Sports Ministry – YWAM Boyz
The Holy Spirit is sweeping through the Caribbean impacting youth through YWAM Sports ministries, evidenced by the wave of soccer teams being established in this part of the world! As Liliana Valencia, of YWAM Belize stated, “we didn’t need to go looking for a ministry…”
By the efforts of Santiago Valencia, Director of YWAM Belize, Banana Bank base and Charles Williams, Sports Ministry staff member, a team began to materialize as “boys from the Roaring Creek area began to come, one after the other,” said Liliana. Given the fact that the Roaring Creek is a dangerous community, the base was a safe and secure place during after school hours. A soccer team was built. It is a delight for all to see the skill of this group of boys on the field, whose ability, through the great coaching of ‘Santi’ and Charles would bring them to a nearly undefeated season!
The program, now one year old, is shaping the life of each boy! “They come every day,” Lili stated. “We welcome them, feed them, train them.” At any time you can see freshly laundered soccer uniforms hanging outside her kitchen window. As well, soccer shoes lined up on the patio railing, as she has become their mom away from home, and the coaches right-hand helper! Areas of focus are Discipline, Team work, Respect, and Spiritual influence. An upcoming Spiritual Retreat is planned; an estimated one-half of the team, ranging in age 10-14, know Jesus. Team sports offer the boy’s purpose; they are accountable to one another. Many have come from dysfunctional, broken homes. “We are exposing them to something else….reaching the kids, and reaching the parents through their kids,” Lili explained.
In the beginning the kids were quite out of control. Initially, our focus was discipline training,” she said. In addition, “When the National Team visited we took the kids to watch them train. Some of those players took special interest in our members. That was one of the turning points for our boys. They began to take much more serious their soccer training at the base.”
Santiago and Liliana personally sponsor every player by paying game fees, supplying and washing team uniforms, transportation to and from games, snacks and often the daily ‘meals’ when the boys are on base. Sometimes there is little to feed the kids, but they do what they can. Plans are underway to establish the ‘YWAM Boys Pantry.’ This would be great help in providing snack and meals for the boys. In addition, it gives the opportunity for visiting teams, local churches, and the community to contribute to this great ministry.
If you are a team visiting the base, please check out the YWAM Boys Pantry for a list of items you can bring that will assist in this ministry.
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