Stories

Serving and sweating in sunny Serbia

Date posted: 07/09/17

 European Sports Mission 2017

The team in Serbia (from left): Nenad, Luke, Rosie, Mark, Ben, Amos and Sarah

 

With the British summer looking like it’s over, you may be wishing things were hotter. I doubt, however, that you would be wishing for 45-degree heat for a sports camp. Welcome to Serbia where one of the missions teams from this year’s European Sports Mission went to serve.

A team of five Brits and one Albanian set out to serve Nenad, a graduate from last year’s school. Nenad was sent by his leader Slobodan at their busiest season of sports mission in order for him to receive deeper training; weighing the cost implication of losing him for the summer of 2016 for the gains they would get in the future. Slobodan wrote as he returned: “he is totally transformed by the training, praise the Lord and thank you for your effort”.

The mission is a quarter of the month-long training for 18-25 year-olds from across Europe. The month consists of two weeks in depth sports mission training in Italy, followed by a 10-day mission serving in Europe and closing with the delegates returning for a debrief.

European Sports Mission 2017

 

It was a joy to see Nenad return to the European Sports Mission as a second year and to serve him and Slobodan at this camp. The team were involved in morning fitness, they helped run sport and with the singing of worship songs. When the temperature got to 45 degrees, this meant helping run an entire day of water activities including water-based school sports day style games and human battleships.

Watching the work in Serbia grow has been has been a real joy for the European Christian Sports Union (ECSU). Slobodan and Nenad were interviewed at the biennial networking conference in June and unbeknownst to us, had more in store for us than thought.

 

Nenad told the story that during the training last year, after the session about explaining the gospel, the team were challenged to text a friend asking if they wanted to read the Bible. Nenad was not alone in being anxious to do this, but did send the text. To his surprise his friend agreed and they met up and read the Bible when he returned. After three months his friend gave his life to Christ and was sitting in the audience of this conference, now a member of their sports mission team.

Serbia is just one of the great multiplication stories. Vasco and Tiago from Portugal have finished this year’s European Sports Mission keen to support Matias, who went in 2016, as they look to start sport camps in the north of Portugal.

European Sports Mission 2017

 

Lucy, who had no contact with Christians in Sport before July 2016, came on the first European Sports Mission and returned, to see it as her mission field for university in the UK. She set off to Brunel, joined the lacrosse team and got stuck into the Christians in Sport group. She is now on the committee for the lacrosse club and will lead the Christians in Sport group at her university next year.

It is a real privilege to partner with different organisations and individuals across Europe in collectively training our young leaders. Pray for Serbia, Romania and Macedonia who received teams this year and for the delegates going back to their countries and implementing their ministry plans.

 

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Caroline Devereux

Caroline Reid, International Co-ordinator
For more information on the 2018 European Sports Mission, contact caroline@christiansinsport.org.uk