I have had some questions about yesterday's post, specifically about how the El Calor organization works and why there is a debt. All professional soccer in Mexico, from 3rd division (similar to Junior B or Junior A in the US and Canada) up to 1st division (like MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL), is regulated and run by the Mexican Soccer Federation. The Federation oversees each division and organizes the groups of teams, their schedules, and sets participation fees. Every player and team staff member (coaches, assistants, doctors, etc.) has to be registered with the Federation.
Some people who aren't familiar with the organization might hear the word "professional" and think of the equivalent in the US and Canada, where even children's sports have high-quality fields, equipment, transportation, and even municipal support. However, here the teams are paid for by the owners, which sometimes are corporations, and sometimes, as in the case of El Calor, are individuals. Teams do benefit from some corporate sponsorship, but the majority of the expenses - from registration to uniforms to travel to game fees - is the responsibility of the owners. Given that El Calor is only a part of the ministry that takes place here in San Pedro, and given that it is a growing ministry, these expenses have increased steadily.
God is faithful and has provided funds where none seemed to be available - we have never had to cancel a trip or postpone a game for lack of money, but sometimes we have not been able to pay all the expenses associated with the soccer ministry. Thankfully, the Federation has been understanding and has extended payment deadlines, but we don't want to have an outstanding debt.
I hope this clarifies the situation and gives you all a better understanding of the scope of the ministry and the process the teams go through each season. El Calor provides opportunities for many young people who come from very poor economic circumstances. Many live away from home while they play here and are supported by Stephen, Marcela, and the church.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, please pray for the El Calor ministry - the teams as they play and travel, and everything that must fall into place in order for the ministry to function. If you feel led to give towards this need, you can give through PayPal or through the San Antonio address given below in yesterday's post.