Ukrainian children experience Christ during “KidsGames”

By May 3, 2004

Ukraine (MNN)–The focus on the Summer Olympic Games and the World Cup of Soccer can sometimes stir athletic interest in kids around the world.

However, in areas where athletic programs are non-existent, living out the athletic dream is limited to street games. That’s where the work of Operation Mobilization fits in.

OM’s Dirk Human is focusing on the Ukraine, where, “The children just love sport, and at the moment, in the Ukraine, there’s not much being done with the young people or developing the different sports. We’ve just seen appreciation from the soccer association and basketball association for churches or people stepping in and really serving.”

He’s referencing “KidsGames”, an international Christ-centered sports and games program for kids. It is usually held in the years when the Summer Olympics and World Cup of Soccer occur.

Human says, “We have football clinics, basketball clinics, and we train young people. While we play and train the young people, we also share the Gospel with them.”

They’re also establishing a sports academy and working on a ministry team that does nothing but sports ministry. That’s a far cry from Human’s first approach to the churches. Their initial response was less than enthusiastic. However, church leaders witnessed a huge increase in children’s clubs and Sunday School programs.

Another positive aspect of KidsGames was seeing how the local churches–Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, etc.– worked in partnership for the sake of the children. “It was just a dream come true to get the churches to work together,” Human says. This rare and unique cooperation also provided a positive Christ-centered testimony to school and city officials.

Pray as the events continue to unfold. Pray too that funding will come in to support the partnerships.

Leave a Reply