Soccer Helps Shy Gospel Worker in India
He didn’t know how to make friends, but then a soccer-loving villager sat on his porch.
Mewan was confused. He didn’t know what to do.
After completing gospel training, the 23-year-old Indian wanted to share his love for God in his new home in a remote Indian village. But hewas shy and struggled to make friends. Daily, he prayed to God for help.
One morning, a 25-year-old villager came to the porch of the house where Mewan was stayingand sat down to talk. The young man returned the next day, and he and Mewanchatted some more. The man liked soccer, and soon he and Mewan were kicking a ball back and forth in the soccer field. Then the man’s friends joined them in the game.
While playing one day, Mewan’s new friend said,“Please join our soccer team. We are going to participate in a soccer championship starting tomorrow.”
Mewan had heard that a big match would be held in the village, but he hadn’t expected to be part of it. Moreover,he doubted that playing soccer was a good way to share the gospel. He told the boy that he couldn’t play.
But the boy pleaded with Mewan to join his team. Mewan prayed and agreed to play.
The next day, the boy came to Mewan’s house to pick him up for the match. Mewan asked the boy to wait 10 minutes while he prayed to God for help playing.
The big soccer championship started. Day after day, various teams played against one another. Villagers gathered to watch and root for their favorite players. Mewan felt nervous, but he prayed and played.
In the first match, Mewan surprised himself by scoring four goals.
“It was amazing!” he said.
His ecstatic teammates praised him, but Mewan quickly attributed the goals to God.
“This was not my ability but God’s power,” he told them.
After that, Mewan invited his teammates to start praying before and after each game. Even though his teammates weren’t Christians, they prayed with him. Other teams shouted and jumped when they won, but Mewan’s team always finished with a prayer to celebrate their victory.
The spectators and soccer players from other teams saw that Mewan was a sincere Christian who gave glory to God. Many villagers became his fans and cheered for him as he played.
Mewan ended up scoring 10 goals during the championship matches and was awarded a best player trophy called “Man of the Series.” He became famous in the village. The gospel volunteer who had no friends suddenly was everybody’s friend. All the villagers wanted to spend time with him. The new-found popularity made it easy for Mewan to start his gospel work. He found many chances to share God’s word.
Mewan said God used a soccer championship to help him share the gospel.
“Sometimes we feel that we are nothing,” he said. “We feel so small compared to the things around us. But when we pray to God, He will give us strength and use us for His glory. Even when we do not know what to do, He can help us to do His work.”