10th Oct 2012, by Mindy Oon, Ipoh. CM –
Ipoh Bug is an inter-denominational sports evangelism tool started by Mr. William Chang from Elim Gospel Hall Ipoh in 2008. It aims to reach out to the young community outside the church, impacting teens and young people beyond the church walls. Through the years, it has been getting more difficult to bring teens to church as more often than not, church is seen as ‘boring’, or ‘so not cool’ as the young ones put it. Ipoh Bug therefore works as a bridging tool to bring the young to know the Lord and is effective as it uses sports, an interest that many children have.
Through the recommendation of friends, Ipoh Bug’s current football training program sees an average weekly turnout of 80 to 100 kids every Sunday. Seven coaches train the kids in their football skills, as well as spend time building their character by relating football to real life. For example, during training the children are taught that they have to stay connected to their teammates in order for them to be successful in passing the ball and communicating with their teammates. The coaches would take the extra effort to relate this by teaching the kids to stay connected to the correct friends and people in their life so that they would not be led astray.
This ministry is growing quickly, with excited children bringing their friends every week. Their similar interest in sports bring them back with more friends each week. Ipoh Bug currently runs three sports programs, – football training on Saturday at the army camp and Sunday at YMCA, badminton training on Saturday afternoons at Elim Gospel Hall, and tennis training on Friday evenings at the Ipoh Stadium.
Those who love sports and are interested in joining any of the programs are encouraged to contact William Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org