Since the late 1980's Seahorse teams have been travelling to what was then Czechoslovakia and is now the Czech Republic. In addition to these teams Seahorses had resident missionaries in Czech from 1993 - 2008. We have a network of churches and missionaries that we work with to help reach this spiritually needy country.
2019 Men's Outreach to the Czech Republic
AGES: College age, high school juniors and seniors
WHERE: Breclav, Hodonin (southeast Czech Republic)
WHEN: July 15-28, 2019
As part of a Seahorse Ministry Outreach you will be challenged to consider what it means to be a sports minister and then given the opportunity to put into practice the lessons you have learned.
The Seahorses first visited Czechoslovakia in the late ‘80’s while it was still under communism and continued yearly ministry trips. Once the walls fell Seahorse missionaries moved to what became the Czech Republic in 1993 and began helping local churches use soccer as an outreach into their communities.
Our ministry on this trip will consist of: helping churches run outreach soccer camps and playing matches with local teams. Czechs enjoy their soccer and the opportunity to play against teams from other countries. As we play and spend time with teams after the game, players and fans have a chance to hear the Gospel and connections are made with people from the churches.
Our church partners began doing soccer ministry with the help of Seahorse missionaries and continued using soccer even as those missionaries returned to the States. They appreciate our teams coming to help and it is a big draw for the kids to have teams come from the US.
As part of the European Union, Czech is a safe, friendly place to visit. In addition to ministry activity we will do some sightseeing in the area and finish our trip with a full day in the capital city of Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Part of the plan for that day in Prague is to catch a Czech first division soccer match.
This is for you if you are looking for a challenge, an adventure, an opportunity to play soccer internationally, to grow spiritually and see God work in amazing ways.
To apply for this ministry trip please fill out an online application and mail $200 deposit, or fill out a paper application and mail it to the Seahorse office with the $200 deposit. Once you are accepted the deposit becomes non-refundable. Should you not be chosen for the team your deposit will be refunded in full.
Contact for Ministry in Czech Republic: Bill Galipault
Bill led the second Seahorse team to Czechoslovakia in 1989 with John Squires. They continued taking teams each summer and in 1993 they moved to Czech with their families and a few single guys, including Steve Mattocks. They began playing on local teams, sharing their faith and working with churches to help them learn how to use soccer to reach their communities. They also held conferences for Christian athletes. Bill and his family stayed until 1999. Steve Mattocks was in Czech for two years as a single and returned later with his family and stayed for another 8 years. Bill and Steve continue to lead the summer teams to Czech.
OUR CZECH REPUBLIC CHAMPIONS: PETR HELESIC & PETR RATTAY
One of the first churches we helped to do a soccer camp was the Apostolic church in Breclav in 1996. Petr Helesic was the youth pastor at the church and, while he was not a ‘soccer guy’, he did see the power of soccer to develop relationships with youth. He has done the camp every year since then and has focused the camp ministry to help reach a housing project of mostly lower income and gypsy families. Petr Rattay is from the same church and is the denominational leader for ministry to youth and young adults. He grew up playing soccer and serves the camp as a translator and plays with our team when he is able. He has helped make the ministry known to other churches in the area and throughout the denomination.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT CZECH REPUBLIC
-Population: just over 10 million people, about 10% of the population lives in the capital city of Prague
-Religion: About 10% of Czechs would consider themselves Catholic, less than 1% Protestant, over 80% would be atheistic, agnostic or "other".
-Czech Soccer: National team is about 47th on the FIFA rankings but was 2nd for periods of 1999, 2005-2006. They have a rich soccer history, passion and a well developed national system of leagues. Like the USA, they failed to qualify for World Cup 2018.