History was made last month when Pakistan’s first national Christian basketball team – Koinonia Love Pakistan – toured Malaysia. According to the Pakistan Bible Society, which was instrumental in the team’s formation last year, it was the first time that Pakistan’s Christian community has officially represented their country in a sporting event abroad.
“I feel honoured that our Christian boys represented Pakistan,” said Bible Society General Secretary Anthony Lamuel. “We thank God that through sport we have been able to promote the disciplined use of the Word of God as a strength in the growth of our Christian faith.”
The team was formed by the Pakistan Bible Society, the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBF) and the Peace Ambassadors Society (a Christian sports organisation) after last year’s Christian sports festival. This annual event, organised by the Bible Society, has become the country’s largest Christian sports festival, attracting around 1,000 people who compete in a variety of sports, including cricket, football, athletics and basketball.
The festival’s guest of honour, PBF Vice President Colonel Naseem Butt, was so impressed by the standard of the basketball being played that he suggested forming a Christian team to play on a national level. The young team, who are mostly aged between 15 and 25, went on to play in several national basketball matches, all of which they won.
During their tour of Malaysia the Koinonia Love Pakistan team played against basketball teams in Kuala Lumpur and Lankawi. They won one match, lost another, and a third match was cancelled due to heavy rain. They were also welcomed to the offices of FIBA Asia (International Basketball Federation).
Daily Bible study and prayer was part of the daily routine for all team members during the tour.
“Our emphasis is to help young people to use their sporting talent and time to glorify God and share his love, peace and Good News,” explains team manager Irfan Francis, who works for the Pakistan Bible Society. “Through this work we provide spiritual, educational, physical and professional training to young Christian sportsmen, and help them to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sport.”
Please pray for the Pakistan Bible Society’s work to use sport to share the Bible and promote peace.