Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer
By Morgan Bryce
First Baptist Opelika’s Marshall Meyers is leading collection efforts of used soccer cleats to help his church reach children’s souls for Jesus Christ on an upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica.
Departing at the end of June, Marshall and his group will embark on a week-long journey, ministering to people in rural villages or slum-like areas called “barrios.” At the end of the week, the team will bus children from these communities to a nearby mountaintop with a community center and soccer field, and will organize a tournament where the cleats will be distributed.
“The kids down there have such a love for the game of soccer, and they’re not easily reached by a lot of adults that go down there primarily for mission trips … so I think having the tournament and especially the cleats will give us a way to connect with these children and people that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do,” Marshall said.
Since April, Marshall said he has gathered more than 30 pairs of cleats, and is currently accepting donations at FBO until June 11.
“They can come in nasty or dirty, it doesn’t matter. And then, (Marshall) he’s going to clean them up and organize them by size, so when these kids come to play, they’ll be ready,” said Marshall’s father and FBO Pastor Jeff Meyers. “They’re going to distribute shoes to kids who, number one, may not even have shoes, or number two, believe playing soccer with shoes is only something they see on tv. We hope this will impact the masses.”
For more information on the trip or to donate, call FBO at (334) 745-5715. The church is located at 301 S. 8th St. in downtown Opelika.