Project leader: Victor Nkhwachi

The vision for a Zehandi soccer project first came in 2008 when God revealed a key into releasing His Kingdom. The world loves soccer, so why not bring the love of Christ to where they already are?

One tool we use during the soccer events is the evangecube. According to evangecube.co.za, “The EvangeCube is a 7panel cube, sharing the Gospel of Christ in pictures. The cube guides you to share God’s love in a structured and non-confrontational way. It does not require literacy and is easy to transcend language barriers.” The second way the Gospel was shared was through the colors on the soccer ball. The colors black, red, white and green share how we are born in sin, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, washed clean/filled with the Holy Spirit, and then you begin to grow in Christ. Using these two methods, over four hundred people would come to Christ at one time. The program was so successful that not only did the schools and chiefs give permission, but teams began inviting Zehandi to private practice times to share the Gospel.

In 2013 God released the vision for 5v5 soccer tournaments. 5v5 soccer is the fastest growing soccer game in the world. It is adapted from Brazilian beach soccer. 5v5 is ideal for Africa because it is quick paced, and you only need 8 players per team. It is mostly played in the sand or the dirt, so no cleats are required. One of the rules of our 5v5 tournaments includes playing without shoes, that way everyone is included whether you can afford cleats or not. In December 2013 we held our first tournament on Palmiet Beach in Kleinmond, South Africa. 8 different teams played, including a youth group from CapeTown, a team from Zimbabwe, some of the local Xhosa community, along with others. We can see how the game of soccer can bring unity to a diverse group of people. Our next tournament was in a village outside of Chipata, Zambia where 11 teams from different villages played. We also held a tournament in Senga Bay, Malawi where 12 teams played. (8 players per team multiplied by 12 teams = 96 players, not counting the youth who were playing on another field, or locals who were just watching).

While in South Africa the Zehandi Soccer Program also reached local youth. By coaching soccer practices, the youth are kept off the streets, and have an opportunity to build confidence while experiencing the love of Christ in action.

Another vision given to the program is the coaching manual. It is important to train coaches and send them out (making disciples). We train the coaches in the game of soccer and in evangelism. This manual is a practical tool in describing how to use soccer as a way to share the Gospel. It is a tool that when partnered with the Living Ball, or evangecube, along with a right relationship with God, can change communities and entire countries.

One of the goals of our program is to equip and empower local coaches to lead their communities. The coaches will teach the players a new principle of God weekly. There are many things to learn from the game of soccer whether it is physical, practical or spiritual. The lessons include anything ranging from health, to teamwork, humility to the function of the body of Christ.

We believe the vision for a soccer project has been inspired by God and that soccer is just a tool to bring salvation to the lost. We are not here to build fancy soccer fields or equip the teams with soccer gear. We are here to spread the Gospel. All those who help with this program will be blessed because they are busy with an evangelistic movement.

 

© Zehandi 2017

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