CAMEROONIAN GIRLS PURSUE SOCCER DREAMS, DEFYING PREJUDICE
At the time that Gaelle Asheri initially began playing soccer in the dirt streets near her home in Cameroon’s capital, she was the only girl on the informal local neighborhood teams that kept score by chalking results on a wall and who used stones as goal posts.
Asheri, 17, and her teammate Ida Pouadjeu, 16, are now a part of the first set of girls to receive training from professional coaches at the Rails Foot Academy in Yaounde. It was set up for the purposes of fostering female soccer talent in a nation where many still view the sport as a man’s game.
“I used to train with boys, so with boys there were some exercises I was not allowed to do because I am a girl,” Asheri says.
The interest in women’s soccer is growing globally. Cameroon’s national side in the Women’s World Cup, known as the Indomitable Lionesses, was one of the three African teams to qualify.
The star player of the team, Gaelle Enganamouit, was the brains behind RFA – the first female soccer academy in the West African nation.
Currently, the academy trains around 70 girls, most of whom coming from low-income backgrounds.
“Here they have everything: coaches, jerseys, training equipment, a physiotherapist, and the guidance we give them all the time. Gaelle really wants these kids to be the next generation,” Asheri says.
Initially, both girls had faced considerable opposition from family members who were worried that the sport was unfeminine. Yet neither had been deterred by such prejudice.
“I picked up the ball, I kicked it and I never looked back,” Asheri says.
Blessings to all of you, my dear brothers and sisters of the faith. Shalom, and welcome back to my blog! I am so excited to be communicating with you all this week. I pray that all of you are continuing to travel from glory to glory and grace to grace in life, and that everything that concerns you is going beautifully well. For this week, I chose such an inspiring topic because I am going to be talking about something that everyone needs to hear, so lean in to your electronic device, as we will be delving into the topic of …. (drum-roll please)
Having God-sized dreams!
That’s right! Notice how I did not simply say to have “big dreams.” Oh no no no. You are far too extraordinary to even settle for having “big” dreams. Child of God, I’m talking about having GOD-sized dreams! The kind that may get you laughed at or criticized at first, but will then evolve into revolutionizing the lives of multitudes of people and the world around you.
The Bible talks about how without a vision, God’s people perish (Prov 29:18). Jesus Christ is literally communicating to us through his word that if we are not driven by divine dreams on the inside of us, not only will we live unfulfilled, but this type of living will eventually kill us! Please, listen to what I am saying. We are not designed to simply go to work, pay bills and die. Absolutely not! Humans are spirit beings who have a soul and live in a body. We are made in the image of the Creator of the Universe (Gen 1:27), meaning that we do not only look like God, but we are manufactured to function exactly like him as well!
Do you know what this means? it means that we have an immeasurable amount of creative ability to invent, design, renovate, implement, become, trailblaze, etc. God has designed us not to fit comfortably into the cookie cutter niches of this empty, carnal world but to bring a fresh fire to the table that no one has ever seen before. God has called us OUT of the darkness of this world (1 Pet 1:9) in order to live the higher life of fulfilling the divine destinies that he has for us, that are even bigger than our own selves.
Allow me to ask you, what is it that you have always dreamed of accomplishing for God, where if money, expertise, support or materials were not a problem, you would strive to do? Everyone needs to have that burning passion inside of them to do what is bigger than themselves, because this is what it is to live. Life is not about simply existing. Most people simply exist. Life is about living. And to live, it involves expanding the Kingdom of the Living God through passions that branch outward from the depths of your spirit being to every area of your life and ultimately the lives around you.
Remember, the Bible says that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:26), and that it is impossible to please God except through faith (Heb 11:6)! It’s time to get to work for God!
Write down one humongous and amazing thing that you’ve always wanted to do for God. Next, pray on it, that God will equip you with everything you need to get it done. Afterwards, break your dream down into manageable goals, and go for it! Life is much too short not to strive for greatness!