Fellowship of Christian Athletes Helps Athletes Engage in God’s Word in Thailand
Thai Sport New Testament Opens Doors to Jesus’ Power to Transform the Lives of Coaches and Athletes Worldwide
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—This time last year, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) began distributing the first-ever Thai Sports New Testament, which immediately filled a need within the Christian church throughout Thailand—especially among coaches and athletes.
Now, a year later, the effects of putting the Word of God into the hands of the Thai people has been incredible.
FCA partnered with Biblica for the project that had been in the works for years. In 2007, FCA’s Mark Stephens, Mid-Atlantic Regional International Coordinator for East Asia, and the late Barry Spofford, then-Director of FCA International, met with an FCA Southeast Asia leader in Thailand. That leader had expressed a need for a Thai Bible after he’d visited an FCA Camp in the U.S. and saw the resources in action.
“That’s when I shared with FCA leadership that it was one of my dreams to have something like that for Southeast Asia,” the leader had said. “I began praying and 10 years later, God answered our prayers.”
Since being introduced and first distributed in October 2017, the Thai Bibles have been used to help with the creation of FCA Huddle groups and to encourage athletes and coaches to engage in ongoing discipleship.
“In one page of the Thai New Testament Bible, we talk about what it means for a sports team to form a huddle,” the Southeast Asia FCA leader added. “It’s a very good tool for us to train all the teams that come to our camps. That’s our main focus.”
Of the 40,000 Bibles that were published last fall, thousands have already been distributed to various ministry partners in Thailand including churches and the 10,000 athletes who are part of FCA partner groups. The Immanuel Football Club, for example, has 115 teams, and there are 295 churches in Northeast Thailand alone. Campus Crusade For Christ has also received 3,000 of the Bibles.
A youth soccer player named Fame said he has already greatly benefited from FCA’s Thai Bible.
“This Bible helps me to stay in tune with God,” he said. “I learn how to have self-control in my life each day. Also, I get to know God more through reading His Word. I also sense that His presence is always with me.”
Another soccer coach in Thailand named Tawatchai said the Thai Bible has guided him in how he can teach his team members about God.
“It helps me to have the right attitude towards the game while on the field and off the field,” he said. “It helps me apply the principle that Christ taught in His Word. I have also found that it is a helpful tool to proclaim the Good News to others.”
The New Testaments have also impacted the neighboring nation of Laos, where the language is similar to Thai. About 6,000 coaches and athletes have already received or will receive a copy through FCA leadership there. Learn more about the Thai Bible initiative here.
Read more about FCA here. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.