Guest / Limited Access /

A number of years ago, as leaders at GoodSports International Camp finished off the last of the pizza and headed for a church service in the small Slovak town of Devinska Nova Ves, one camper tucked himself in among them. The other kids had left for the day, but not Roman Mozsi. Yet when the service started, Roman lit out like a shot, disappearing into the dusk.

"I didn't think much of it at the time," says camp director Tom Johnson. "I just assumed it was all a bit too much for him, because he wasn't used to it."

As it turns out, Roman preferred hanging out with the crowd of contented Christians over returning to the chaos at home. His father frequently wandered away from the family for weeks at a time, only to come home drunk and looking for a fight.

Back at the church, as camp leaders were in the midst of prayer, Johnson looked up and was surprised to see that Roman had returned. He stood solemnly in a clean white shirt, which replaced the baseball T-shirt he had worn all day.

"He had run home to change," says Johnson, shaking his head at the memory. "He told us he didn't think what he had on before was good enough to be in a church where people were praying."

Roman's parents had grown up under Communist rule, which had little tolerance for religious practice, public or private. So when Roman's mother began bringing him to GoodSports, she wasn't looking for salvation for her son, only a port in the storm. But Roman found much more than that.

Continuing An Old Missions Tradition

Sports ministries have blossomed in the past century. Today, there are hundreds of international sports ministries, ranging from niche ministries (Motor Racing Outreach, Christian Bowhunters of America) to those with a broader vision (England's World ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church
The Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church
Young adults drop out of church because their faith isn't their own.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
Jesus Ball in Slovakia
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.