“God is using this as a way to share the gospel in a way we never could have imagined,” says Frank L. Figueroa Junior., lead pastor of Waipio Grace Brethren Church (a Charis Fellowship congregation in Mililani, Hawaii).
Frank is referring to the Hawaii branch of Centershot Ministries, a program that partners with churches to share the gospel through the skill of archery. Centershot has been a huge part of Waipio Grace Brethren Church since 2008 after Frank’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and they used archery as a way to cope with the stress of her illness.
Beginning with 24 students during Waipio’s first Centershot session, the program quickly gained popularity among youths in the Mililani area. As students began to invite their peers to join the program the sessions began to reach capacity. In order to alleviate space per session, a jr. leadership program was created in which seasoned students are encouraged to give up their spot to help train new students, thus learning leadership skills along the way.
Waipio Grace has been approached by other churches for assistance in starting a similar program in their area.
Pastors from Romania (a father and son) also contacted Frank in hopes of achieving similar results as Waipio and The Gathering Place had in their Centershot programs and invited Frank and a team of eight people to Romania to start the process. Halfway through their trip, the team was met with stormy weather for a number of days. (In the picture above, Frank and Adi of Centershot Romania pose for a picture at an archery camp in Romania.)
Although some of their supplies were damaged due to the high winds, they did not give up hope that the Lord would work through them. They traveled to 10 different churches, communicating the gospel through interpreters. They were able to start an archery club in Alexandria, Romania, and saw 25 children come to know Jesus for the first time or get to know Him on a deeper level. The team returned from their trip to Romania on July 1.
“Jesus will always be first,” says Frank, “We will always keep Him as a priority.”
Since 2015, Centershot Hawaii has seen over 100 students come through the program. Around two dozen students have received Christ for the first time and others have been introduced to the church as a result of attending sessions.
Frank is praying for other churches to partner with Centershot to offer short term sessions in which students can invite their families to learn more about archery and most importantly, Jesus Christ.
[Connect:] Send an encouraging note to Frank here. Pray about starting a Centershot branch at your congregation.