In March 2015, the SportQuest Belgium team led their first SQ project to Hoopstad, South Africa in partnership with a local church that has been sending a short-term mission team to Belgium each summer for many years. At the time, it was thought that this would be a one-time trip; however, God had other plans. While the team was in South Africa, God put a vision in their hearts that would go far beyond one trip. Team members Kenneth De Heyn and Jennifer Rhea received a calling from God during that trip to move to South Africa and continue using sport to partner with local churches, bridge the racial divide that still exists, and start a disciple-making movement. Since that first trip, Kenneth and Jennifer led two more short-term mission teams back to Hoopstad (literally “City of Hope”) and continued to develop the vision that God had given them for this region. In the Fall of 2017, SportQuest South Africa was launched!
Kenneth De Heyn & Jennifer Rhea
SQ South Africa Co-Coordinators
The SQ South Africa team is based in Hoopstad, but they also work in the nearby township of Tikwana. Primarily, they work with local volunteers to develop discipleship through the powerful tool of sport. In partnership with local churches and ministries, the SportQuest team helps to further develop sports programs that will equip and empower volunteers to reach youth in the township. They are focused on soccer for the boys and volleyball and netball for the girls. Through the tool of sports, they seek to serve the community in Tikwana as well as in Hoopstad and see what doors God begins to open for them.
As the ministry of SportQuest gets established in South Africa, Kenneth and Jennifer hope to raise up leaders who take ownership of the ministry and begin innovating new strategies to make disciples through sport. This may generate opportunities to reach the Vrystaat region surrounding Hoopstad as well. Ultimately, SportQuest hopes to play a part in bridging the racial divide in this region and offer hope, unity, and reconciliation to future generations.