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South Africa: teaching football and building faith

KEIR WILSON describes how the sports ministry Kick Kent is reaching young people with the Gospel

KEIR WILSON describes how the sports ministry Kick Kent is reaching young people with the Gospel

It was on my way home from South Africa and Lesotho where I had spent six months teaching sport and talking about Jesus in a school and an orphanage there, that I felt God wanted me to start a sports ministry in Kent.

After doing some training with Kick London and getting qualified, I organised the first outreach academy.  Fifteen young people attended for 10 weeks to learn more about football and God’s goodness and plan for them.

We had a great response from schools after the first year.  Now, coming up to four years later, we have worked in more than 30 schools and six Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) across Kent and have reached over 4,000 young people.

Two years ago Sport Relief recognised that we were having an impact on children’s lives.  They funded our outreach programmes and invited us to showcase the scheme at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

We ran one of most recent outreach programmes alongside Youth Alpha, but this time it didn’t seem to work with the kids.  A youth worker and I decided to pray and see what God wanted to say to these young people.

As I was praying I sensed that God was saying “left ear”.  We told the young people that we had prayed for them and asked God for words. I said that I got “ left ear” and one of the young people, Charlie, gasped and said that she had a left ear infection. We prayed for her and this led to more young people asking us every week if God had a word for them. Two of the young people decided to come on our Christian holiday!

More recently I went out to Papua New Guinea to run an academy with the street children in Port Moresby. I also flew into the jungle with Ken Kenamu who runs a charity that helps young people get a good education so they can be self-dependent rather than join a gang.

Next month (3-7 April) the Kick Kent team and friends will be running across Kent to raise money to help build an airstrip in Pori, Papua New Guinea and to help fund Kick Kent Community Academies. Kick Kent will also be working with the Medway churches as part of the More Than Gold outreach for the 2012 Games.

www.kickkent.org.uk

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