‘Did He Say What I Think He Just Said?’


Since I can remember, I have been passionate about fútbol (soccer). The Argentina National Team gave me a childhood filled with the hopes and dreams only a fútbol fan can understand. I will forever be grateful for the 1986 FIFA World Cup championship, when Diego Maradona scored two history-making goals.

But watching Lionel Messi, arguably the best soccer player in the world, win the 2022 FIFA World Cup with my son, daughter and wife by my side was a sports moment I will never forget. It brought so many tears as I remembered the times I spent with my dad back in 1986, watching Argentina in the World Cup.

Which brings me to today. As my family and I watched the opening of Copa America 2024 on the evening of Thursday, June 20, we witnessed something we have never seen before. It brought joy and goosebumps as we watched the courage and boldness broadcast on an international stage with billions watching around the world.


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The Copa America 2024 opened pre-match ceremonies with a gentleman giving an opening prayer. He bravely asked God to bless the tournament, then proclaimed the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The feeling we got was overwhelming. It brought many tears of rejoicing and a sense of humility as the man prayed to remind us to always thank God, “for the life, opportunities, protection and peace He provides.”

He then quoted Scripture taken from John 10:10, which reads in the Modern English Version, “I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

“This is possible when we focus on God, the source of life,” the man prayed.

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He ended his prayer by lifting high the mighty name of Jesus Christ, “… in Jesus’ name, amen.” This was one of the most courageous things the Copa America organizers ever could have done—especially at this time in history with so much turmoil and chaos, when we need to be reminded of the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And in case you wondered, we are rooting for Lionel Messi and Argentina.

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Mondo De La Vega is cohost and executive producer of “The Jim Bakker Show,” host of “The Mondo Show” and executive vice president of television programming for the PTL Television Network. With the support of his wife, Elizabeth, and their twins, Mila and Mateo, De La Vega continues to follow the path God laid out for his life as he shares his story around the world. His new book, “My Crazy Life,” is available here.


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