SHAWNEE — Welcome banners greeted soccer team members from a local university as they rode through the streets in an open-air truck when they visited Brazil just days before the start of the FIFA World Cup.
But what really pleased several members of the Oklahoma Baptist University women’s soccer team was the Brazilians’ passion for soccer and their equally enthusiastic response to the Gospel.
“Definitely my favorite part was getting to play soccer with the kids and sharing the Gospel with the kids through soccer,” said Allie Preston, 21, a senior biology major from Abilene, Texas.
“It was nice to be in a country where they love soccer as much as we do.”
Sarah Zeckser, 21, of Midwest City, agreed. “We invited people to our games, and there were between 300 and 400 people who showed up.
The OBU team visited Brazil May 26 through June 2. The World Cup began June 12 and concludes Sunday.
The team’s trip to Natal and surrounding cities such as Ceara-Miram was one of several evangelistic efforts in Brazil coordinated by the Southern Baptist Convention International Mission Board in conjunction with the World Cup.
Assistant coach Jeremy Hymel said he and head coach Michael White led the 10 soccer team members as they competed against a Brazilian women’s soccer team called Global Ceara-Mirim. (The OBU team claimed a 5-0 victory against its Brazilian counterpart).
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