Now is the time for sowing! We will reap the harvest later,” said Jose Gutierrez, Youth for Christ Mexico/Juarez Director, talking about the launching of the renewed Youth for Christ outreach in this challenging northern Mexico border town.

Sports has proven to be a great way to develop relationships with young people, and soccer in Mexico, like much of the world, is very popular. Using soccer, Youth for Christ Juarez is already engaging about 70 young people a week with training and games. “All types come and play because it is free. We have kids who are homeless, kids from broken families, and even kids who are well off. It doesn’t matter, everyone gets to come. And everyone hears the gospel, prays together, and has the opportunity to be mentored,” said Jose.

Youth for Christ Juarez has even started a business to fund their sports ministry, manufacturing and selling their own soccer balls. “I noticed we were spending a lot of money on balls and they would be worthless after two months because of the ground we play on,” said Jose. So they founded their own company, branded it “Academia Vida” and will be selling the balls locally. With the profits, they will be funding their current soccer complex: a walled-in area with leveled ground, mostly dirt and bits of grass, boundaries, goals and places to sit. Their goal is to have four more such complexes in the near future. If they are able to sell 500 balls by Christmas at $25 each it would cover a year of their sports ministry expenses for their first location.

We can reach hundreds of people this way,” said Jose. “So I am going to continue to trust the Lord, set up the complexes, connect with leaders, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.”