Daniel and Dina Zafiris


Daniel Zafiris : "The life without Jesus Christ is like a football game without a ball"

From early childhood I wanted to be a famous footballer for my country, to have wealth, glory and the respect of those around me. I did everything in my power to achieve these goals. However the death of a high school colleague made me question what purpose did I have to my life? I began searching for an answer to the unrest in my heart and soul. God used a born again footballer to show me that ones life does not consist of the abundance of ones material possessions, but in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Reading the Bible I understood that life without Christ is like a football match without a ball, in other words, without any sense or purpose. In January 1991 I became a Christian and my whole life changed.

I married the following year (4th July). In 1994 I graduated from the University of Sport and Physical Education in Iasi.

Following my conversion, with Gods help I achieved several top-level performances as a professional footballer. I was selected for the Romanian National University team to play at the University World Championships in Sheffield, England in 1991, and in 1995, I won the Romanian football cup together with my team Petrolul Ploiesti, afterwards playing in the UEFA cup. It was a great performance, and I saw how the hand of God was upon us in the final match against the Rapid Bucharest team. I played over 100 matches for my countrys first division.

That very year God sent an American missionary to Romania who was working with the mission Athletes in Action. His desire was to find a Christian sportsman who could begin a work in our country. Out of all Romania, the Lord led him to me, and I understood then that the Lord was calling my family and I to start up this work in Romania.
I was 28yrs old (in 1997), I was one of the best players in my team, but I understood that of more worth than the money I was earning, and of more value than all material gains, was the countless souls of sportsmen and women who needed to know the Lord. I had been won for Christ through the testimony of a Christian footballer. Now the Lord was calling me to do this work.

My retirement from the game was a big shock for the entire Romanian football scene, just when I was at the height of my career and in the peak of fitness. God, however, was with me and my family and that meant more than anything to us.

In the year 2000 we started up the work of Athletes in Action in Romania ( is a pioneer sport ministry in Romania ) and we are happy that today we can serve the Lord working with AIA in 3 main areas:

1) Work among the teachers and students of the Sports University in Iasi, plus we plan to begin a work amongst sports students in another University in another town ( maybe Bucharest).

2) Work among the professional footballers, coaches, top level athletes in Romania.

3) Work in partenership with different local churces arround Romania to reach the youth, from their local communities, for the Lord

The vision in the next three years, by Gods grace, is :

  • 20 athletes dedicated to God and to the sport ministry
  • 2 full-time missionaries and 10 volunteers.
  • 3 ministry centers in different areas of Romania
  • Exposure : 3.000.000 persons
  • Gospel presentations one to one : 1.000 persons from Romanian world of sport.

Our prayer requests :

  • Physical and spiritual protection for our family and volunteers that we work with. To be godly persons with faith, boldness and love for the lost. God guidance for the years that will come in ministry.
  • The sport NT distribution in strategic places of sports all arround Romania.
  • Good training of the volunteers for the ministry. New volunteers and full-time workers.
  • New open doors in ministry on a high level.
  • Family financial needs and ministry funds.

We believe the main reason Crusade has been successful in reaching sports, athletes, coaches, students with the Gospel is because each staff member has a team of faithful people directly involved in the work. They are our Ministry Partners. Each Ministry Partner is involved at least in two major ways: financially and through prayer.

We want to ask you to pray and to see if the Lord will lead you to invest your time, prayers and money to support our family in the ministry field. We will send out to you our prayer letter every ten-twelve weeks. It is a brief report of whats been happening in the ministry. With these letters, we include 3 or 4 current prayer requests.

May the Lord bless and reward every act of love, sacrifice and faith for Him and His eternal kingdom!

 Daniel & Dina Zafiris -  Athletes in Action Romanian coordinators
Tel/ Fax home : (+4) 0332.808.173 Cell : (+4) 0745.455.444
E-mail :  zafirisdaniel@yahoo.com

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