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Sharing Soccer and the Gospel

Shokan grew up in Central Asia where most people are Muslims. Many aren’t that serious about their faith. But they remain Muslims because they believe they will bring shame to their families if they leave Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Shokan believed that God was someone who punished people when they did wrong, and that he was not allowed to ask questions about Muslim teachings. From a friend, he learned about the loving God of the Bible, and he decided to follow Christ.

A Call from the Police
One day, Shokan stood outside a mosque and called out to the Muslims leaving their worship service, “Jesus died for your sin, and then He rose, and if you go to the mosque, you cannot get saved.”

A few days later, the police called to question Shokan, and he told them about Jesus, too. Finally the police told him he could share the gospel only inside his own house.

Time to Get Creative
Shokan’s house was the only one in the village with electricity. He decided to buy an antenna that would allow him to see the national soccer team’s matches on TV. Then he invited all his neighbors to watch their team play in the world championships.

The people in Shokan’s country love soccer. They were eager to come to his house. But Shokan told them they could come only if they arrived at 8 p.m. The games, which were broadcast from another country in a different time zone, could not be seen in Shokan’s country until 1 a.m.

What do you think Shokan did from 8 until 1? He preached the gospel to his neighbors! “From 8 o’clock, I told them about Jesus, preaching to them, and then I went to bed and they continued watching soccer,” he said.

Please pray for Shokan as he continues to proclaim the Good News in Central Asia.


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