In Haiti–as in a great many other countries across the world–soccer is a beloved sport. From boys (both big and little) playing barefoot in city alley’s or on rocky terrain to entire cities glued to their TV during an important match, soccer–or futbol–is a big deal.
Almaïs started a soccer club within Lemuel with two objectives in mind: 1) to provide a recreational activity for the boys–something that defrays the stresses and difficulties of life, provides enjoyment, and enables them to invest their energy in a positive direction–and 2) to serve as a vehicle for evangelism. As the program develops and they are hopefully able to play against other teams, the games and tournaments will provide opportunities for the Lemuel club to share the gospel with the other players and the spectators.
Every Saturday afternoon, Almaïs holds a soccer practice for the boys in the club. After a brief warm-up, they started practice this past Saturday with an exercise in which they stopped a ball coming their way and passed it immediately back again.
Afterwards, they took turns heading the ball back to Coach Almaïs.
Then they stepped it up with headers towards the goal. James takes his shot below while the boys who missed the goal do push-ups in the background.
Little Dawens was the tiniest guy out there…
…but that didn’t stop him from taking a shot too. It looks like he closed his eyes and hoped for the best!
So, a big idea is taking its first step. There are a few things that have to fall into place for the club to attain its full objective. But, in the meantime, the boys are developing their skills and having a blast.
You never know…
Maybe the club holds a budding World Cup star….
…If it does, it would be our prayer that he would not only be an excellent player, but would have an effusive love for God and a character that can allow him to serve as a role model for soccer fans around the world.
Viva la futbol!