Brazilian-born David Said, FCA leader in Greece, has grown up around Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But, while active in his faith, Said never saw the avenue for ministry that sports provide. This changed a few years ago, and now Said has taken hold of the task God has given him to reach athletes in Athens.
Said started his coaching career in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2015 that faith and sport collided when he connected with a wrestling coach from California who came to Greece for a camp. This was the first time Said saw sports ministry on his mats. Said met another man on a plane ride who told Him about FCA and 3D Coaching® ministry, and he knew God was drawing him into something new.
“I loved it and watched the faith-based add on’s,” noted Said. “Every time I heard coaches share their heart and Scripture, I thought, This is it. This is where I belong.”
Rock Sports Club Vision:
To impact athletes, coaches, their families and friends with the Gospel
Mark Hull, Director of 3Dimensional Coaching®, connected Said to Divisional VP North Global Andriy Kravtsov to become a sports ministry leader in his country.
Along that timeline, at a life crossroads while visiting Brazil with his family, Said sensed God directing him to go back to Greece and open his own gym. A month later, after receiving funds, he and his wife found a location and opened up Rock Sports Club (named after Psalm 18).
“We knew God was transitioning us to work freely in this area,” Said stated. “God was bringing people to us who opened their hearts and were open to prayer. The message of God was flowing.”
When COVID-19 closed down operation in the country, Said shifted from large classes to individual sessions as well as virtual classes. This actually provided more opportunities to minister to students because of the one-on-one time and conversation.
One student reached out and opened conversation on spiritual matters. Said handed the student a copy of the New Testament and pointed him to read the book of John. The next time they met, the student had follow-up questions he wanted to discuss. Another student came to tell Said he could no longer participate due to injuries. Said offered to pray with him, so they stepped away from the current class while Said took the man’s injuries to the Lord. Afterward, the man said told him no one has ever prayed for him in his entire life. And yet another student shared that he began praying again after conversation over a meal with Said at his home.
“These are opportunities I’d never have because I’d have full classes or minutes between classes,” Said marveled.
Said believes God has more of those special moments in store as people are drawn to his gym and genuine connection. More young couples and families are attending classes as Greece reopens. There’s a small playground in a section of the gym for kids, and Said and his wife Maria have opened up their home for coffee conversations. Said’s presenting the mission and vision for Greece and is working to connect with other sports coaches. When he shared about FCA with a soccer coach, the coach said, “I feel like I’m alone, but I believe God can use my situation to connect others.”
Thankful for the relationships he’s made with people like Hull and Kravtsov, Said is eager for what God will continue to do through sports and his Jiu-Jitsu gym. He’s keeping his eyes open for further conversations with students, attentive to where the Holy Spirit leads.
For Said, it is evident that God is on the move.
David Said continues to pursue ministry in Greece. Please pray for safety and health for his family, for more believers to join staff and coaches to get involved at the gym and in making disciples who make disciples.
Click here to support Said and his ministry, and visit www.fcaworld.org to learn more about what God is doing around the globe through FCA.