In Latin America, soccer clubs represent billions of dollars in revenue and create some of the most dedicated fans globally. The pressures to perform and the celebrity status that comes alongside success can be a delicate balancing act for even the most
experienced athlete. FCA invests in individuals at every level of competition, seeking to reach the heart of every coach and athlete across the globe.
This year, 43 leaders completed a chaplaincy training program to serve soccer players across Latin America. Luis Sepúlveda, FCA Chaplain Coordinator for Latin America, and Julio Gomez, VP Latin America North International Region, led the program.
The course was designed to place chaplains with teams across the region. Classes were held over ten weeks and included 40 hours of online instruction. Gomez is a former professional soccer player and understands firsthand the pressures faced by athletes
at the highest levels of competition. He credits FCA ministry partner Luis Sepúlveda with casting the vision of chaplains in Latin America. Since 2005, Sepúlveda has been serving high-performance and elite athletes throughout Latin America
as a chaplain. Participants came from nine different countries and included current chaplains, pastors, missionaries, coaches, athletes and even a referee. Although their backgrounds varied greatly, each person signed up to minister to teams in their home countries.
Susana Muñoz participated in the program from her home in Chile. She looks forward to joining FCA in ministry and serving as a chaplain. “The training time in the chaplaincy course was really key for my life, personally and for my family
and ministry,” she said. “Reinforcing themes regarding our servant hearts toward God and for those we serve strengthened my responsibility and unwavering commitment to God's desire for my life. I must be willing and dedicated to the world
of sports and athletes.
Muñoz added, “The study time impacted me so much, it exceeded the expectations I had regarding the course. I am now even more sure that God is in the midst of this global ministry and I am also convinced I'm to be part of it. Glory to God.”
In addition to training the individual participants to serve as team chaplains, the program is also creating a supportive network for ministry partners. The 40 trained chaplains will have the opportunity to meet during competitions at elite sporting events
like the Central American Games and the Pan American Games. Some of the participants who have completed the program are planning to recruit and train other chaplains to serve alongside them, helping to reach even more teams in their country.
FCA believes God gave this opportunity, in this time, to invest in leaders. Together, the passion and experiences of these individuals are helping move the ministry forward. FCA is excited to see the positive impact these empowered chaplains will make
in the future and believes their ministry will reach countless coaches and athletes with the message of the Gospel, raising up disciples to serve their teams, cities and countries.
Learn more about FCA in Latin America!