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Cameroon Missionary Uses Soccer as Evangelistic Tool

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Jun 02
  • Comments

A Colombian missionary to Cameroon is using soccer as a way to minister to local children, according to


Father William Cañón found the nation of Cameroon in a bad state when he arrived to do mission work there. Locals struggled to meet basic needs for water, food, and electricity. A culture of polygamy was also present and diseases plagued the country.


But instead of becoming intimidated by all the obstacles in the way of evangelism, Cañón was struck with an idea. He noticed that many of the local children loved playing soccer--a sport he follows himself, so he decided to become a soccer coach alongside his missionary duties.


"After going to the Eucharist, we gather and provide a time of Christian formation; then, with my limited knowledge of sports, we play soccer," Cañon told the Spanish Colombia Daily El Tiempo, as quoted by the Catholic News Agency.


Every week, Cameroonian children look forward to hearing God’s Word and afterward playing soccer. Some children walk for up to three hours to come to Cañón’s services and soccer games.


"Seeing them arrive is an unimaginable sight. Some come barefoot, but with great joy on their faces. Most of them are spontaneous and sincere boys," Cañon shared.


"Above all, they're grateful, because it's the only time they have to have fun and dream. Despite the circumstances and difficulties, they're always there. The children are happy with little, and with the lives they have," he added.


Publication date: June 2, 2016