FCA Ghana Director Vincent Asamoah is a quiet, soft spoken man with kind black eyes and a welcoming spirit. But get him talking about his home country of Ghana and the impact a ball and hoop can have, and watch him spit fire from his soul.
Introducing a sport other than soccer to a nation takes time, patience, and passion. Fortunately, Asamoah has all three. He works relentlessly to love and serve coaches and athletes while combating society’s painted image of basketball players as nothing but a negative influence.
“I tell them basketball was started by a believer,” he said. “And if it was started by a believer, why should people who play not be people of faith?
“Let us play sports for the glory of God and enjoy the game.”
A friend once asked why Asamoah, a pastor, wanted to get involved in sport ministry. How could sports and faith go together?
He responded that sports has everything to do with faith. It’s fun and breaks iron barriers. Asamoah told the story of soccer and the country’s civil war. Amidst the bloodshed and terror, Ghana’s soccer team competed in the World Cup. During the tournament, both sides laid down their weapons in temporary ceasefire to support their nation in sport and honor.
To those who wonder whether a ball and Jesus have anything in common, Asamoah adamantly proclaims: sport is special.
And after years of planting, buds are beginning to sprout for Shoot 4 Life, Asamoah’s basketball ministry.
Thanks to a donation by a local chief, they now have seven acres of land ripe for a sports complex, and opportunities for additional basketball courts continue to affirm hearts are heading in the right direction. Most importantly, the word of God spreads to many coaches and young athletes.
“I pray for God to continue His provision for the ministry because we still need a lot of support,” said Asamoah. “We need resources. The work is growing.” He’d love to expand the borders of basketball and spread this relatively unknown sport to courts across the continent.
Spurred on by the certainty that God indeed uses the upside down to turn hearts straight, Asamoah’s own heart continues to kindle the spark of seeing his country transformed.
“It is such an encouragement that God is really at work through something as simple as sports,” he affirmed. “Changed hearts, to bring people to the Lord, brings a much needed change of attitude and lives.”
Watch a video of Shoot 4 Life Ministries here
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Photos courtesy of Baylor Spiritual Life and Shoot 4 Life Ministries