OUR PASSION GOES BEYOND SOCCER!
This is the catchphrase YWAM is utilizing during FIFA´s WORLD CUP!
Let's take a moment to reflect on this phrase. For instance, we haven`t seen, until now, Brazilians really celebrating the fact that their country is hosting The World Cup. Statistics show that 6 out of every 10 Brazilians are unenthusiastic about The World Cup being played here.
So, is there any good in this?
I believe we have shown that our "Passion Goes Beyond Soccer" in many ways. Since the time that soccer became a national passion, Brazilians have shown that deep down we are also very passionate about education, health, public transportation, respect, integrity and honesty from those who are leading the future of the nation whether through politics or the economy. And this is evidenced by the improvements made and the ongoing attempts to promote lasting change and progress in these areas of Brazilian society. Brazilians should be congratulated because they are showing and confirming that their "Passion Goes Beyond Soccer".
But our passion is also displayed in our stance against the events involving and surrounding Carnival and our rejection of the media's garbage projected into our homes through television shows and advertising, masquerading under the pretext of "freedom of expression".
However, we too must be careful when exercising our right of freedom of expression. While we express our passion freely and openly, the expression should not result in violence, disrespect of authority, looting, burning of flags, riots, and vandalism. Because when passion takes a turn into rage and violence, the message then becomes meaningless. Our examples should be men like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi; men who were passionate about their ideals, stood firmly for their beliefs and the rights of others, but did so with dignity, respect and non-violent means.
We love soccer, but our "Passion Goes Beyond Soccer". Our passion may follow many things, but we need to realize that there are others who will confront us and question our beliefs. But in that confrontation, we will have the opportunity to share who we are truly passionate about and that is Jesus; He who was consumed with passion for us, so much so that He sacrificed His life for each of us on The Cross. And our response to His passion for us should be our love and devotion to Him. His sacrifice and outpouring of love makes Him worthy of our devotion.
While soccer brings some joy to our life (well, not all the time), it does not fulfill our biggest need. And indeed Brazilians are living proof of this fact through their apathetic reaction to The World Cup.
Brazilians love people, and we want those from every corner of the globe, who are coming for The World Cup, to be welcomed, embraced and receive the message of hope of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why it is so important for us to come together with the missionary organizations who are working during The World Cup to share this message of hope with Brazilians and those from other nations of the world who are visiting here.
We can not miss this great opportunity, because at the end of the day, OUR PASSION GOES BEYOND SOCCER.
With all my heart,
Pr. Jackson Andrade