After Euro Football Tournament
Last year we were praying for Jesus' heart for Poland during the Euro Cup, which took place in Poland and Ukraine in June/July 2012. We realized very quickly that we shouldn't do anything during the main tournament, but that we needed to organize a football tournament after the Euro and that is how we got the name: "After Euro" . I was born in Ruda Slaska and knew how many young people love football and after organizing quite few tournaments during the school year with my brother-in-law, we knew that this one will be special.
We wanted the football players to know as much as possible about Jesus who saved them and share that besides football there is a normal, regular life around them of which they are a part. "Be Human - know Jesus" - this is what we shared after each game, which took a long time everyday because we had around 200 players and 12 teams. They played on three different football fields around Ruda Slaska, so we could create the feeling of a big tournament.
Sharing about Jesus after a game
All the Polish teams played in the qualifications to the finals and the best four made it to the quarter-finals where four foreign teams waited, a DTS from England, two teams from Switzerland and one from the United States. Of course none of the foreign teams made it through to the finals, but that wasn't the goal. We wanted to make friendships, show fun and share love from Above. The finals started with worshiping God together which totally surprised the players who never before experienced anything like that before.
During this time we hosted 33 young people from Switzerland, 13 people from Rivertree Church in Huntsville Alabama, 7 people from California from The Father House in Vacaville, one couple from Sweden, and a DTS team of 13 people from England plus around 20 people from Poland. Some of them realized that there is a lot of younger Polish guys who would like to participate in something like this, so they want to help us next year to organize another tournament!
All of the teams together
Our award ceremony took place at the Catholic Church where the whole community showed up to have fun with us. We connected our event with the grand opening of a new social room for the public, therefore we had the privilege to have the deputy mayor of Ruda Slaska, the Director of Social Services and the Principle of the School where we hosted the teams come along. We also announced that in September we will open a public playground with the money the Swiss team collected.
The Deputy Mayor, Principle of the School and the Director of Social Services receive a California Flag from the California Team at the award ceremony
During the tournament we also had a lot of other ministries going on. Every day the teams left to work with the single-mother shelter, the foster house, host a kids' program, do practical works and of course, football. Ministry included cleaning streets, repairing old playgrounds, making a "spa" for women, cooking cookies together with the foster kids, buying 6 new special beds and painting a room in the school we were living in.
Outreach to the children
It was great to meet in evening: gathering and share testimonies of what God did in our and people's lives.
One of the many really cool testimonies is about a 14-year-old girl, Ania. She started coming to our King's Kids club in April, shy and quiet, but ready to help. In the meantime our family was in the States on sabbatical. My wife, Erin, and I were trying have creative worship every day with our own two children, Abigail and Hannah. One morning during our worship time, our 5-year-old, Hannah drew a girl who wants to be happy and is looking for some "magic" land. We kept the picture, but didn't think anything of it. During the "After Euro" event our friend Steve saw this picture and talked to Hannah, and then he realized that he had met someone who looked liked Hannah's picture of the girl, here at the event.
Hannah's picture and Ania
Steve talked to the girl and showed her the picture and Ania just couldn't believe that somebody knew what was going on in her life. She is living only with her dad (and doesn't really talk about her mom) and she tried to find better "magic" place and escape from her bad memories. Now she has found her true magic place: she discovered Jesus and accepted Him as her personal Saviour!
-Greg Skrobarczyk (with Belinda Chaplin)