"I don't know how to pray"

By Natalie Espinoza

This fall, I had the honor of coaching a children’s soccer team. I assure you I would not have won coach of the year, but I did give it my best shot. Honestly, I was nervous! I had no idea when we began the season that those 10 weeks would be so transforming in my life.

Before the season started, I began to prepare and pray for my team of 5 and 6 year olds. During our break time at one practice, I asked if anyone on the team would like to pray. One little boy raised his hand. I told him to pray. He stopped and looked straight at me and said, “Coach, I don’t know how to pray.” I said, “It’s okay–just repeat after me,” and together, we prayed his very first prayer. I left practice that night feeling completely overwhelmed by the fact that this little boy had no idea how much Jesus loves him.

During our final practice, we used an evangecube to share with the kids about Jesus. An evangecube is a cube that resembles a Rubik’s Cube,but unfolds to tell the story of Jesus. While I shared the evangecube story with my team, I watched the little boy. He was hanging on every flip of the cube, every word of the story, and you could tell he was trying to comprehend, for the first time, who Jesus was. After the story, we prayed, and he came up to me and asked, “Coach, can I please have the cube, because I want to remember Jesus.”

In that moment, I was overwhelmed by the way in which God moved.This is the exact reason I am so passionate about Recreation Ministries–because we get to shine a light in a dark world, be a good neighbor, and invest in children and families. It’s always more than just sports or fitness–it’s deeper.