Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

World Cup Tells It All

by Pastor Marcos Mavar

June 19, 2018

So, Panama made it into the World Cup for the first time ever! Everyone is excited and donning their patriotic colors and banners. Many have high expectations for the home team, and we are happy for them. If anyone knows me well, they know that soccer is NOT an interest of mine at all. I do not watch it, know nothing about it, don’t care to know anything about it. It irks me when some folks call it football! My patented response is, “That’s not football, its soccer.”

Yesterday was Panama’s first game against Belgium, and I was caught up in the hype. Carol and I were at the gym, the monitors were all about the game, almost everyone was glued to the screen watching their team run onto the field, and I was proud to be there with them. 

"They played their national anthem, and I stood as respectfully as if it were my own, the emotions welling up in me. "

After the anthem I applauded with a few other people, and the game began. The funny thing is that when I talked to Carol (Mrs. Ihatesports) about the whole thing, she felt the exact same way! 

What has the Lord done in our hearts over these past 16 years? He has knit us to these people and to this country.  Don’t get me wrong; I am an American, and I love my country. I am 59 years old, and if the USA called me to serve and fight for them, I would.  But the glue that has knit us to these folks of darker skin, different language, and different way of life than ours is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And that Gospel transcends culture, language, and skin color. These people have become my family, and the Lord has caused us to love them dearly. We hurt when they hurt, we rejoice when they rejoice, we grieve when they grieve. Only the Gospel can do that.

Panama eventually lost the game 3-0.  I have never watched a soccer game for more than 10 seconds, and that is only because I could not change the channel fast enough. I watched it yesterday, hoping for a win. They lost, and I was disappointed along with the country.  Their next game is Sunday, June 24, at 07:00 against England. I will not watch it, but I am hoping they pull this one out. Sunday morning’s service could be very happy or very sad for many. Nevertheless, the Gospel will be preached, and Jesus’ name will be exalted for His honor and glory.