Updated: May 16
A story of how God is using a church building to impact young lives!
Students in the Welcome/Berea area love one thing. SOCCER. Whenever they hear soccer they come running. But that isn't the only thing they love. They also are looking for people who care about them. They are looking for a place to belong. It doesn't matter what they are doing or where they are doing it: foosball, ping pong, soccer, eating, hanging, etc. They just want to feel welcomed and have people that are encouraging them. Anything that gets them away from going home and sitting on their game system all night. They are craving human interaction and physical activity.
For the first year, Cultivate Sports provided soccer and meals for the students around different locations in the Welcome/Berea area. We would set up soccer goals on a church field, high school gym, or a simple parking lot just looking to build relationships with middle and high school students. We didn't really have any system. We just wanted to show the students love by using a game that they loved to play. Little did we know, students would come out in droves just to kick the ball around, have a meal, and play a little soccer. They didn't care about the lack of field space, the right shoes, or the game structure. All they wanted to do is have fun and know that someone actually cares about their future.
During the start of this year, God opened up a special space at a church where we could expand our impact to our students on and off the field. This space (see below) is allowing our students to dive deeper into building relationships, hear the good news of Jesus, and grow as individuals.
What is next?
Well, there are a few things we are looking to do next.
First, we are going to continue to spread the hope of Jesus and impact the lives of young people at our current location until God moves us. We are on our knees daily asking God to open up doors and open up eyes to the truth of the gospel. That is why we are doing all of this. It is for the students to meet Jesus and grow in their life. The church has allowed us to make this location our home for the next 10+ years and as you can see above we have been able to transform a space for the students.
Second, we are praying for the opportunity to build two turf soccer fields for our students and community to play on. The field we have been playing on for the last year is currently all weeds, which may not seem like a big deal to some, but anytime you play on a field like that, overtime it creates big holes in the ground which makes it very hard to play on week after week.
Like I said before, the students don't care and will play on anything, but we believe a couple fields will give us even more of a platform to show how much we care for them and elevate our opportunity to have more of a gospel impact in their life.
Finally, we have been picking up students from school and are working on transportation for these students. Right now, it is working but eventually the more students we get the harder it will be to transport them. We are looking to get a couple vehicles or small bus to transport our students from their schools.
Thanks for taking the time to read this update. We appreciate you! God is impacting lives each and every week. He is allowing us to build deeper relationships with our students and we are so excited for what is to come. WILL YOU PRAY WITH US? Pray for more opportunities to spread the hope of Jesus and impact the lives of young people each and every week.
- Phil Beardslee