SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) — Torrey Babb had an idea to help the world, with a soccer ball.
“So in 2007, 2008. I was doing different mission trips. I’ve been to Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, New Orleans. And I just realized that was a way to connect with people. We had a crowd,” Torrey said.
So Babb thought he would use the most popular sport in the world to create The Mission Ball.
“Now when we go to these areas, or when other people come out and serve. We play football with people, give away footballs, with a message directly on the ball,” Torrey said.
This message comes from words of the Bible. It’s translated into forty different languages.
“There are about 1400 words on the ball. Half are different scriptural references. The other half are transition sentences that make it easier to read, more conversational,” Torrey said.
Torrey runs things from a warehouse in his Sioux Falls home.
“Ninety percent of the world’s footballs come from China or India. By limiting manufacturers, we order in bulk, two thousand balls, ten thousand balls at a time. We bring them to our warehouse in Sioux Falls. From there, we process orders, ship balls all over the United States to people who then travel all over the world,” Torrey said.
He expanded The Mission Ball to include basketballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs. Things that many in our country take for granted.
“It’s really hard for most people in our western American culture to understand the meaning of a single soccer ball where we play soccer, basketball, volleyball, soccer. We probably have multiple balls in our garage whether we use them or not. In other countries we don’t. Often they don’t have food, they don’t have money to wear clothes. They don’t have money to live on, so they hit whatever they can,” Torrey said.
The Mission Ball continues through various fundraisers and donations. One man’s idea, which had a big impact.
“To date, almost 150,000 bales have been sent to 90 different countries. Sport is an amazing thing, because it crosses borders, it crosses cultures, it crosses generations. Sport is 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 rewarding thing,” Torrey said.
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