'Can I be forgiven?'... not a question I expected this young person to ask, but it goes to show that when we step out in faith, God does amazing things.
Jed was your typical disaffected youth – tracksuit, cap on back to front, and a cigarette behind one ear. He was 11 and small for his age but managed to command a following of six lads who were older than him. They hung around smoking and drinking outside the church where I was running a three-day sports holiday club.
They were there for the sport – there’s not much to do on a run-down housing estate. But they made it clear that church and God weren’t for them. We shared testimonials and Bible messages on the theme of forgiveness. You couldn’t tell whether they were taking any of it in.
But on the third and final day of the club, we were playing basketball in the hall, and Jed asked me...
‘Can I be forgiven?’. I told him ‘Of course – God’s here to save us and anyone can be forgiven – me and you included.’
A few weeks later, I saw him and his gang outside the local supermarket. In front of his mates who were listening in, he told me how he’d raced home after the club to tell his mum, ‘I can change my life, I can be forgiven!’ and how he and his mum had gone to church the following Sunday.
Sports ministry is a brilliant way to introduce kids to the gospel – it was how I found Jesus as a teenager. It can reach the kids that are hardest to engage with. Jed had never heard about Jesus, but he has now. His mind has been opened, and I can see he’s hungry for more.
Isaac Rocke – Scripture Union Development Worker
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Jed didn't go to church, just like 95% of children and young people in England and Wales. But he did have the opportunity to hear the gospel in a way that resonated with him.
Join The 95 Campaign and help us ensure more children like Jed get to hear about Jesus in relevant and engaging ways, wherever they are.
My role is to pioneer and develop opportunities across the west midlands for children and young people to experience God’s love in new and exciting ways. With over ten years of coaching and playing competitive sport I focus on developing Scripture Union's sports project by using sport as a platform to share faith.