Victory Sports Camp draws crowd of youth campers
by The Press and Standard | August 2, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: August 1, 2018 at 9:59 am
By CINDY CROSBY
Victory Sports Outreach, a non-profit Christian ministry based in Fort Mill, visited Walterboro last week, holding a week-long camp at Forest Circle Middle School. The multi-denominational camp was sponsored by local churches and attracted upwards of 120 students in grades one through six. The camp was directed by 50-plus visiting volunteers, along with many locals.
During the morning hours, campers participated in sports such as baseball, soccer, football, basketball, cheer or volleyball, then the afternoon was dedicated to Vacation Bible School. The camp visited other areas of South Carolina this summer including Mullins, Dillon, Lancaster, Buford and St. George and plans to expand to more areas in the future.
Victory Sports Outreach was founded 14 years ago by Greg and Mia Pendarvis. The Pendarvises are evangelism catalyst missionaries with the North American Mission Board and serve alongside their family and many dedicated volunteers to lead youth and families into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ using sports.
“I am a school teacher and was a baseball coach for many years,” said Greg Pendarvis. “In 2001, I went to Israel to do a baseball camp and to share the gospel. When I came home, I felt led to start a sports ministry — which evolved into these camps and a sports league similar to recreational leagues with over 300 participants. We even have a special needs league with about 25 participants. We pride ourselves on teaching the fundamentals as well as any other league, but also helping teach them about life through devotionals and sharing the gospel.”
“I have been playing baseball since I was 5 years old,” he said. “That was 48 years ago, and I still love the game and now use it to spread the gospel.”
Local Hospice Chaplin Kevin Hinton and the Rev. Zane Brown played instrumental roles in bringing the camp to Walterboro. “This camp uses sports as a platform to not only teach basic skills, but they use it as a platform to share God’s word in a very simple way,” said Hinton. “It is continuing to grow, and they hope to add more locations. My wife and I have been volunteering for nine years and this is something special we look forward to each summer.”
Local resident Chase McRae was familiar with the camp because he attended and volunteered with the camp in Mullins. This week, he was able to share the camp with his oldest son, Mitchell. “We were finally able to bring the camp here,” said McRae during last week’s camp. “The campers are having such a wonderful time, learning more about sports and hearing God’s message through this platform.”