Monday, August 20, 2012

Update: El Calor registration and new season

Stephen is back in San Pedro after a 2-day trip to Mexico City that lasted 10 days. He went to register the team and submit all the paperwork needed for 2nd Division, which has turned out to be much different than 3rd Division. In the service tonight Stephen told us how for the first time we have encountered discrimination from the soccer federation because El Calor is a Christian team. One of the many letters that he submitted among the paperwork was signed “Dios les bendiga” (God bless you), which is a common greeting here in Mexico among Christians, but when the lawyer in charge of the paperwork saw this, he became extremely angry and said that he wouldn’t accept our papers and that we were kicked out of 2nd Division because Christianity and sports don’t mix. Many things happened after this; our paperwork was “lost”, the lawyer refused to see Stephen (one night Stephen stayed until 12:30 a.m. waiting for the lawyer, who refused to leave his office in order to avoid talking to Stephen), and it seemed to be an impossible situation. God was working through all of the difficulties, however, and people started calling from other organizations and teams from 1st Division, telling the officials of 2nd Division to approve our registration. Stephen finally received the information he was waiting for late on Friday night but when we entered the information to begin the online registration process, a notice came up that our registration time period had expired. There is still a struggle ahead, and Stephen will be heading back to Mexico City later this week to try and finish the registration process. Thank you for your prayers, for those of you who always pray for the team and the El Calor ministry, and those of you who may have started praying in response to one of these posts. Please keep Stephen in prayer as he travels and is at the soccer federation headquarters, please pray that we will find favour with the officials and won’t have to struggle through the season, and pray that the registration process will go smoothly and that the funds needed for it and for the season will be provided.

The season starts on Sept. 2, and you can follow news here or through the El Calor Twitter feed (@CalorDeSanPedro)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Update re. Soccer Registration

This is just a quick update on how the registration process is going for the team. Stephen is still in Mexico City waiting for some paperwork to arrive and waiting for the soccer federation to check everything and approve it. They had given us a short extension for the payment deadline, but I haven't heard any further details. The need I mentioned in the previous post still exists, and we are waiting on God's provision in order to carry on the El Calor ministry. I want to say thanks to those of you who have been praying for us, who have written to us, and who have given toward this need. If you feel that God is directing you to give financially, you can use the PayPal button on the top left of this page, or go through one of our snail mail addresses on the lower left of the page. Please keep remembering this ministry in prayer and ask God for his provision in everything, in finances, in resources, in safety, and in victory. We are expecting God to do great things this season!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request

I have been talking to Stephen and Marcela today and we are up against an important deadline for the El Calor soccer ministry. Overall, we need $40,000 for the upcoming soccer season. Our main sponsor in Mexico has been sold and is putting its support on hold, and several deals that were in the works have fallen through. Tomorrow we have to pay the inscription fee for the team, which is $20,000. Please be in prayer today and throughout the next few days for this specific need. If we aren't able to make the payment then there will not be a team. It is an important ministry and we have already been seeing results this year; last week a coach from one of the 3rd Division teams that played against us contacted Stephen, saying that he wanted to become a Christian and asking if he could be discipled. Thanks to everyone who prays regularly for this ministry. I'll be keeping you posted this week as I hear news.