Vision of beauty

By Sports Friends team | Malawi in Southern Africa

Ruthie came to realize that although her earthly father was gone, she has a Heavenly Father who will never leave her.

She was 11 years old when she joined a Sports Friends netball team in 2013. She was the second born in a family of four. Her father had died long ago, and she lived with her mom. She obviously had talent and influence and great potential for leadership, so Coach Chisomo offered her the position as team captain. 

She continued to play netball on this team season after season, but even with her close relationship with her coach, she still felt an emptiness in her heart. She had been going to church, and had heard the gospel over and over, but she didn’t have the same godly fire that her coach demonstrated. She wanted to know Jesus the way Coach Chisomo did. She wanted Him to be a powerful force of love and passion in her life… but no matter how Chisomo tried to encourage her and help her to see God’s goodness in her life, the fire just wasn’t there.

One year the young teenager was at Sports Friends summer camp, and all the questions poured out when her small group leader gathered to talk and pray with the youth. Why did God allow her family to lose her father? Many of her friends have fathers to get advice, comfort, and encouragement from. She never had that! Also, her mother’s only income was through domestic work, and she spent her days cleaning, fetching water, and washing clothes. This grieving girl confessed that she felt God was very unfair to her family. Things should not have been this way.

All who work for healing know that wounds have to be acknowledged before they can begin to heal properly. This great wound of fatherlessness had kept this young woman’s heart from the comfort and kindness of God in so many ways. That year at camp she learned that God longed to be her father. He was not just the Creator of all things, but He cared about her wellbeing and her specific situation. He wanted to teach her and encourage her all throughout her life, and He would never leave her. 

The girl longed to know this Father heart of God, and she slowly began to open up to receive it. It has been a long and ongoing journey, but as she searches the Scriptures to discover who He is and how He sees her as His daughter, she is able to trust Him and grow in His love.

Now 19 years old, this young woman has set a new course for life. She is pursuing further education, with a vision to become independent and support her family. While many of her friends have dropped out of school because of early pregnancy, she is trying to prove that they can choose to do things differently. They can fight for a complete education and look for new opportunities. She is also coaching a Sports Friends netball team now, and encourages younger girls to listen to their Heavenly Father’s instructions. She demonstrates that they can overcome the odds, and not give up on their futures or give in to temptation. She inspires them to do what is right and to achieve their dreams.

This precious young woman now has confidence that she is not alone. Her heavenly Father is there for her. She is sharing her life right now, helping other young girls not to lose hope or lose heart, but to know they can pursue their ambitions as they draw close to God Himself as their Father. She has become what her name means. 

Her name is Ruthie: a companion or friend, a vision of beauty.

you can view a video about Sports Friends here.


Pray with us

-For Ruthie and her walk with Christ 

-For the girls that Ruthie coaches, that they would be open to the gospel and impacted by Ruthie's leadership

-For the Sports Friends volunteers and staff in Malawi, that they would continue to influence the lives of younger generations with gospel truth. 

This was posted on 7 May 2022 on

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Agrégateur de contenus

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Agrégateur de contenus

Related stories

More than 800 years of combined missionary service: a SIM Kenya legacy rooted in faith

The first night of the SIM Kenya team retreat wasn't filled with the usual icebreaker questions.  There was a team trivia night. One of the questions asked, “If you add up all the years of service on our entire SIM Kenya team, how many years would that be?”

Dynamic Diana creates a very healthy space for the gospel in Nairobi

When Diana Ayabei turns up for work in the Kenyan capital Nairobi she must be ready for just about anything.

Sao finds comfort and hope in Christ through palliative care team

Sao has been battling breast cancer since 2021. She lives in Angola, where life expectancy is just 62 and healthcare is far from perfect.  She has been from hospital to hospital but the cancer always seemed to be one step ahead. She was never able to get the right help. 

Widows in West Africa bonded by faith and community are evidence of God’s restorative love

Across West Africa, widows often confront a brutal reality. Ostracised by some traditions, they can be left feeling isolated and vulnerable. Widows are more likely to face discrimination and economic hardship, with a staggering 1 in 10 widows globally living in extreme poverty. As Marthe Chantal Ngoussa, President of the Cameroonian charity Widows in Distress, says, "The death of the widow begins with the death of the husband."