Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The end of a great few months of soccer

Saturday was the best game yet. It was also the last game of the league. It was super sad to see it end but we were just amazed at the impact that it has had in the community. We are praying that we will get more funding and start it up again within the next month or two. We want to make it bigger and better with more community involvement. We want to celebrate the community of Kongowea and all its various people, cultures, and flavours. Anyways, pray with us for this vision to come to pass! 

Even before the final game started, excitement was building. A group from the Billima team arrived at the pitch with drums, trumpets and shakers to support their team. Along with the music, they brought a spirit of support and excitement to the pitch. 

This was the final announcement on the side of this house! Golden vs. Bilima- finals!

There are several large mango trees around that pitch. We are told that many people in the community believe that these trees have special powers. Older men have been seen offering sacrifices to these trees before several of the games. Just goes to show the spiritual state of this community. IT is very heavily into dark spirits and 'jinn' as the muslims say. Keep praying that Jesus will show His amazing power in this dark community. 

I have been amazed at how the people in the community have really warmed up to me. I feel like i could walk through the community and have people willing to protect me if anything was to happen to me. This man really touched my heart when he went all the way home and brought me a special chair to sit on during one of the games. He even made sure that I was sitting in a good place and that no one was blocking my view. Another thing that I admire is his love for his grandchildren. He is always carrying them and playing with them. In this culture, it is rare to see men spend lots of time with their kids or grandkids. But this man breaks the mould. He has been a huge encouragement to us and what we are doing. 

I was actually amazed to see so many women at the pitch. Usually I am the only girl watching but this exciting game drew many women to the pitch. Although, most of them were chewing miraa or  had just come from drinking the local brew, but nonetheless, there were more women. 

We saw the biggest crowd yet. I would guess there was about 600-700 people watching this game. You could barely find a place to watch the game. Amazing community support.

Selah, the man in the red, spoke to both teams and the crowd at the end of the game. I didn't understand everything he said but I know that he was offering words of encouragement and peace to the boys and their supporters. Selah is another man who really invests in the youth in the community especially when it comes to soccer. 

The two teams waiting for the prize giving ceremony.

Libarao, the man with the red and white stripe on his jacket, was instrumental in making this league a success.  He runs the field and graciously gave it to us for free. He also offered a lot of guidance and wisdom on our committee. At first, I thought he was a bit of a bully but in the end, I gained an admiration for him. He also warmed up to me and always greets me with a huge smile even if I am on the other side of the pitch. 

Bilima took the win! They walked away with a new set of jerseys, a new ball, and a shiny medal. They really were an outstanding team. 

Amazing what God has done in this community. We give all the glory to Him! 

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