Kingdom Sightings: Young Turkish Ambassadors of the Kingdom
We received this letter at ReKnew and wanted to share it with all of you. Whether it’s at a job or in your home or participating in sports, we are all called to reflect the love of God and serve as ambassadors to the Kingdom of God. These kinds of testimonies are the thing that keeps us going!
Dear Friends at Renew,
My name is Steven and I’m from Apple Valley but my family and I have been living and serving in Istanbul, Turkey for the past 20+ years. We’ve been listening to Greg’s sermons for years and are enjoying reading the posts on Reknew. What you are doing resonates with us deeply! As an athletic director at an international school here in Istanbul, my dream is to see the beautiful kingdom of Jesus be displayed on courts and fields here in Turkey. This past weekend was a little slice of heaven on earth. I thought you’d like to read the summary I wrote to the parents of my HS boys soccer team:
Dear Soccer Parents,
What a weekend!
You can be so proud of your kids. I am! I’m sure you’ve heard many of the details by now but I want you to know that the kids handled many different types of adversity with grace this weekend – the bus breaking down, Amos and Yuri going to the hospital, waiting a long time for our postgame meal on Friday night, referee calls that went against our teams – to only name a few. At our morning team devotional on Saturday, I told the boys that each one of our lives is a story, and that our lives are a part of God’s bigger story. I told them that this weekend was one chapter of their life story. And all good stories have conflict in them and obstacles that need to be overcome. This theme came back to us many times on Saturday. When a challenge faced us, the boys would look at me, smile, and say, “Just another twist in the plot, huh coach?!”
At this tournament, our kids shone brightly again. I told the boys before our first match that it was time to “shine like stars”. And they responded. I think one of the greatest moments was when the coach of the team that we beat in the Final came up to us and said that if he had to lose, he was glad that it was to our team. “Your kids show such great character,” he said.
My prayer is that our sports program would continue to develop a Kingdom Sports mentality and ethos. What a privilege and platform sports gives us to “shine like stars” for Jesus, whether we win or lose on the pitch or on the court. We are called to honor everyone we compete with and acknowledge that they have unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God. And as we love one another with a sacrificial love amongst our team, it attracts others into the circle. This is exactly what the Father, Son, and Spirit do! I sensed that even our two Turkish bus drivers were being drawn into our circle of love during our time together.
Anyway, it’s a privilege to pour my life into your kids and see them develop through the medium of sports.
To God be all the glory,