More Than a Pick-up Game

More Than a Pick-up Game

Through friendships at local church, I was recently introduced to a basketball ministry. The ministry uses an open gym to play with local teens. Sadly, due to several arguments and near fights, the program nearly ended.

I saw this an opportunity to serve and I knew Youth For Christ could help. I shared with the basketball ministry leaders the vision and mission for YFC in Leavenworth County – and God reinvigorated us all! We knew the challenges we faced weren’t big enough to stop God’s plan to reach these kids.

Soon enough, I met a pair of brothers, Mark and David. They were tough, emotion players who weren’t afraid to be aggressive on the court. I’m not sure why they wanted to play with an old, balk guy with bad knees, but they adopted me in as a kind of player coach. And I snuck some encouraging talk into the mix as well! We regularly played together.

One weekend, I joined some friends who ran a meal delivery ministry to provide some extra hands. God had bigger plans than my expectations for the day.

As we unloaded the meals at one house, David and his friends appeared. Without missing a beat, the boys greeted me as a friend and helped carry the meals into their home. What I thought was just a night helping out some friends turned into a major wakeup call.

These kids that I play basketball with have struggles so far beyond what I realized. Their house looked like a tornado had gone through it: clutter everywhere, broken windows, and clear struggle to keep food on the table.

It shook me. We need to know these kids’ stories. We need to know how to pray for them, how to love them, and how to show them that YFC can be more than a weekly pick-up game. We need to know where these kids are at and then bring them the gospel.

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