“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” –
Children’s Day in Brazil is a very big deal. For many of the kids that come to our neighborhood bible clubs, it’s like Christmas and their birthday all wrapped up in one. It is often the only gift they receive all year. We LOVE to make them feel special and celebrated, just as Jesus does for us. We use this event every year as an opportunity to point the children to the Giver of all good gifts, our heavenly Father.
Our Agents of Hope and their volunteers mobilize the entire community to bring smiles to these faces, and that includes our supporters; the unseen volunteers in all of these pictures.
Making Disciples Through the Beautiful Game
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8
It is said that Brazil didn’t invent soccer (futebol), they just perfected it. While I’m sure that plenty of other countries would take issue with that assertion, it is indisputable that Brazilian futebol was the first to be called, Jogo Bonito, the beautiful game. It is a passion that runs deep for the vast majority of Brazilians and can draw people together from every background and creed. All of this makes it an amazing vehicle for sharing Christ and for helping young people in their walk with Him. It is an environment where biblical character can be instilled in ways that make it immediately practical.
From the earliest days of Open Arms Worldwide in Brazil, futebol has been an essential tool in our tool belt. Our missionaries use sport to mold young people to be champions on and off the field. And don’t think for a second that because our ultimate objective is the spiritual growth of our players, that our teams are somehow sub-par. Quite the opposite. Open Arms’ teams are regularly atop the winners podium even when competing against pay to play and “all-star” teams. But what makes our teams standout from the crowd is their conduct, even in the face of adversity. These are qualities that will help them serve Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength for a lifetime.
Our missionaries and coaches are exceptional, but we cannot forget the unseen member of our team…our supporters. We couldn’t do what we do without their heart of generosity.
On behalf of all our players, missionaries, and volunteers, thank you to everyone who prays and gives so that more children can know the love of Jesus!
Michael J. Meyers
President & Founder