Uplifting each other through sport

Two local churches joined Logos Hope’s football-playing crewmembers for fellowship in a friendly tournament. During the downtime, each crewmember introduced themselves; giving their name, country and sharing something about what they do on board the vessel.

Gary Joseph (Trinidad and Tobago) made an analogy, comparing the volunteers’ duties and the roles of different members within Christ's Body, the Church. He encouraged the footballers to take up the role they were given by God and to be actively involved in their churches’ ministry.

Shane Bachan, from Curepe Pentecostal’s football team, recalls, “Gary said that just as each role on the ship serves an important purpose, each role in ministry is important for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.”

Before kick-off, the teams mingled and joined in a prayer circle as they committed their time together into God's hands. “The volunteers were open and friendly. The guys from our churches were excited and eager to play. A few were even disappointed that they had to stop and give another team a chance,” says Shane. “I wish we’d had more time together.”

Juan Velez (Colombia) met a church member who spoke Spanish and told Juan he had visited his country. A few days later, the man visited the ship and the two could talk further.

“I love football," Juan says. "We all have the same passion and it gives us an easy way to talk with people. Football is a contact sport, so you could get angry easily without thinking. Our good behaviour is a part of our witness and a way to glorify God. You can do that by apologising and giving them a hand if you make a foul. Spending time with them was special.”

“The feedback I received from both sides was overwhelmingly positive,” Shane says. “Everyone was hyped when they heard they had an opportunity to play against Logos Hope’s team. Both church teams had a blast and many players said that the three-hour event was too short!”

“In the end, what mattered most was the fellowship. Everyone came together; this is important if we are to support each other in Christ." Shane wished the ship's volunteers well: "May Logos Hope’s team keep this work up. You don’t only minister to those who don't know Jesus, but you also provide a catalyst for renewed and improved relationships among the Church.”