Soccer ball helps reach Ghana for Jesus Christ
JOPLIN – A team of six Missouri Baptist short-term missionaries from Forest Park Baptist Church, Joplin, recently set out to reach people in Ghana for Christ with a five-colored soccer ball.
Pastor Arturo Nunez of Iglesia Bautista Communidad Cristiana de Joplin helped lead the team in January as they traveled to Kumasi, Ghana, in West Africa. They used the Ghana Baptist University and College / School of Theology facilities to play soccer with dozens of Muslim people as a means of sharing the Gospel.
The pastor took several soccer balls to introduce the plan of salvation, using the five key colors: black, red, white, green and yellow. He invited young people to come and play with him with the promise to give away those soccer balls to every team who would participate.
The first afternoon around 100 people showed up. After playing the first half, he gathered them on the midfield to share the Gospel. That resulted in around 60 salvations. The next evening more teams came, and when it came time to pray for salvation they were called by Muslim leaders to stop whatever they were doing to pray to Allah. They ignored that call and kept on praying to Jesus as around 100 salvations were recorded. They celebrated their salvations in Christ and received their soccer balls as a gift of the love of God.
All of the new believers were introduced to a local pastor for follow-up purposes. The very next Sunday those people awakened at 6 a.m. to play soccer and go to church. That gave the pastor a full church for the first time in his life. Some seminary students are now helping that pastor in the work.
“We praise our Lord for all the things he is doing around the world,” Nunez said. “We ask you to support in prayer those new Ghanian believers.”