We had a great week in Impfondo with 25 taking part in our coaches training. Some of these are involved with the ministry in Impfondo and there were 3 or 4 pastors from various towns and village across the region.
What is a Trec?
A typical TREC includes various classroom sessions looking at the Biblical Basis for Sports Ministry, Roles of a coach, the Coaching Process, Gospel Presentations and more. We try to make this as interactive as possible so that the delegates can really engage with the topics and wrestle with some of the issues that are raised. We had a great week with many of those taking part never having been involved in a training like this, and finished with Vision and Strategy as they begin to think through what God is calling them to do with the training they have received. Please pray that God would challenge these men and 1 woman to put the gifts that God has given them and their training for His purposes.
A Great Team
It was great to have others with me on this trip. While Adam and Seby led most of the TREC training, it was great to have Iain there to see first hand what is going on and get a better understanding of the ministry opportunities and challenges in this part of the world. He was able to spend a good bit of timewith Pastor Martial and Dany which was great and it’s good tohave input from someone with many years mission experience in Africa. And then he was also involved in the referee training!!
THE AMBASSADORS ACADEMY
USING FOOTBALL TO SHARE JESUS
We enjoyed an afternoon coaching the kids at the Ambassadors Academy. Itwas great to see the kid’s smiling facesand also the respect they had for us coaches. There are around 50 involved in the Academy and we were able to bring them some new kits for the team. Please continue to pray for these kids asthey hear God’s word and we trust thatthey will all come to know Him as Saviour and Lord.
We had a fantastic week in Impfondo and stayed with Jesse Mitchell, a Canadian missionary who is living in the house we first lived in when we moved to Impfondo. It was great of him to open his house to us and made us feel very welcome. It was nice to catch up with friends and see some of the ongoing ministry. We also were able to meet with the Board of the EECC church denomination and sign a partnership agreement with them. We have always worked very closely with them and the Ambassadors office is located on church property. Our agreement simply states that we share the same vision and desire to see young people come to faith and be discipled. Several pastors have already been through the TREC training and we look forward to seeing how we can encourage and support the church to develop this even more.
A major prayer point that I shared before we left was for our flight connections. Impfondo is very remote and flights can often be cancelled for a variety of reasons. Thankfully we were able to get up from Brazzaville ok despite a bit of a delay. However, with the flight for Saturday being uncertain, we made the decision late on Thursday night that we needed to try and go overland in order to make Iainand Adam’s flights out from Brazzaville. By 11pm we had negotiateda deal with the owner of a Toyota Hilux who was willing to drive us to Ouesso. From there we would take a canoe across the river and get another vehicle. We left the next morning around 9am uncertain about what lay ahead and unsure how long it would take to get to Brazzaville. However, the verses we had shared with each other throughout the week reassured us that God was in control and we needed to trust Him. Photos can only tell part of the story, but our epic 34 hour drive included a few storms, 3 punctures (one at 3am in a car with no jack and another fixed by the driver using his flip flop), numerous stops to pour water over the overheated engine, 2 ferry crossings, a canoe ride in the dark and much besides! The last stretch of the road was probably the worst and of course it started to rain so we were amazed that our small Toyota Corolla never got stuck and we made it to Brazzaville with just enough time for a shower before heading to the airport. We are so thankful to those who prayed for us supported us on this trip. God again proved Himself faithful and we praise Him for that.
Overall it was a really encouraging week for us and we pray that we were also an encouragement to the team out there. It is 2 and a half years since we left Impfondo, and the guys have done an amazing job developing the work and have a great testimony within the town
There is a lot of potential for the future but as is often the case in Africa, financial struggles are never far away. The guys have been able to keep the ministry going and even seen things grow since we left. The dream would be to see the work fully sustainable within Congo but we recognise that will take time and so if anyone feels led to support the work in Impfondo in any way then please get in touch. We know that God is faithful to provide for our needs and we trust Him for that.
In 2015 when we went to visit Bertrand’s team. He had just completed the TREC training and wanted to put into practice what he had learnt. So much has happened since then and although it has not been easy or without challenges, we are thankful for what God has done and continues to do. It has been a privilege to have been part of it all and we are thankful for your support to us as a family through it all.