“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” – Ephesians 4:16
Mike’s relationship with Sports Outreach began innocently enough in January 2017 when inspired by the Queen of Katwe movie, he went online and donated to the Sports Outreach Ministry (SOM) chess program in Kampala, Uganda. Fast forward to June 2018 when Mike (who lives in New Zealand) emailed the Lynchburg office, as he had an email address from his 2017 donation receipt, with a heartfelt request—“I am trying to manage the rescue and transportation of [my fiancée and her brother’s] family members who are currently situated in Nyal, South Sudan having being displaced from their homes. Of greatest concern is their mother Nyadeng, a widow, who is suffering from emotional depression since the death of her eldest son Michael, a Catholic Priest [murdered sometime in July 2017].”
With help from Aloysius Kyazze and others in Northern Uganda, the family (two adults and five children, ranging in age from 1 to 10) arrived at the Good News Community Center (Koro Farm) in September 2018 to stay in one of the five Peace Huts constructed by SOI for Sudanese refugee families. They were exhausted and defeated, having traveled with very little, their only clothing being what they wore. The first few months at Koro were very tough with the family needing time to just rest and catch up from their long time as refugees. Though only a country away, the language barrier was isolating, and the Ugandan food was much different; they were foreigners living in a foreign land.
Moving on to March 2019 and we find the family attending worship on Sundays, and the children attending classes at Morgan Pre-school. The family also tends a small garden and raises a few rabbits. The mother, Elizabeth Nyamuc, now sells produce at the market and, according to Aloysius, “there is peace in the entire family.”
We share this story because sometimes the sports ministry God uses to spread His Gospel and alleviate human suffering is not the one outside on a soccer pitch, or at a chessboard. For Mike, it was simply through watching a movie about chess and being moved to “join the mission” that led to a chain of events that brought his fiancée’s family to wholeness on the other side of the world. So many people played a part to get Elizabeth’s family to Koro Farm that you just must give God all the glory!
As you begin the year 2020, how is God asking you to play a part in His great story of redemption? Perhaps it is with Sports Outreach through sponsoring a child, volunteering to help at a local sports camp, committing to pray regularly for the ministry, or signing up to be a monthly supporter. If you need other ideas of how you can partner with Sports Outreach please let us know. Together we are restoring hope and transforming lives!
Blessings in the New Year!
The Sports Outreach Ministry Team
*In case you haven’t heard, the Lynchburg office has moved to 2306 Bedford Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24503 and we are loving our new space! Our mailing address remains PO Box 11855, Lynchburg, VA 24506.
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P.O. BOX 11855 LYNCHBURG, VA 24506
INFO@SPORTSOUTREACH.NET | 434-582-4707