Sports are an important part of the Italian culture, just like in the United States. But children here don't have the luxury of sports being offered in their schools. They have to pursue them outside of school through clubs and other private groups, and it can be very costly.
During the summer, Josh and Sara Whitman help put on a basketball camp in Imola for kids between the ages of 9-14. A group called Push the Rock from the United States comes over to teach the clinic. For a week, these kids learn techniques, drills, and strategies from a group of young Christian men who serve as coaches and mentors. These men spend the week encouraging, praising, and lifting up these children and the children, in turn, soak it up. They look up to these men and trust them, often emulating their every move. Every day, there is a discussion time and Bible lesson where the kids get the opportunity to ask as many questions as they want.
The kids that attend have such a great time that their parents continually ask the Whitmans to continue teaching their kids, saying, “They loved their time with you so much."
The Lord has opened the door to the hearts of these children and parents through sports, and there are plenty of opportunities for work in the future!
Find out more about TEAM’s work in Imola here.
If you’re interested in helping with these camps, find out more here.
-Written by Jaycie Johnson, TEAM missionary in Italy
-Photo by Jaycie Johnson
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