This month the Northland FCA trip to our Global Region of Southern Africa was incredibly productive and encouraging in multiple areas. It was trip of partnerships, trainings, transitions and seeing God’s mighty hand at work.
The teamwork was very encouraging through current partnerships and the establishment of new ones. We were hosted by our OM Sportslink partners in Kabwe, Zambia. Our team was joined immediately by David Waters from Cape Town, SA, who works in the Ubuntu ministry and was our soccer expert. While we conducted training, Mark Hull and Silas Mullis went to Malawi to establish a relationship and an official partnership with Linje Nankhuni and his new NGO, Athletes for Christ and Development (ACAD). Upon their return, we were joined by Christo Spies, the new executive director of SCAS in South Africa (past partner of IMPACT program). We were also able to connect with several contacts in Lusaka where we have done training in the past.
Our team of staff and coaches did an excellent job training the 56 coaches who joined us for 3D Coaching, and training on how to better play and coach the sports of soccer, volleyball and basketball. We were learners as well, as our original partner, Simon Mwanamoya, gave our team an overview of Discovery Bible Study (DBS) process, and quickly delegated them to lead small groups with the coaches each morning. This was a highlight for our team, but the hour-long discussions ended too quickly. A huge praise was seeing a volleyball coach come to faith in Christ through the DBS study time. This Coaches Huddle was led by a college coach and the spouse of a staff person on our team.
It was a positive time for transitions. Our OM Sportslink partner and friend Christiaan Welman is moving to Germany soon and hosted a Braai (South African cookout) for us on Saturday evening. Christo is the new executive director of SCAS. Mark Hull is now full-time as the 3-D International Coordinator. This trip was Mark’s final responsibility as our outgoing part-time Regional International Coordinator (RIC). Our incoming Northland RIC, Luke Jelen, was able to come on this trip with his wife and observe ministry. He helped with soccer, shared his testimony and presented the Gospel at the Saturday morning tournament in front of hundreds of students. Luke’s time sitting around the table with these many international ministry partners and learn of the past and future was priceless.
As if we hadn’t experienced God’s hand enough in every step of our trip, we were blown away by seeing His creation as our adventure came to a close. Our team building and debriefing activities included visiting Victoria Falls and going on a safari at nearby Chobe Park, Botswana. Both were awe-inspiring and rewarding. Our sharing time together while breaking bread afterward was filled with laughter, tears and prayer. This was truly a one-of-a-kind trip, and I am so thankful to God for the opportunity and the work He did in each of us, and in those He allowed us to work with during this time.