On Saturday twenty three soccer players from Mozambique arrived in Johannesburg. For most of them it’s the first time ever outside of the borders of their provinces never mind their country. Lollie, Tayla and I are hosting two of the players, the rest of them stays with other host families from our church community and other supporters of the team.
It’s an immense joy to be with them here in Johannesburg. Everything is so fresh through their eyes. Yesterday we had a barbeque (braai) for them, as we ate some good meat we chatted and gestured through the language barrier.
Earlier in the day they joined us for the Kleipot service and did an impromptu worship song in Shona thanking God for the blessings He has bestowed on them. I was emotional when they stood before us giving praise to God.
Two weeks ago 400 pounds of boxes arrived at our house. The cargo was filled with Reebok merchandise full of tracksuits and bags. God organized these gifts through the most amazing way. A few months ago, Schalk, who bought this team to South Africa received an email from a US citizen. This anonymous person is a NFL player and through the most of random circumstances he heard of the project in Mozambique and so he contacted Schalk. He explained that he would like to donate his Reebok and Nike sponsorship to the soccer team! Isn’t it good to know that God walks the corridors of professional sport too?
So on Saturday our garage became a charity distribution centre as we organized this trans-continental gift. In this picture you can see me and Schalk with six of the players in their new kit. They are so grateful!
Allow me to put this gift through the eyes of one participant. These soccer players love international soccer and are highly educated on who are the hottest players. One of the players has a Ronaldinho shirt (the best player in the world) – so during the last few days one of my friends gave him a Barcelona shirt. My friend thought this player was rich because he saw him with another shirt one day. So he asked him whose shirt that was. The player then explained that he borrowed the shirt from a close family member. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the Ronaldinho shirt was his only shirt!