An amateur World (soccer) cup tournament for internationals … sponsored by Christ-Followers!? It has already happened … successfully in Houston, Texas (www.project32.org) and then in 2010 in St. Louis, MO. John Ritland and Ion (E’ won) Cheptene (Kep’ tee nee) were among those making it happen in St. Louis. An unlikely duo they are: John Ritland, a distinguished retired engineer with Boeing Aircraft; Ion Cheptene, by a former “Mafioso” in Moscow, Russia, who got a Bible, read it, was drawn to Jesus in forgiveness and salvation, and is now a staff minister of a “Free” Church in Webster Groves (St. Louis area), MO.
Ion brought the vision of what had been done in Houston, Texas. Others in St. Louis caught the vision. The result was a wonderful soccer tournament that appealed and attracted youth from many nations throughout the world who were living or visiting St. Louis. Sponsored by local Christ-followers, they utilized a means (soccer) that is much more a part of their culture than that of the USA. Many teams met and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the games. Some teams would all be from one nation. Others teams would combine players from several countries to have enough for a team. They all appeared to have fun.
Afterwards the local believers provided a picnic in nearby Tower Grove Park. Local believers (including HHH) mixed in with them and began friendships with very positive responses. Relationships were advanced in a festive atmosphere. Many levels of recognitions and awards were given to the various teams. And each participant personally was given a bag of goods which included a “Jesus” video in many language options.
Already plans are underway to repeat next year in St. Louis … with a dream that Christ-followers in many other parts of the USA will reveal the love of Jesus to the foreigners among us … by having their own Amateur World Cup Soccer Tournament. John Ritland, Ion Cheptene, and others in St. Louis are delighted to be available to you to make it happened where you are.