The Book

Stay tuned—we have BIG things in the works!

We are writing a book detailing the full story of how the COSDECOL ministry came to be—with never-before-heard-details.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Mark Wittig arrived in Colombia the year the nation erupted.

Eight-year-old Alex watched as his father shot an innocent man point-blank in the head. Later, he would follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming a thief, a kidnapper, and an assassin. Statistically, he would be dead or imprisoned before the age of 20.

And his story was one of many thousands of similar stories in 1980s Medellin, Colombia. Petty crime of all kinds, bombings, murders, and kidnappings were as common as the emeralds that graced the mines of the Colombian Andes. A beautiful country endowed with a plenitude of natural resources was awash in blood. A beautiful city, internationally known for its flowers, was the homicide capital of the world.

And I came to this city in 1985, the year Pablo Escobar and the M-19 guerillas attacked the Colombian Palace of Justice in Bogota, essentially declaring war on the state and igniting a “culture of death” that would end in 90,000 dead before the turn of the century.

But God looked down on a valley entrenched in the vices of humanity and brought salvation— through the unlikely means of a soccer ball.

It all began with a pickup soccer game that I started outside the walls of the seminary I had come to teach at. It grew, as only God can grow something. There I met Alex. But a very different Alex— an Alex that had had his life changed by the gospel through the work of our coaches. An Alex who told his father “No, I won’t kill these people” and got the worst beating of his life and was kicked out of his house.

In the pages of this book, I detail the unexpected birth and growth of a thriving sports ministry against the backdrop of a nation’s darkest days.

From stabbings to shootings to drugs to baptisms, what happened is so improbable, it couldn’t be fiction.

From a simple soccer game to a ministry that has impacted 39,000 youth and counting in Colombia, the Lord’s breathtaking power and provision is the protagonist of it all.

– CUSC full-length book, Stadium of Lights: A Story of Lives Changed and Hope Ignited in Narco Colombia