In days where distancing can wear on one’s spirit and mind, FCA Korea connected athletes together for prayer, community and worship through a 100k virtual run and in-person summer Fields of Faith.
Leading up to the July 3rd event held in Siheung City, Yongin City Area Rep Chris Kim and other FCA Korea staff encouraged athletes, coaches, friends and family to participate in the run held through the month of June. Sixty-one participants ran and prayed for their country, families and ministries.
“While the pandemic limits us to host bigger events like overnight camps this year, we had to be creative to still impact people for Christ. We came up with the 100km challenge to engage people virtually for the month of June and at the end of the challenge host a small-sized, impactful event,” said Paul Lee, FCA Korea Director.
Participants came from all over Korea, like soccer player Shin-young Kim, who joined from her hometown of Mokpo, nearly 400km away. Shin-Young is a member of a weekly virtual soccer Huddle who signed up for the run and made the long trek to Siheung City, where, under the blinking lights of skyscrapers, athletes gathered at the center of a soccer field wearing masks and social distancing to sing, pray and listen to faith stories and hear the Gospel of Jesus.
The evening shifted hearts and tilted perspectives like Shin-young’s, who was stunned to see people worshipping God on the athletic field.
“Shin-young never imagined that the field could be turned into a place of worship and hope,” said Kim. “She was greatly encouraged to realize that she can worship the Lord literally anywhere and anytime.”
Added Shin-Young, “I am thankful for this opportunity to fellowship with other believers on the field and to learn what it is like to be a bold follower of Christ.”
“It was even more powerful in such a time as this. Everyone is going through a hard time with work and study,” Kim said. “But we saw the power of Christian community and Jesus as the head of the church-- He never fails us. He is our only hope, who we find peace in. That simple truth touched our hearts.”
Shin-Young testifies to the heart change that comes from both Fields of Faith and her Huddle. “It seemed like my life throughout the week revolved around nothing, but joining a weekly Huddle has helped me learn God’s love for me as well as helped me stay focused on Jesus. I look forward to Huddle every time and sharing lives with other female athletes.”
With preparation for a second run and Fields of Faith in the fall in the works, perhaps fellowship is just what is needed to fill a great need of belonging among such isolation. Chris believes the time is right for deeper connection through the grace of God. In a season where ministry could have been different, the goodness of God was evident.
“It may have felt difficult, but a few more Huddles formed--something I didn’t expect. And we expected a drop in donors, but we could see God sustain. He keeps us all in His hands and provides. I am so thankful,” he said.
FCA Korea held its first Fields of Faith two years ago and has great vision to see it grow and gain the attention of more who do not yet know the Lord. They are encouraging participants to invite nonbelieving peers to join them for the next 100k challenge in October and Fields of Faith in November, with the hope of building intentional relationships for life-changing moments and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to powerfully spread.
To those daring to reach out amidst the distancing, this is the power of belonging at its best.
Want to get involved with FCA Korea? Pray for more staff to join the ministry, and consider giving some of your own time and resources to help spread the Gospel to Korean coaches and athletes!