Two pairs of American shoes shuffle through the dusty Cape Town streets. Jason Boone and Stephen Powell, armed with plastic bugle-like horns and eagerness, prepare the people for something that has never been seen by the African continent – a World Cup soccer match.
During their time in South Africa, recent ACU graduates Boone and Powell, served on a ministry team for Sports of Christ Action South Africa. They worked in a slum called Kayamandi, which is near the Stellenbosch mountains. Kids Games was the name of the program. Serving over 700 children, the program served as a day camp or VBS. Volunteers taught memory verses, had drama presentations and played a good amount of soccer. Most importantly, Boone and Powell said they tried to teach the story of Christ.
“Kids Games is basically a VBS, and our job was to play games with the kids and show Jesus to them in that way,” said Boone.
The camp was held on all weekdays but Wednesdays. At the mid-week mark, volunteers had “Companion Day,” in which they served the surrounding communities.
Volunteers also wanted the South African people to experience the World Cup in any way possible.
While they were in South Africa they were able to attend three games, including the Round of 16 match – Spain vs. Portugal.Â Though they attending several games, the opening game, Mexico vs. South Africa, was their definite favorite. They were not in the stadium for the match, however. During South Africa games, the crew set up a projector, allowing people that had no way to watch experience the games.
“Being inside the tent with all of the South Africans and their horns was louder and more chaotic than any game we went to in person,” said Boone. “It was a cool way to let them experience it.”
Powell saw the World Cup as a unifying cause, creating community between South Africans.
“The whole scale of the World Cup, the countries involved, all the cultural aspects are what makes the World Cup what it is – that it truly is the whole world’s game,” Powell said. “Every four years this tournament makes the world stop and pay attention.”
Even though soccer played a large part in the unification of a people, Powell believes they had a greater purpose.
“Our bigger purpose was to love and spread the love of Jesus amongst different countries and languages,” Powell said.
With this experience under their belt, it seems Boone and Powell are ready and willing to continue spreading the love of God throughout the world.