Netball coach finds answers


Sports Friends Malawi Director, Luke Voight, tells the story of Jane (above), a netball coach with the Evangelical Baptist Church of Malawi, and how attitudes can change

In many places in Malawi, sports are viewed by church leaders as evil.  These leaders teach that sports should have no part in Christian life.

Many would never even dream of using sports as a ministry tool. But we thank God that now many Malawian churches are seeing that they have been wasting their time and breath trying to avoid sports and preaching against any involvement in them. Now, hundreds of local churches are experiencing this powerful evangelism and discipleship ministry platform.

One of our netball coaches recently told her story. Jane was raised in a family that was against her participating in netball. They loved God and had always been taught that sports and the things of the Lord cannot be mixed. 

Then Sports Friends Malawi ministry was introduced to her local church. During this time, Jane stopped playing netball because it was something that brought a great deal of disunity between her and her parents.                                  

Parents were very much of the opinion that allowing a girl to participate in sports, such as netball and other competing sports, resulted in losing that child. The belief behind this was that she would become a prostitute.

As good parents they were guiding her and preventing her from becoming lost. Jane said, as it was written in the time of ignorance, God oversaw things, so she is not putting blame on anyone but rather thanking God that, through Sports Friends Malawi, her parents got the right information and she is now allowed to participate in sports. As a result, she is one of the reliable netball coaches in this ministry and leads the EBCM Nkolokosa netball team.

Netball prqactice in full swing

Many kids love her and her sports ministry. She reported that some of the kids gave their lives to Christ and are part of the church. Her parents are also happy now because she is not just useful to her family but also to the community, as can be seen by lives that have been transformed.

This reminded her of the scripture that said the stone rejected by a builder became one day a chief cornerstone. Sports, which was considered useless and could lead to bad behaviour, today is seen as a great tool to help with behaviour changes.

Praise the Lord. Jane now has become the tool in the hands of God; she is the central point in three different areas: family wise there’s an impact, community wise many are introduced to Christ, and the last area is church life as now she is more active than before. God is amazing in her life!!