Filipino Basketball for Jesus
Posted: July 22, 2011
So itís a good thing that a missionary friend of mine, Mark Mcdowell, who works with Overseas Mission Fellowship (OMF) and who is also a part of KBCF Church, the same church plant Amy and I attend, has put together daily outreach events to reach these lost souls. Along with another church leader, Mark Solano, they just started a basketball tournament ending near Christmas.
I attended one of the outreaches a few nights ago. We started at the church with a little bit of fellowship and watched a few Christian rap videos. Then we loaded the PA system into Markís car and made our way to the court. About 40 teenagers and young adults were already waiting (word of mouth advertising). After a discussion about the rules and how to sign your team up, they began playing ball.
I took this opportunity to make the rounds and talk to everyone I could. Itís not like I was some weirdo with a backpack trying to gather personal information from kidsÖI was already introduced before they started playing. So they knew I was coming and they knew I couldnít speak Tagalog well. I asked them questions Iíd been practicing at school such as: Where are you from? How many siblings do you have? Where do you live? Though most of them received me, it was still awkward. Everyone wanted to pay attention to the game being played and they kept subbing in and outÖleaving in a flash as if they hadnít been talking to anyone at all.
At the end of the game we split up into small groups. I didnít know I was going to be one of the leaders taking them through prayer and a Bible Study. Remember, Iím not fluent in the language yet. But my group was patient with me as I painstakingly led them through Philippians 2. They knew nothing about the Bible or what it meant to have a relationship with God. Unfortunately, I donít think I helped that problem much. After that was done, an announement was made about a new Friday night fellowship we were starting at KBCF every week.
Basketball is informally dubbed as the national sport. Everyone plays it, whether or not they are any good. Iím told that to really love the Filipinos you must really love basketball. So I am declaring that I will figure out a way to look like I love the game.