A Youth for Christ leader from Ukraine recently shared this story about a unique way that God used to get one of his most resistant students to attend church.

Youth for Christ in Ukraine was holding Winter Cup games in a gym.  Tyoma, the Youth for Christ leader, was only able to come at the very end of the Winter Cup games because he had just returned from speaking at another event.

A young man named Vasya who was participating in this tournament does not believe in God and never misses a chance to declare it. He had told Tyoma and other YFC staff before, “I will NEVER visit a church!” His team had just finished playing the finals and the YFC staff began to communicate with the guys. It was then that another young man, knowing Vasya’s attitude toward church offered him a challenge.

It was as follows: Vasya would be the goalkeeper, and Tyoma would try to punch a penalty kick past him. If Tyoma would score, Vasya would come to his church; if Tyoma did not score, he would go with Vasya to a secular rock concert. Vasya immediately agreed.  He knew that Tyoma had no practice, and observed that he was dressed in winter clothes and heavy winter shoes.  Tyoma admits “I doubted in my success, too.”

Encouraged by his assistant who said: “Tyoma, I believe that you will score!” Tyoma prayed before the kick. Vasya stood there and smiled, believing in his victory even before the attack. Tyoma writes, “Well… it was one of the best goals of my performance in my entire life. The kick was very strong and accurate right at the upper corner. Vasya had no time even to stir.”

Everyone who was in the gym applauded. Vasya was shocked.

As promised, Vasya came to church with Tyoma.

Please pray for Vasya, that he will become more open to what God is trying to teach him, and for leaders like Tyoma, that they will continue to trust God to break down walls that prevent them from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.