“Jumping Zapak Jumpak Jumpak...” singing came in to my office this seven year old kid, making me realize the effect of IPL Cricket on even small children. In India, Cinema and Cricket are a craze and Cricket is adored as a religion in this country and cricket stars are worshipped as gods! This brings us to a place where it becomes necessary for us to know the Biblical perspective to Sports and that’s why this issue – Sports Special!
The featured article is an interview with Brother Augustine Jebakumar on his personal engagements and his opinions on Sports as an Inspiration to Career to IPL and more.
You will read about the life, struggles and victories beyond the ground of players in these pages. While ‘Withering or Witnessing Sportsmen’ shows from the personal lives of sports people the consequences of the choices they made, ‘Salt in Sports’ presents the Biblical principles that will enable every person to make right, worthy and honourable choices.
The Cover Story ‘Wished to breathe my last in the Ground...’ is on the life of a GEMS missionary who shares inspirations from David Beckham and many others to his experiences of playing with Graham Staines; the definitive change in his life battling through Cancer and his journey towards identifying his call in Christ are remarkable.
This issue’s MK Memoirs ‘Sports – An Inspiration’ presents a GEMS MK’s thoughts on the lessons that he learnt from certain Cricket, Boxing & Tennis players that motivated him in his life’s journey. Drawing from a moment of this year’s T20 World Cup ‘To See Someone Smile & Succeed!’ shows the way to achieve true greatness.
The release of this issue of The CALL fell in place with the very first episode of the new season of the TV Show Satyameva Jeyate, ‘A Ball Can Change The World’, that was focused on Sports. It was amazing to see how Sports is changing the life of so many underprivileged children and youths. But the pathetic confessions of some of the popular international players, “I was, I am and I always will be a drug addict”, “I don't wanna die. I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic” makes one realize that Sports alone and just the lives of successful players cannot be modelled for deeper, long lasting changes in the life of an individual or a community.
Broken lives and shattered communities around the world pose this challenge before us. When for the world, for most people, Sports is a recreation, here is a couple that uses Sports to reach out to the refugees who escape the brutality of ISIS/ISIL. ‘Reaching Out to the Refugees through Sports’ is a gripping interview with this German couple; a testament to the difference God’s people can make in this troubled world, using Sports as a medium.
Taking this one step further the Tentmaking article ‘Sports Field is my Mission Field’ encourages every sports person to be a witness in and through their Sports field.
Seeing the BBC live telecast from Pretoria of the closing arguments of South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius’ trial, I felt very sad for him; a man who braved his disability and won several medals at international championships was on trial for suspected homicide. The tattoo on his left shoulder is the words of 1 Corinthians 9:26, “I do not run like a man running aimlessly.” In this same South Africa more than a century back, Gandhi helped establish three football clubs in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg known as ‘Passive Resisters Soccer Club’ to propagate his non-violence movement.
These call for Christians in and in-terested in Sports to use Sports not only as recreation or for personal recognition, but to touch and change lives; for Christian sportsmen and women to witness, as rightly put by South Africa’s newly appointed cricket coach Gary Kirsten (who coached Indian team to become world’s number one ranked Test team), “one has tremendous opportunity to lead by example and I hope that my Christian values will have an influence over many.”
Chief Editor, The CALL