Children in Uganda are getting the gift of sport thanks to two North Delta missionaries.
Tim Specht formed the Delta-based ministry Harvest Hands back in 2011 to work with Ugandan farmers to create new enterprises. During his time in Africa, he also began working with children, teaching them leadership skills and Bible lessons through soccer.
The kids didn’t have uniforms, and played barefoot on the field. Diane Hansen, who started volunteering with Harvest Hands in 2014, could hardly believe it.
It “blows my mind, because I know how delicate my toes are,” she said.
Hansen got in touch with Mike Hornack, vice-president of operations for the Coastal Football Club, and asked him what the club did with their old uniforms.
In response, Hornack gave Hansen enough uniforms for 10 teams, as well as soccer balls that were “too dilapidated for official soccer leagues,” Hansen said. By now, the club has provided enough uniforms for 20 complete teams, and will be presenting Harvest Hands with an additional four teams worth this summer.
“It’s a huge blessing for them,” Specht said. “It gives you a sense of wellness, actually. So giving them uniforms helps them to think of themselves as more of a team. And they’re emotionally healthier. I mean, that’s really abstract and everything, but that’s what’s accomplished by giving them uniforms — apart from being able to go and play with other teams that have uniforms.”
Specht will be bringing the uniforms and soccer balls over to Uganda in September. Hansen is also hoping they can get soccer cleats for the kids in the future, so they no longer have to play barefoot.