by Marvelyn Schell

I must admit, I’m a FIFA Fan!

And with Canada hosting the Women’s FIFA World Cup 2015 right now, I am cheering on our Canadian team big time! (especially after their heartbreaking loss against the USA in the 2012 London Olympics!)

The Canadian women’s soccer coach, John Herdman, recently had this to say when encouraging us to cheer them on.

“Keep the faith, that’s all I’m going to say. Keep the faith. Don’t ever lose faith with Christine (Canadian Women’s Soccer Team – Captain). She’s a great captain, great leader, getting into great positions. …. So let’s give her a break and let’s just keep supporting the team and keep supporting Christine.”

Reading this comment, I couldn’t help but reflect on the “Keep Calm & Finish Strong” Conference in Grimsby, ON that ZOE Projects was recently a part of. It’s easier to finish strong when you’ve got a cheering section. When you know someone out there has got your back, and is championing you.

Paul writes in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The verb form of this word "witness" (martureo) refers to the giving of a (confirming) testimony rather than the mere watching of an event. So, as I understand it these witnesses are the saints (Hebrews 11) who have already run the race but are watching mine and shouting… "Go for it! You can do it. Exercise your faith Marvelyn, you can finish. I did it. And I know it can be done. Run. RUN!"

However, I must admit that when the going gets tough… friends, family, co-workers tend to scatter.

Sometimes, it’s simply because they don’t know what to say or do and so out of fear and apprehension they keep their distance, avoiding the difficult conversations.

Many of the women that ZOE Projects has partnered with are running extremely tough races.

They need motivation to keep going…not give up…stay in the game.

I was overjoyed that Lakemount Worship Centre’s first Women’s Conference (June 5-6) chose to join the ZOE Projects Fan Club!

They didn’t avoid the difficult conversations about oppression and injustice but chose to shout out strong and loud, “WE ARE FOR YOU! WE BELIEVE IN YOU! BECAUSE OF CHRIST YOU CAN LIVE THE ABUNDANT LIFE – ZOE LIFE!”

So, thank you Lakemount ladies…for not only cheering and encouraging our ZOE Project partner in India but for also encouraging women across Canada to get involved ….. And in the modified words of John Herdman,

“Keep the faith, that’s all I’m going to say. Keep the faith. Don’t ever lose faith with our ZOE Project partners around the world. They are great captains, great leaders, getting into great positions. …. So let’s give them a break and let’s just keep supporting them.”