On 12-14 January 2018, 12 teams took part in the annual International Christmas Tournament in Minsk.
Teams at the indoor football (soccer) tournament represented 6 nations: Moldova, Latvia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Yuri Karmanovich, a successful local businessman took part in the Opening Ceremony. Taras Telkovsky, who ran 500 km over five days in honor of the 500th anniversary of the publication of the Belarusian Bible, shared a great message. Encouraging messages of guests combined with testimonies of Brazilian coach Samuel Fernandes and goalkeeper of the Belarus team from Soligorsk, Sergey Leskovsky, created a great opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to 120 participants.
The Christian atmosphere of the event was created by prayers before each match, the work of chaplains with their teams and everyone’s respectful attitudes toward one other. The winner of the tournament was the team from Russia “Recourses of Siberia”. 2nd place was for the Ukrainian team “Grantech” from Zhytomyr. And in a tense match for 3rd place, bronze medals were won by the Moldovan “Trinity”.
Participants from the Georgian teams said: “… we have a big desire to arrange tournaments in our city and proclaim Jesus through soccer.”
The tournament even gave some Muslim attendees the opportunity to hear the gospel for the first time.