My name is Elliot Ruggles and I am an intern in the IGNITE Mission Training Program which, as many of you know, is a program run by a truly amazing ministry called Potter’s Field Ministries (PFM). I am currently serving in Uganda where PFM co-laborers with churches to run Kids Clubs, helps fund a Christian school, and spreads the Gospel throughout the communities. Every week we bring kids to the churches, give them a free meal, share the Gospel and Bible stories with them, and find time to have fun with them in a safe, Christian environment. Here in Uganda alone, we have close to 1,000 kids that come weekly to a Kids Club, not to mention the Christian School, and the thousands that are reached through community outreach and Island Medical Ministries. This is only a brief overview of what the ministry is doing, and I am so thankful for all of you who partner with us in this work. My prayer is that you would be motivated to partner with us in transforming lives forever through a new project!
Uganda Soccer Project:
Put simply, the Lord has given me a simple way to use soccer to change the lives of the kids we minister to weekly. First, a little more about me:
I am a young man of the age of 19 that was sent to Uganda, Africa with 18 others to do mission work and make a difference in people’s lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I grew up playing soccer, and it has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Soccer was an outlet that I used to get my mind off many different things. My family was a military family, so we never had much money, but my parents always found enough money for a soccer ball, and over the course of my childhood I fell in love with the sport. I also fell in love with the people it puts you around. Soccer and the grace that the Lord gave me helped me get out of bad friend groups and different struggles. My life was completely changed and, as the Lord had called me out of my sinful life, He then chose to send me to Africa to help change other people’s lives.
Recently, God has shown me that He can use my passion for His Word, for soccer, and to be used of Him for the edification of His children. He birthed a vision to use soccer to minister, which hit me when my Pastor was speaking on the topic of leaving a dent in Africa. “How do we help Africa?” was my immediate thought. The first thing that came to mind was soccer. Reflecting on how much it helped me in my life, I began to ponder on how it could be used to help the people here. I have the privilege to teach in multiple schools in the area that I live in, and I see such great need in the schools. The schools themselves are extremely run down and, when the kids get free time, they usually find trash or leaves and wrap them into a ball with vines to play soccer. The happiness that these kids have when they have so little is humbling. Additionally, I currently live in a village called Nangombe and there is a group of young men, ages are from 13 to 30, that play weekly at a local soccer field. Most of these men are fishermen by profession and have hard, difficult lives. They struggle to keep their families fed and healthy, and they don’t show much emotion except for when they are on the field. I have spent some hours playing with them, and it’s beautiful seeing their faces glow when they get the chance to play a game with others who have the same hardships as they do. Soccer truly does bring joy to the people here, and I so desire to help in bringing kids and adults joy through this simple activity.
So back to that simple way you can help in changing the lives of the kids we minister to weekly, as well as adults here. The Lord gave me a vision for a simple way to bless the kids and adults here through the very same thing he used to turn my life around – soccer! I spoke to the leadership of PFM and they are fully on board with the project, so we are looking to raise $800 or more, to be used in providing soccer balls to the young kids as well as the older kids and adults. I know that may seem like a lot of money but for that amount we can provide 13 “junior” soccer balls for the little kids and 15 “adult” soccer balls for the older kids and adults, along with 22 jerseys that can be used when they form up teams and play against each other. I can assure you, whatever you can give will 100% be used for this purpose alone. Would you pray about helping in some way financially to see this happen?
How can you donate?
You can donate toward this project by either calling the Potter’s Field Ministries offices at 877.337.2624 and asking for the Sponsorship Department. You can then tell you are wishing to give to the Uganda Soccer Project and how much you would like to donate, and they will process your donation right over the phone for you. Or you can visit their website here, and donate online. Be sure to select the Uganda – Soccer Project as your directed giving fund when processing your donation. Giving online through the site is safe a secure! Oh, and 100% of your donation is tax deductible in case you were wondering!
What will we do with your donations?
We are planning to use these soccer balls to the minister to the many children we see each week, but be sure that will not be without first sharing the Word of the Lord. We will be doing outreaches in many different locations depending on the amount of donations we receive. An outreach will most likely take on the form of a soccer tournament with God’s Word shared for the older kids, for the young ones it could look more like singing and dancing with them to some African Gospel music along with some face painting and a playing with soccer balls.
To keep you updated:
As you know by now, the team I’m with is made up of around twenty people. All of us went through a media class that taught us photography and videography which has been beneficial to help in telling the story and keeping all who support Potter’s Field engaged and informed in the work we all do. You actually can go to the Potter’s Field Ministries website to see videos made by us. We will be sure to put a video together of the Soccer Project so that, in that way, you can participate at a deeper level by seeing how your donation was used to bless the kids and people of Uganda.
Thank you, and God bless you!