Back in 2018, First Presbyterian Church in Boulder, CO reached out to TFC. They were about to head out to Agua Viva Ministries in Ensennada, Mexico and wanted to gift the organization with as much soccer gear as possible. Upon hearing more about the organization, we simply couldn’t say no. A local community member in Ensenada, Alex, started a sporting ministry that is now a part of Agua Viva Ministries. Alex completely transformed a run down sports complex into a safe place that all of the community can enjoy. In describing the ministry’s history, an Agua Viva employee explained, “When I say ‘sports complex’ I mean 2 cement indoor- soccer-sized fields, what was supposed to be a volleyball court, and a dilapidated playset. The bleachers were covered in graffiti, trash was thrown everywhere, and weeds were growing all over. Now that he [Alex] is out of school he has devoted the majority of his time to this complex. Long story short, in about 2 years or so he has completely turned it around. In just the past year he has applied and received grants to put a fence around the property, build bathrooms, put turf in one of the soccer fields, add workout equipment, build a ticket booth, and start working to build a full-sized soccer field across the street.” We can’t imagine the work he has done in the last year and a half on this project!
In 2018, Alex used the TFC gear to share with those with the largest needs in the community, to both coaches and youth. Alex has become a huge inspiration in Ensenada and has brought an incredible light into the darkness. The community Alex’s ministry is located in is full of people who join have joined gangs and have had difficulties with substance abuse withof alcohol and drugs. Alex uses soccer and other sports as a means to connect with people and open the door for education on the importance of staying away from those things. He instills values of honesty and hard work into anyone who is willing to learn and listen. Alex truly leaves an impact on whomever he meets. The staff member at Agua Viva Ministries also wrote this about Alex and it is so inspiring:
“What I love about what he is doing is that he is a native of this community - a community that, while they enjoy playing with us while we are there, will never respect outsiders like they respect someone who is part of them. He is using this platform he has been given to teach the kids and community about the importance of staying away from drugs, alcohol, and gangs, as well as how important it is to work hard and honestly. He offers them something productive to do with their time through the classes and teams that he offers. While he doesn't explicitly teach specifically Christian values, he is so successful because he works out of love for Jesus and neighbor. You can see the respect that the community gives him - and he isn't even 30 yet. I work with a lot of churches and ministries. What Magia [Alex] is doing is one of the healthiest I've seen and every time I visit I am excited to see what new service he is offering Colonia 89.”
Alex inspires us because while he may be a young leader in his community, he is leaving behind an amazing legacy. He has turned a place that was full of trash and overgrown weeds, into a place of refuge for youth and the community to come into and feel safe, known, and loved. To follow along with the impact that Agua Viva Ministries is leaving behind, check out their website: https://www.aguaviva.com/avm/