Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's football time in Portugal Part two

Here is the next part of "Football in Portugal" from Brady in Lisbon.

Fast forward a year and I have a few other workers helping coach. We decided it
was time to start a Bible study with these guys. So each Thursday night I
would invite everyone on our team to my house for a Bible study. We had 5-10
guys almost every Thursday for about 9 months. Then we moved so we moved our
Bible study to Chili's. During this time, we would watch American football
games on DVD and conversations with the guys on the team. We had two great
conversations with Bruno M. and Bruno D. Both shared their anger towards God
and the "church." Bruno M. shared that he would rather be dead then ever
live a life like ours. But both of these men continued to come to Bible

In June, we had a football camp and had a church from Aledo, Texas come to
Portugal with former UT and NFL player, Dusty Renfro. During these 3 days
these volunteers poured their hearts into the guys on the field and shared
their faith non-stop. The Portuguese players loved Dusty and the team and
thought the world of these guys. The last day Dusty suited up and hit these
guys and then stood up in front of them - with blood running down his arms
and legs and shared his faith. This was the first time these guys had ever
seen a "though guy" talk about Jesus this way. He had them all pray and you
could not hear a sound. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever
witnessed in my life. I had not seen God work like this before.

One month later one of our players gives his life to Christ and is baptized
in the ocean. A week later another player (Bruno D.) saw the video and asked
if he can be baptized too. This Sunday, Bruno D. was baptized and attended
church for the first time since he was 9 years old. Another player, Tiago,
has asked to be baptized this week as well. Bruno M. has prayed the prayer,
but is not ready to give his whole life to Christ yet - but he is close!

If you would have told me a year ago that these 4 guys would accept Christ
as their Savior, I would have laughed at you. Bruno M. has been married for
4 years and leads one of the roughest lives I have ever seen. Tiago broke
his cousin's arm with a hammer because he broke into Tiago's house. Bruno D.
well, he is the craziest of them all. As He does with all people, God had a
plan for these guys from the beginning. As for the park where I first
encountered these guys, they had never practiced their before nor have they
ever practice there again. God had a plan for these guys. I have been so
blessed to be a part of their lives. To see what God has done in the last
few weeks is unbelievable!

See a cool video about their ministry here.

Interested in football in Europe?
Check out this website.

Interested in living and working in Europe check out Skybridge Community.


Kevin said...

Thanks for the update Larry. My wife and I are working towards ministry in Portugal and heard about these guys when we were there about a week ago. Seems like there are some cool things happening through American football. Who woulda thunk it? We won't be taking quite the same tack but it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

The Everett Family said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Larry said...

Thanks for the feedback. I had a conversation with several church planters in Europe and they all would be interested in having some football players come over and play. One person is looking for a guy who would be open to coaching a team in Spain. If you know of someone let me know and we can talk.