Sports & Entertainment
Some of the best ministry takes place during times of fun activity. Whether you play sports with internationals or watch athletic events with them, you will enjoy the experience and get to know the internationals in a unique, dynamic way. And you will also find that sporting events or other entertainment activities will give you a chance to involve new volunteers.
Some approaches you may find helpful:
- Knowing that soccer is immensely popular the world over, invite students to your apartment to watch the World Cup or other soccer events. Be prepared for lots of noise as students cheer for their favorite teams.
- Since American football is so popular in the U.S. but such an enigma to many internationals, try hosting an American Football Party. Invite internationals to your home (or some other place with a large TV) to watch a football game and learn the rules and strategy of the game. Start with an explanation of the game (complete with a handout) half an hour before the game and then provide ongoing explanations of what’s happening while the game is being played.
- If time and money are not a problem, take an international to an actual football game. Remember to tell them to dress for the weather. Be prepared to give lots of explanation during the game. Don’t be surprised if nearby fans who overhear your conversation begin to chime in with their own commentary.
- Organize a table tennis tournament. Divide players into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of play and try to offer some type of simple prize or trophy for the winner in each level.
- Sponsor “Outdoor Game Night,” an evening in the late spring or summer where internationals can freely move between 2-4 activities held on one large field. Your menu of activities can vary according to equipment and interest, but you might consider volleyball, soccer, croquet, touch football, badminton and Ultimate Frisbee.
- Don’t feel that you have to always organize things. If you love playing sports yourself, just let your international friends know that you would like to play sports like soccer and basketball, and when they’re getting together with their friends to play, there’s a very good chance they’ll give you a call.
Other ideas for fun activities you can organize to serve the needs of internationals include:
- Go bowling together.
- Go on a day hike.
- Take internationals on a tour of your city or town.
- Take internationals to the stores in your town that sell international foods.
- Visit your state capitol and take a tour.
- Spend the day together at an amusement park.
- Go fishing together.
- On special holidays, like Christmas and Easter, offer to take internationals to church programs or pageants.
- Sponsor a Christmas party where you will explain the true meaning of Christmas.
- Brainstorm other ideas with your American and international friends.