South Africa (MNN) — Thousands of people will come together this Friday with one purpose: soccer. Imagine if that purpose was Christ.
International Mission Board missionaries will be doing more than watching sports at this year's World Cup in South Africa. The World Cup provides a unique opportunity for people from all nations to come together, including those from countries with no missionary presence.
IMB missionaries Wade Coker and Kurt Holiday are excited to see how God will use the event.
"The world is coming to South Africa," says Coker, a mission strategy leader to southern Africa. "We want to tap into the passion they have for [soccer] with the passion we have for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Missionaries will be sharing the Gospel with hundreds of people at the Cup from all nations but will also use it as an opportunity to build the church in South Africa. The whole of South Africa has already come together every Friday for "Football Fridays," holding this common interest as the rest of the world does. Efforts will be made throughout the Cup to use this unusual amount of unification in the country as a possible avenue to plant churches in some of South Africa's major urban centers.
The Cup is also an opportunity to get people praying.
"One of the joys for us here is that people will see South Africa and want to pray for it," says Holiday, a strategy leader for the urban areas of South Africa and Namibia. IMB has already posted a list of prayer requests on their blog.
Pray that those who come into contact with IMB missionaries would be open to the message of Christ. Pray that everyone in attendance at the Cup would be transformed and one day be reunited, rejoicing this time over the Risen Lord.
To pray each day for various countries that will be represented in the World Cup, visit worldsoccerjourneys.com where you can also find information on the World Cup and South Africa.