Hoops for Hope

Puerto Maldanado, Peru is in desperate need of learning about the love and sacrifice of Christ and how that translates into a real and genuine relationship with the Lord. We are partnering with missionaries that live there full time and operate Safe Haven Youth Center that reaches out to the kids and families there. We are hosting a free basketball camp for kids and teenagers, and we are excited to share about Christ through teaching them about their purpose, plan, part & place in God’s kingdom as well as having fun playing basketball with them. Building relationships with the kids and families there is such a joy!

The majority of our time in Peru is spent hosting the free basketball camp for the kids. Through teaching them basketball it also gives us an avenue to impact their hearts and lives. It is humbling and eye opening how much the kids want to come and spend time with us. They run into camp each day with huge smiles on their faces eager to learn and play. It’s amazing the bond you can form with them in just one week especially because they see us as their coach, and the relationship between a coach and player can be so special and unique. The basketball camps are structured to be fun and interactive. We want to teach the kids & teens about Chirst and connect them with the local missionaries that can continue to disciple them after we come back home.

We also want to help encourage and build the ministries the local missionaries have there. Having a team come in with excitement and helping hands is such a blessing to the local missionaries.

In addition to the daily basketball camp, the teams in the past have gotten to go with the missionaries to visit an orphanage and go out to the jungle to Tres Islas to worship and encourage the people groups that live out there. This is how the trip out to the jungle impacted someone last year:

“It was amazing to worship the Lord together with them. Even though we don’t speak the same language, we all love and serve the same awesome and loving God. They sang songs for us in their native language, shared with us how the Lord is working in their lives and in their community, and shared struggles they are facing and how we can pray for them. We individually shared with them how God is working in our lives and verses that speak to us and encouragement. We gathered around and prayed for all of them, and we specifically prayed for a woman who has been very ill & struggling, a 15 year old boy who is searching for meaning in his life and a woman who recommitted her life to Christ tonight. We also got to see their handmade crafts, jewelry & purses and bless them buy purchasing beautiful items they have worked so hard to make. They have one Bible to share between all of them, and the pastor has very little training. The pastor was writing down everything we said so he could re-teach it later to the people there. He doesn’t have commentaries, apps, seminary, etc. like we do. Very humbling.”

Please pray for the people there and pray for the trip we will take there. The people there are so ready and eager to hear God’s word. The missionaries said their hearts have a huge burden for the people in Puerto to come to know God. It is easy for us to overlook that in our culture and society.

We are looking for people to join our team who love playing basketball and can help teach kids basketball skills, people who speak Spanish and can help us translate, and people who have a heart for serving and missions that can be used in a variety of ways on the trip like photography, taking videos, helping with trip logistics, etc.

-Kelly Thomas