Serving Refugee Children Through Sports


Serving Refugee Children Through Sports

God is meeting the needs of refugee children for safe places to play

Christy Johnson

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A team of Athletes in Action staff and volunteers recently traveled to a Middle Eastern country where they led camps for more than 300 children. All came from refugee families who had fled Syria and Iraq due to violence and war.

The results were amazing:

  • One boy told us this was his first time receiving a hug where he truly felt loved.
  • Another boy asked us why we were still nice to him, even though he misbehaved.

Just from those brief words, you can see how these traumatized refugee children were deeply impacted!

Volunteers from four different countries and many backgrounds were trained to facilitate those recent camps. God worked miraculously in that volunteer team to help them overcome many differences in order to serve the children. They were so unified by the time camps started, the campers thought they were one group who had known each other for a long time.

Working through grueling schedules and security concerns, Athletes in Action has earned the trust and respect of governments and non-government agencies in order to serve the most vulnerable children on earth. The love and hope of Jesus propels these volunteers and staff members into tough circumstances, and the language of sport opens doors to those opportunities.

Their careful planning has made it possible to offer these experiences for refugee children.

A day of camp could be the day a refugee child:

  • Feels truly loved
  • Hears about Jesus
  • Decides to use their abilities to serve others!

With the support of partners in prayer, God is meeting the needs of refugee children for safe places to play and opportunities to experience unconditional love.