By Sharon Mager, BaptistLIFE Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—Iglesia ConeXiones, Columbia and Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Maryland, Hyattsville, kicked off week-long kids’ soccer camps last week. Over 50 Hispanic children participated in the camps, led by Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network Language/BCMD church planting missionary and pastor of ConeXiones Church, Rolando Castro, and Walter Loyola, who played professional soccer in Argentina and Brazil.
Each day the school-aged children practiced soccer skills before taking a snack break in the shade. Throughout the week, Castro and Loyola shared the Gospel message using a “ball of many colors,” an evangelistic tool that assigns Biblical truth to colors on the ball.
The men would point to colors on the ball and the students quickly raised their hands to share what the colors represented. Black represents sin, gold represents God and those colors never touch—sin separates man from God.
“Rojo!” Castro shouted, and one young boy came to the front to share that the red stood for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which allows man to be reconciled to God.
The children were given material to take home and memorize for prizes. Another child quoted John 3:16. They both got “high fives” and applause.
“The good thing is that some of the parents who weren’t Christians were listening as we shared the Gospel,” Castro said.
Parents were also asked to help their children memorize the material, thus reinforcing the lessons and teaching scripture.
At the end of the week, children received prizes for memorization and for bringing visitors to the camp. One lucky player from each camp received the coveted “ball of many colors”.
“The parents were very thankful and we made some really good contacts,” Castro said. Even during camp week, families were inviting friends.
“It was awesome,” Castro said. “There was a new family that we were talking to and the mom said, ‘Yeah, we didn’t know about it. A little girl invited us.’ The little girl wasn’t even part of the church. We had people outside inviting other people to come to the camp!”