A new work in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden (Ovik), started in 2011 with a partnership between Hoppets Stjana (Star of Hope) and Swedish sports ministry "Sport for Life". Billions worldwide are engaged in sports in some level and northern Sweden is no different in its love for sports. As a matter of fact, Ovik is considered by many to be an anomaly in producing an abnormally high number of elite athletes. It is also near the home to Star of Hope and the roots of Sport for Life, so marrying the two to bring the Gospel to and through athletes in this area was a no-brainer.
What this looks like is quite simple. Star of Hope uses athletes (TS, Jess, Alyssa, and others) in clubs to not only promote the two organizations but to share the Good News. Also, church leaders along with others in the community have latched onto this work to connect with the clubs for a more sustainable work. Star of Hope now sits on the board and is the title kit sponsor for Friska Viljor FC (primary soccer club in Ovik). Star of Hope looks to grow its profile in the area through this work. This will see the Gospel shared with more people on a more frequent basis and give added support to existing and new projects abroad.
One such project started last year in cooperation with the local soccer organization (Ångermanland FF). Star of Hope and ÅFF, with the help of a Kenyan footballer at Friska Viljor FC Maloba, started a community soccer team in Kenya. Maloba is now back in Sweden to play soccer again with Friska Viljor, but he will also be trained in the Word and leadership to continue to grow the ministry through the new soccer team in Kenya.
Without anything done on our part, Umeå took notice to our work and asked to partner with us. We are blessed to have two young women working there with a top soccer club in Umeå Sodra FF.
*Train local believers in sports ministry
*Bring team to Kenya to train leaders in sports ministry
*Solidify relationships between Star of Hope, Sport for Life, churches, and sports clubs.
*Use platform of athletics to bring the explicit truth to 1000s in northern Sweden.
*Start partnership with 2 new clubs (6 total)
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God Reigns."