If you didn’t know already, basketball is huge in China. It’s probably the number one-played sport of any kid growing up. Every school has numerous basketball courts, and you can expect them to always be full during recess. When you make a new friend, don’t be surprised if the English name they chose for themselves is either “Kobe” [as in Bryant] or “James” [for Lebron]. The sport’s popularity creates a great and easy way to step into the everyday life of someone.

I made two friends this way. We met once a week and played three-on-three at the local university with whoever wanted to join. The two Chinese young men I played with were former students; they had become believers after having the gospel shared with them over a couple years. So, as we played basketball and took water breaks, we’d get to know the other students and ask where they’re from, then we’d share the gospel if we felt led.

The Chinese hunger for healthy relationships and a deeper purpose in life, and I love that something as simple as basketball can pave the way for that to happen.

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