Football provides a space where social, economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds are set aside and stepping onto the football field creates opportunities for new friendships between Christians and non-believers. It comes as no surprise to discover that in Moldova football is the country’s most popular sport despite wrestling being the nation’s official sport.
Viorel Regus, the Youth Minister of Gotesti Baptist Church has led the football ministry for many years and now has a youth team that plays in regional tournaments across Southern Moldova. These tournaments are coordinated by mission agency, Operation Mobilisation and allow teams from various villages to compete against each other to become regional and national champions.
The football ministry in Gotesti takes place twice a week on an artificial grass pitch close to Building of Culture. The outreach ministry is well received with an attendance of up to fifteen children who eagerly develop their football abilities, hear a message from the Scriptures, have a time of fellowship and play a short football match to close the training session. The youngsters not only learn from Viorel about football skills and teamwork but also hear about teachings from God’s word and understand what it means to live a Christ-like life. They often ask questions about the issues that impact their day-to- day lives.
Football as a ministry and a means of evangelism presents an immense opportunity to share the gospel with people who have never heard of the love of Christ for them and their families.
Report by Matthias Spicer, TEN Intern
Find out more about TEN’s work in Moldova.