Bamako Soccer Camp

March 24-25, 2017

Soccer balls kicked through the dirt, laughter between friends, prayers spoken and hearts changed. This is what happens when 116 kids and 18 leaders from the Bamako area of Mali gather together for a Young Life soccer camp. Bamako is the capital and largest city of Mali, with a population of 1.8 million. It is known as the crossroads of West Africa and therefore hosts a diverse population from different ethnic groups in Mali and from neighboring countries. At this camp, 67 of the kids were Muslim, and 39 were girls.
One of these girls is Hawa, a 17 year-old from a Muslim family. She attended school until her junior year, when her dad told her to drop out and start working.

“Through Young Life I discovered the love of God and I made the decision to follow Jesus.”
– Bintou Camper

She was invited to Young Life camp by her friend, but was nervous to attend camp because in Mali, when a young woman is seen outside of the house she can gain a negative reputation. But Hawa was eventually persuaded, and at camp she met Jesus. Bintou is a young Muslim woman who was invited to Young Life by her cousin who is a leader. At camp, Bintou met Jesus and in her own words “discovered the love of God.” Both Hawa and Bintou will face persecution because of their decision to follow Jesus, as will the 42 other Muslim’s who decided to follow Christ at this camp. Pray for their protection and for their faith to be strengthened despite persecution. We are praising God for a total of 82 new believers who committed their lives to Christ at this camp!

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