What can you do with a little trash?

Brad M. Griffin | Jun 10, 2014

It’s World Cup time. Depending on your interests, that might be a big deal. Or I might have just made you a little more culturally relevant for a few days.

In light of global attention on soccer, the New York Times ran a mini-documentary on a story you won’t find on many screens this week.

This Congolese man gathers plastic and other scraps from around the village and weaves together something lovely: a soccer ball for local kids to freely enjoy.

It’s local recycling at its best, combined with craftsmanship and generosity.

Here are a few ways this short video documentary might be useful to you this week:

1. The Democratic Republic of Congo didn’t qualify for the World Cup this year, but clearly soccer is still alive. Filmmaker Jerome Thelia notes, “Despite living through one of the world’s most brutal wars, children there still play with passion and joy – regardless of what kind of ball they are using.” Wonder aloud with the teenagers around you, What does contentment look like in my life this summer?

2. What trash, or unused stuff or spaces, can be resurrected near you? When you look around your home or your youth ministry, what opportunities might kids discover, inspired by this Congolese man?

3. As you or your students are settling into World Cup viewing this week, wonder aloud about the financial investment in professional sports worldwide and especially here in the U.S. Is our obsession with sports culture a justice issue? Who might be marginalized as a result?

4. Forward this video to your volunteer leaders and encourage them that the little scraps they’re able to gather among their own lives—scraps of time, energy, prayer, and heart—are being woven together into something beautiful in the lives of young people in your ministry.

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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