Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Bringing hope, conquering mountains

Ambassadors in Sport (AiS) is an organisation which I've heard a little about and have learnt a lot about over the past weekend. I heard about it through Bruce Nadin, the ex-chaplain of Leicester City Football club: I used to read his column in each match day programme and it was excellent that a gospel message was potentially getting to tens of thousands each week. I read that he has planed to leave LCFC and move to South Africa to work with AiS and was introduced to the new chaplain who would be taking over the column for the next season. Before he was to move though he came to my church this past Sunday to tell us about the work he was to do and how much it needed our prayers. I feel that it would be good to write about it here so that people who read this might take some action to help this worthwhile organisation and it's aims.

It is based all over the world but Bruce will be working in the South Africa branch. AiS' motto is 'Bringing hope, conquering mountains'. This comes from Matthew 17:20 which says that 'with faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains. Nothing will be impossible for you'. The philosophy is that coming to know Jesus Christ can change you from the inside out, what you thought once was impossible, faith in Jesus can do. AiS aim to bring hope and conquer mountains, through Jesus, through football, in orphanages, by equipping local churches and in prisons. Bruce told us some encouraging stories about how people he had met, especially in prison, who could be seen as beyond repair had had miraculous transformations. South Africa, Cape Town in particular, has some of the most deadly prisons in the world and the country itself is the second most dangerous country, not in war, through crime in the world. Some of the criminals who have been mistreated all their lives through apartheid, crime and poverty seem like they could never change but by coming to know Christ, they have been.

Isaiah 61:1-4 talks about how Jesus came for the broken-hearted, captives, mourners, the desperate and that they would be changed to be righteous. One day, these broken people will 'rebuild cities that have been devastated'. It all shows how important these places, full of 'broken people', are and how they need to be reached with the Good News.
I was saying in a previous post how football would bring world peace. Maybe this was a bit of an exaggeration but I do believe, through projects like AiS, it can bring people to Christ, leading to inner-peace, and that's what we really need, isn't it?

Visit the website if you have time to see what ways you might be able to help this amazing charity and please pray for the people who AiS has touched, that they may continue to have faith and for the mountains in their lives to be moved.