Displaying items by tag: World Cup
Ecuador, one of four Latin American teams in the 2022 World Cup, is drawing attention not only for its impressive start to the tournament but also for the way the players are celebrating their goals. On 20 November former West Ham player Enner Valencia scored twice, securing the win against host team Qatar. Both goals were dedicated to God as the players came together to form a circle and fall to their knees before pointing and looking up to the sky to celebrate. It is understood most of the team’s players are Christians, with several videos on social media showing them praying before each match.
Christians in Qatar are inviting the global church to join with them in praying for a move of the Holy Spirit during the World Cup, which begins on 20 November. The country is number 18 on the World Watch List. Although foreign Christians can worship in relative freedom, Qatari Christians are forbidden from having their own churches or even entering a church. Converts can also face extreme pressure from their family and community. Despite these challenges, the church in Qatar is growing - and there is the expectation that it will continue to do so during the World Cup. ‘We’re expecting a big move of the Holy Spirit during the World Cup,’ says a church leader for expats and migrant workers. ‘We already see the move of the Holy Spirit in Qatar. God is visiting people in their dreams. God is doing miracles. God is doing healings among the Qatari people.’
Luis Tejada is Panama’s record goal-scorer. He grew up in some of the toughest neighbourhoods of Panama City, learning to fight for his dreams in an environment in which kicking a ball well was one of the few ways out. ‘I have lots of friends who are now in prison, others who have died. The truth is, I don’t know what would have become of me if I hadn’t become a footballer. For this reason, I thank God that He grabbed me in time and took control of me.’ Read his story by clicking the ‘More’ button.
The World Cup,from 14 June to 15 July, provides an amazing opportunity for Christians to reach sports people in their local areas through putting on events like a sports quiz or a five-a-side tournament. Christians in Sport have partnered with Scripture Union to provide resources to be used in sports clubs, churches or schools. They have also created a short film, ‘The Greatest Event in the World’, to show at events or share on social media. The film looks at the wonder of the World Cup and compares it to what is an even greater story - that of Jesus' life, death and resurrection.