With 20 hours of daylight, young people in Alaska have a lot of extra time on their hands in the summer, which for some means getting into trouble.
Rev. James Kim, pastor of youth and outreach for Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Anchorage, is providing an affordable alternative along with a positive Christian influence.
For many kids in the neighborhood around the church, soccer camp is not affordable. The church offers a free program that includes two practices and one game a week for 36 children.
Participants in Trinity CRC’s soccer camp
Kim also shares Bible passages with his soccer players. “I tell [them] a short story about God’s love. It’s like a little tiny worship service with these boys and girls,” he said.
Kim also includes the rest of the family, inviting parents to come and watch the practices. The season concludes with a picnic for players, family, and friends.
Church members have donated shin guards, goal posts, and soccer balls. Some have helped with coaching, and many attend the games as spectators.
The soccer camp is one way the church has found to draw people from the many ethnic groups in the community into the life of Trinity CRC. “The community is changing,” Kim said. “We need . . . all ethnic groups, or the church will not continue. We need to change everything. We need to open our church.”