A soccer player's heart is changed from hopelessness to true hope.
A ball kicked around a field can seem like just a game, but in South Africa, soccer provided a bridge for a teenage boy to open up to his coaches.
SportsLink coaches Brittany (U.S.A.) and Amalia (Paraguay) coached girls soccer in Mamelodi, a township just outside of Pretoria, South Africa. By being around the field they were able to connect and build relationships with coaches from other teams.
One day, a coach went to Brittany and Amalia seeking advice. “I don’t know what to do…” he said. The coach had received a suicide note from one of the boys on his team. The 15 year-old had gotten his 14 year-old girlfriend pregnant and her brother was very angry and threatening him. Out of fear, the teenager decided that he would make things easier on everyone by committing suicide.
Brittany and Amalia didn’t know how to handle the situation at first. They decided to pray about the matter with the coach and the boy. When they started praying, the teen seemed depressed, but by the end of the prayer he had a smile on his face.
A few days later the coach asked him why he looked so happy. “I am happy because I am alive,” he said with excitement. “I have the right to live. I’m not going to kill myself.” The coach understood that God worked in the boy’s life and had a plan for him. Although not all the boy’s problems were fixed, it was encouraging for Brittany and Amalia to see God at work on the soccer field. God changed the boy’s heart from hopelessness to true hope.