AIMM, held at Tshikapa in 2012 when Robert Irundu met Dwight Short. Together they introduced the evangelistic soccer clinics.

Since that time Robert has taken this idea to many areas of Congo with incredible success. He continues to provide leadership for future projects. You can view a video of this work at:
https://vimeo.com/175415244

Eight Successful Soccer Camps Held Since 2012:
• Tshikapa (at the 2012 celebration of AIMM)
• Mukedi
• Nyanga
• Mbuji Mayi
• Ilego
• Gungu
• Kahemba
• Ndjoko Punda

Hope for Congo’s goal:
Raise additional money for “Kicking for Christ” to reach more young people
$4,000 can reach as many as 4,000 youth for Christ

Opportunities for your involvement in these Soccer Camps:
• Say YES to help Robert financially with one of the venues this coming year
• Say YES to possibly take a team of young adults to the Congo to help with this ministry

It is only through your generous donations that Hope for Congo can continue to come along side those in Congo who wish to reach the next generation for Christ.

Your donations are tax-deductible. With your help we can be more strategic in our gospel outreach among the youth and follow up more effectively with discipleship efforts.

Make your checks payable to: Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
Designate your donation to: Hope 4 Congo and indicate “Kicking for Christ”
Monies sent to our general fund will be applied where needed.

Send your U.S. Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744

Send your Canadian Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5

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Thank you, Brad. Next week we will share an exciting strategic initiative to impact eight regional communities in Congo’s West Kasai province.

This is an effort to bring together several faith-based organizations in a collaborative effort of community development and evangelism bringing hope to the next generation.

Prayer Requests: Please pray about how you can be involved in the soccer ministry to Congo’s youth. Please continue to pray for an end to the political upheaval in the Congo.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

God’s Ways Through Soccer

football-157931_960_720The following Guest Post by Dwight Short was originally published by him on August 15, 2016

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GOD’S WAYS ARE NOT ALWAYS OUR WAYS or HOW IS THAT SOCCER WORKING?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (RSV)

In order to fly into the interior communities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July, 2012, we were told to get down to one modest suitcase and a carry-on. I had three bags with me so this meant that my oversized bag of soccer balls, volley balls, nets, and athletic equipment would have to be shipped separately.

We were also told that no soccer or sports events would be held as it would interfere with the rest of the conferences activities. Therefore it was not possible. So I decided to leave my bulky sports shoes behind in favor of one pair of dress shoes which I wore on the plane and one pair of flip flops which I wore in every other event when dress shoes were not required.

I was assured that my sports equipment would be shipped ahead. It would arrive at the same time as I would get there. In fact, that bag did not arrive until six weeks later. Long after I had returned to the USA.

Once we landed at the Tshikapa Airport, our heavier luggage was carted to the conference grounds commemorating 100 years of Christian outreach in Congo. We walked with our carry-ons a mile or so from the airport to our accommodations.

Our first stop was the church and meeting house where we were introduced to dignitaries from churches around the DRC . A young man approached me and introduced himself as Robert Irundu, the national Youth for Christ Director for Congo.

Through an interpreter Robert asked for details about the soccer clinics he had heard about. I told him we were informed they had been eliminated from the events of the week. Robert said that was not true. Indeed  we would want to have a clinic. He and his fellow youth directors were eager to spread the Gospel through soccer or in his words, “Futbol.”

In my humanness, I didn’t know how we could do a soccer clinic when we had no soccer balls or any other athletic equipment as it was tied up in the Congolese transportation system. Word soon spread that we needed help. A family of former MK’s and their spouses were both experienced players. They had brought a few soccer balls with them. We all came together to organize a soccer clinic with a Gospel Message. Somehow more than 400 kids came from all over to participate in this first event.

That experience inspired Robert and many members of the churches in Congo to duplicate this event in other communities. Recently on a trip to Ndjoko Punda, more than 4,000 young people gave their lives to Christ. What a solid reminder that we should remember that God’s Ways are always better than our ways.

We anticipate that we will be able to do many more soccer events with the message of the Gospel being shared as well as one-touch passes and penalty goals. Many would say that my involvement with soccer might be the greater miracle, but I give all credit above.

Click the link below to see how Robert and his team are using soccer for the Glory of God!  https://vimeo.com/175415244

Feel free to share this link and article in your church or small groups.

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Thank you, Dwight. We’ve all experienced those times when God has to remind us our thoughts and ways are not the same as His. His are so much higher than ours. Here are a few faces to represent the many precious young people we hope the futbol ministry reaches. h4c-youth

Soccer Clinic

We’re sharing more from the Congo Leadership Coaching Network this week.

Charles Buller says:
“One of the things we have been doing alongside our Transformational Coaching Seminars is assisting Robert Irundu (team member and President of CMCo youth) to host soccer clinics for the youth. Here’s a quick snap-shot video of the girls and boys soccer events in Nyanga on September 27-28, 2016.” (Put together for the ‘Jeuness Mennonite’ FB page.)

We’re thankful for you, our readers and for your generous support of this ministry. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and while you do, please thank the Lord for His work in the Congo.

Click on this link to Follow our ministry. On the right-hand side of the page that opens fill out your email information. You’ll receive our blog posts delivered straight to your email inbox.

CLCN Newsletter April 2016

Today we’re featuring Congo Leadership Coaching Network’s newsletter written by Charles Buller regarding his most recent trip to Congo. Please scroll through all eight pages. Enjoy!Newsletter 2016-04 copy-1 (dragged) 1Newsletter 2016-04 page-2 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-3 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-4 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-5 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-6 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-7 (dragged)Newsletter 2016-04 page-8 (dragged)

If you wish to support the work of Congo Leadership Coaching Network with Charles Buller, please contact AIMM and designate your gift for their ministry.
© 2016 Hope4Congo

 

Meet Robert Irundu

The following edited excerpts are taken from Charles Buller’s Congo Leadership Support Network December 2015 newsletter.

Robert Irundu is the youngest member of the coaching team. A passionate leader, he plays a significant role in the life of the Mennonite Community (CMCo) as pastor, community organizer, businessman, and youth president.

He and his wife, Esther, have seven children. They live in the heart of Kinshasa’s slums where he pastors a young congregation: New Covenant Mennonite Church.

Since 2011, Robert has also served as the youth leader for the CMCo community. He travels among some 800 congregations speaking to youth and organizing Bible camps.

In addition to his job as an insurance agent, he heads up the prayer ministry for the National Prayer Breakfast (counter part to the NPB in Washington, D.C.)

Regarding the Leadership Support Network, Robert said, “Our Network seeks to walk with CMCo pastors to achieve their personal goals and enable the church to move forward. The impact of this will be to raise the love quotient in the entire Mennonite community and increase the trust and support among leaders.”

Pray for Robert and the coaching team. As they manage their jobs and their ministries, they must also care for their marriage and family.

Sports Camp Evangelism

Co (1)Bible Camp 2014 TshikapaToday’s guest post is by Dwight Short.

“When I offered to be part of the contingent celebrating 100 years of ministry in Congo, my goal was to interview as many people as possible who had known my aunt, Lodema Short. I also offered to Rod Janzen, Exec. Dir. AIMM, my past experience with sports ministry through FCA and thought we might organize something for young people. We were told yes to this initiative at first and later on we were told it would not be possible. I accepted that answer while in Kinshasa trying to make weight with all my luggage and left all of my personal sport equipment behind, and shipped the bags of sports equipment via another air freight service. When we arrived in Tshikapa, I barely sat down when a young man named Robert Irundu introduced himself to me and told me he was excited about doing a soccer clinic! So, right away I am sure God is working things out that we were not able to as mere humans.

“I believe sports is the greatest tool for youth evangelism that is available to us. Because of this soccer clinic that we did on the spur of the moment in 2012, Robert has diligently planned and organized sports and Bible camps in several areas of the DRC. He wants to do many more and has built a great rapport with other pastors to make certain when kids give their lives to Christ, they will have a place to go and grow in the Lord. We had 400 kids show up for the camp in Tshikapa, and the potential to touch thousands of kids is only being limited by the resources we can provide to train and send more coaches and pastors out to share the Gospel thru sports.”

You can read more of this story via the website: http://www.mennonitemission.net/Stories/News/Pages/BiblesoccercamptrainsyouthinCongo.aspx

To support Sports Camp Evangelism Make your checks payable to: AIMM or Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. Designate your donation to: Hope 4 Congo and indicate that you want your donation to be given to the Sports Camp Evangelism project. Click on this link, AIMM for further information and AIMM’s address. Thank you in advance for your support of this tremendous project.

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©2015 Hope4Congo