That is the message from one girl, Jodi Oppenhuizen, who is sharing Christ in Prague, Czech Republic in a variety of ways including pickleball.
Pray, Play, and Say
“In some sports, the phrase “the ready position” is used. What does this mean in a racquet sport like Pickleball? It means the player is alert and focused with the paddle up and knees bent. The player is ready to receive the ball, to hit a forehand ground stroke, to hit a backhand ground stroke, to play defense
“The Bible refers to living life in a ready position. Colossians 4:5 states: 'Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.' I Peter 3:15a says: 'But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.' ”
“I look for ways to share the hope of Christ in all aspects of my life. Pickleball is no exception,” Jodi stated. Having learned to play pickleball in April 2014, Jodi formed a pickleball club at the Christian International School of Prague, the first club in existence in the Czech Republic. Students, parents, staff and others in the area wanted to play. “We started with a few players and played occasionally in the
courtyard depending on the weather. Some players from the Grand Rapids Pickleball Club helped me get equipment and have continued to be a great encouragement.”
Last fall, she learned about a Christian resource called “Pray, Play, Say”, written for Christian athletes who desire to be a witness for Christ in sports. “I prayed for a sports center that would accommodate more players as well as indoor play. My
prayers were answered. We found a small sports center close to the school and a subway station that even allowed us to store some equipment.”
“The club has grown. More than 40 players have played since the start of 2017 and the contact list has grown to 55. We also have had some other events to teach pickleball to kids. I am grateful for the people I have met through pickleball and the wonderful relationships that have formed.”
Jodi Oppenhuizen is volunteering at the Christian International School of Prague. She is a teacher and counselor. She teaches A.P. Psychology and counsels students. She also works in school development helping with advertising, social media, photography and video. Jodi serves as a missionary with Word to All International (www.wordtoall.org) and is supported by individuals and churches in the United States. She began her ministry in the Czech Republic in 1999. She speaks fluent Czech, and is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan.