Someone You Should Know: Spreading a message with a soccer ball
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Torrey Babb had an idea to help the world, with a soccer ball.
“So back in 2007, 2008. I was going on different mission trips Been to Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, New Orleans. And I just realized, it was a way to connect with people. We had a crowd,” said Torrey.
So Babb thought he’d use the world’s most popular sport, to create The Mission Ball.
“Now when we are going to these areas, or when other people are going out and serving. We play soccer with people, give away soccer balls, with a message right on the ball,” said Torrey.
That message is from words in the Bible. That is translated to forty different languages.
“There’s about 14-hundred words on the ball. Half are different scripture references. The other half are transition phrases that make it easier to read, more conversational,” said Torrey.
Torrey handles things from a warehouse at his Sioux Falls home.
“Ninety-percent of the world’s soccer balls are either coming out of China or India. Narrowing down the manufacturers, we order in bulk, two-thousand balls, ten-thousand balls at a time. We bring them into our warehouse in Sioux Falls. From here, we’re processing orders, shipping balls all across the United States to people who are then traveling to wherever around the world,” said Torrey.
He expanded The Mission Ball to include basketballs, footballs, and volleyballs. Things many in our country take for granted.
“It’s really hard for most people in our western American culture to understand the significance of a simple soccer ball where we play football, basketball, volleyball, soccer. We probably have multiple sports balls in our garage, whether we use them or not. In other countries, that’s not the case. Often they don’t have food, they don’t have money for clothing. They don’t have money to live. So they’re kicking whatever they can,” said Torrey.
The Mission Ball keeps going by various fundraisers and donations. One man’s idea, that’s made a big impact.
“To date we’ve had nearly 150,000 balls go out to 90 different countries. Sports is an amazing thing, because it crosses borders, it crosses cultures, it crosses generations. Sport is a such a universal thing that it can reach people. And so to have that connection, and to see how we can use that for the kingdom, it’s a very fulfilling thing,” said Torrey.
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