Dexter Laureano has loved the game of basketball his entire life. But when the workload of nursing school began to demand more and more of his time and attention, he had to give up the game to pursue his career.
“It was the saddest moment giving up what I loved so much,” said Laureano, a native Filipino who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
As he worked to finish his degree over the next three years, Laureano didn’t play basketball and thought he’d lost his passion for the game. But God had a bigger plan to unite Laureano’s passion with a kingdom purpose.
Laureano is the founder of Redeemer Sports, a ministry that uses basketball to share the gospel and disciple those who have decided to trust and believe in Jesus.
“Basketball courts become a refuge for people who are longing for fellowship,” Laureano said. “Basketball becomes a way to cope for spirits who are hurt.”
Before long, relationships that were forged on basketball courts developed into Bible studies and, eventually, led to the planting of Redeemer Community Church. Today, many who attend the church began as people who were reached through the basketball ministry.
Along the way, Laureano credits giving through Reach Texas for what God has done with the ministry. Reach Texas funds have been used to cover many of the costs associated with the basketball ministry, including court rentals, uniforms, equipment, and trophies.
“We have been able to continuously meet with our friends, [make follow-up visits], and know each of [the participants] deeply,” Laureano said. “We are so blessed to be able to partner with Reach Texas. Redeemer Sports can be a vessel to change the culture of secular basketball into a basketball fellowship. We pray and we play.”