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David was shy, until he scored his first goal.

We met David in 2016, when his best friend Jonas invited our family into the refugee shelter to share an ethnic, Eritrean meal. At the time, we connected more easily with Jonas than with David. That all changed once he got involved in playing street hockey with us. Now they both play regularly on our team, the Rixdorf Beavers. The once-shy David can’t stop smiling, and his excitement is contagious. Goal!

Timo was angry, until he started playing with his enemies.

In the summer of 2017, a member of our street hockey leadership team talked with Timo’s mother during our intercultural street hockey tournament. We found out that Timo was a right-wing extremist, part of an angry group of men that gave him a sense of significance and belonging, united as they were by antagonism towards their mutual enemies. In that group, Timo was a Somebody. At school and in his broken family life, he was lost. Then he began playing hockey with us, on team with refugees from different cultures. Timo had his eyes opened to the prejudices and racist attitudes that he was propagating, and our street hockey community became a place of refuge for him. Goal!

Phillip was a trouble-maker, until he got kicked off the team.

Middle-aged, rough around the edges and prone to telling crass jokes and stories about the different kinds of “stuff” he liked to smoke, Phillip brought a negative attitude with him wherever he went. His behavior caused him to be expelled from his own American football team, even though he was in fact their captain. Now Phillip is pumped about playing street hockey with us, and is developing a good relationship with his teammates. Goal!

Opportunities for connection and disciple-making abound in our street hockey league. With forty players and four teams in place, we are building a unique community that is both multicultural and multilingual. We have players from every continent except Antarctica! Even the Canadian ambassador to Germany and the EU, Stephen Dion, has been joining us regularly. And with each hockey goal scored, we are reminded of our Kingdom goal: to create a space for relationships to grow and flourish, and to provide opportunities to speak the truth of Jesus. Pray that Christ’s love would shine through us, both on and off the field.

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