Yesterday, we enjoyed a “friendly” match between the Surge Soccer team and the Burundian Friends of Jesus team (a second tier team in the Burundian league). Surge is a soccer ministry that brings players from the U.S. to play against local teams and share the gospel in those venues. Our friend Simon was playing with and helping to host the team and invited us to come watch and me to be the team physician. The game was being held in the National Stadium so we picked up the kids from school and drove across town to watch it happen.
The game was fun to watch as we sat on the grass just beside the bench with some local children. Surge scored first but ran out of gas later and lost 4-1.
There was quite a crowd cheering from the stands and then on the sidelines and they enjoyed the opportunity to see the Burundians take it to the muzungus.
At halftime, Samuel and a bunch of other kids were able to run out on the field and kick the soccer ball around.
Thankfully, my team doc role was limited to applying ice and tape to a sprained ankle and giving water to Simon at the breaks!
After the game, the Surge players had the opportunity to share the reason for their visit. We are glad for the diversity of ways that people invest in Burundi: medical education, clean water, evangelism. And yesterday it was fun to add soccer (football) to that list.