Andrii Petrenko dreamed of being a professional football (soccer) player. Growing up, his parents made huge sacrifices to help him attend a boarding school/sports academy that nurtured his dream. Everything came together for Andrii when he received a contract to play professionally. A knee injury changed everything. It would never recover enough to play at the level Andrii had trained for. But that was not the end of the story. In fact, it was just the beginning. Enroute to his dream career, Andrii met Jesus Christ. He came to realize the deep truths of Romans 8:28.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…
God’s plan for Andrii was far greater than the one he had for himself. Rather than being a mere player, God wanted Andrii to become a coach, a disciple-making coach!
Based in Shostka, Ukraine, Andrii is a key leader of a sports ministry coalition throughout all Eurasia (Eastern Europe / Central Asia). In this area where the Soviet Union once ruled, poor economic conditions affect the mind, body, and spirit of the people. Play can be a major diversion from the harsh realities of life. Using his football skills and a reproduceable disciple-making strategy, Andrii organizes football teams. He leverages his position and time with his teams for both physical and spiritual impact.
We met Andrii a number of years ago. He has attended our training in Ukraine and Israel, learning how to use the storyline of the Bible as a vehicle for discipling unbelievers to first faith and then showing them how to begin making disciple-making disciples. This is 2 Timothy 2:2 in action. What is happening through Andrii’s ministry is truly remarkable. He is initiating disciple making movements (DMM) where he lives, works, and plays. Using our Stories of God training as the basis for Bible studies in the homes of his players, Andrii reports that entire families are coming to first faith.