Sports are a great way to capture the attention of the youth in Nicaragua. The climate is warm year-round so the kids and teenagers are out playing almost every day. Soccer is the number one sport with baseball a not to distant second. Kids will blay baseball with a rock and a tree limb. They will play soccer with whatever they can find to kick. I saw one group of kids playing soccer barefoot with a coconut. It's never dificult to get a group of youth together to play sports.
On some trips, we take down uniforms that have been donated to us. Everyone who wants to play in a baseball league, must have a uniform. It doesn't have to match the other players on his team, but he must have a uniform. If our trips coincide with the start of a season, we can outfit a whole team with the same unifrom. This makes them feel very special. This also gives us the chance to share the gospel with a whole group at one time.
On many of our recent trips, we have been able to take soccer balls with the Gospel message imprinted on them in Spanish. The boys from our disciple group will find the soccer field of a village and start kicking around one of the balls. Other boys seem to come out of the woodwork. Before too long, there are enough to start a game. After the game, we will gather everyone around and share the Gospel. Then as we leave, we leave the Gospel Soccer ball with the local boys.