Maceio Day Three
GOD is awesome! Today has been the most toughest day throughout this trip by far, but you know what? GOD gives his toughest battles to his toughest shoulders. This morning we got the opportunity to visit the public school here in Maceio and as soon as the bus arrived to see the priceless facial expressions and smiles of those children really was an eye opener because the majority of those kids are very less fortunate, and don't have everything that I may have, but yet they could keep a smile on their face. As I arrived and walked in, the first thing that came to mind was to grab a soccer ball and get as many kids as I could and have a session where we would have to continuously kick the ball to each other without it hitting the ground or at least just keep some sort of rhythm going. After a little while we did a program for them. Some of our athletes did demonstrations and had little competitions with the students. We also got to share one of the Gospel Balls with them. They really seemed to enjoy getting to know more about the things that we do in America and at Baylor University. Although the kids didn't really have much, the willingness and attitude of those children really just made me want to be more apart of them.
We also got a chance to work a soccer and volleyball clinic at Ingreja Baptista and the atmosphere and drive that we had to just give GOD and those kids was phenomenal and couldn't ask for a better way to end that part as a unit. Would you still be eager to want hope, love, and opportunity to change someone life despite what you may or may not be going through? Well these kids are changing me daily and they inspire me everyday to just give more and appreciate more and I just thank GOD for that.
Tonight we also met and did a clinic with young men who played American football! Their team is called the Macherais. They are the only team in the state and travel to other states to play 6 or 7 games a season. Despite them not actually knowing the game and the way it is played in America or even at Baylor we were able to teach them not only the fundamentals of each of their positions, but we did things the way our football team does at Baylor with the help of Coach Kaz who is our head strength and conditioning coach and mentor. I can say for the first night of being with those guys teaching them and helping them, they caught on pretty quick! Even though we had to do it on the beach! Pastor Jonson said for them, this was a miracle for them to get to work with us. I know I am pretty excited to get to work with them again tomorrow. I personally just want to thank GOD for the opportunity and Baylor Nation for helping us all experience this mission. As a team we are learning, giving, and understanding what we are here to do and why we are doing what we do.
My experience in Brazil has been one of kind thus far. I never imagined the impact this trip would have on my life so quickly. I heard the different stories from past athletes who went on mission trips, but hearing the stories is one thing and experiencing it yourself is another thing. I knew once I left Brazil I would view things differently, however I wasn't prepared for the things I have already seen.
The first day in Brazil we took a tour of the soccer arena, then we had a soccer camp later that day. However, the one thing that really hit me hard was when we were passing by the slums. I was speechless to say the least. You know growing up as a kid I would watch the television shows about people living in poverty, and you know it would really make me sad. However, once the show went off I would continue my day. Seeing these slums in person will forever change my life. I am so blessed in life that sometimes I forget about the little things in life. Things such as tissue or fresh water is a blessing. I could not do anything but sit on the bus and think about the lifestyle these people were living, the lifestyle that the small kids were living.
Today, we went to a high school and had a basketball camp. Being at the high school was amazing, the kids treated us like heroes! Lastly, of course I loved teaching the kids basketball! Something that I am so passionate about and just simple love!! It's been a great day. We finished the evening with a worship service at the church. It was cool singing the songs in Portuguese as best as we could! Now time to rest before a full day tomorrow!
Lady Bears Basketball
Our first day in Maceio was an incredible day and a great way to kickoff this mission trip. This morning we woke up and got to hear Pastor Jonson's testimony. Listening to someone's testimony who has grown up in this Brazilian community was powerful. He got to live out a dream of becoming a professional soccer player, and after his career ended he felt a call back to to serve the poor. He pastors a beautiful church in the slums where he is able to reach out to the people of that community and be a safe place for the children. Driving through the slums today was such an eye-opening experience. To see the things they go without is heartbreaking. Most of the places we saw did not have the basic necessities of life that we have every day in America. It makes me feel extremely grateful for what I have. We also got to host a sports clinic today for the children living in the slum area. To see kids with huge smiles on their faces when they have absolutely nothing was probably the best part of the day. In all their circumstances and challenges they have a smile on their face, and that is powerful. We have so much to be grateful for, and being in Maceio has made me realize that. Being a part of BU missions has been such a blessing.
Today was a day filled with firsts.
My first time having strange Brazilian cake for breakfast. My first day exploring Maceio, Brazil. My first time eating lunch at a Brazilian subway. My first time drinking 1.5 liters of water in one sitting. What felt like my first time being outside- holy cow it is HOT with about 100% humidity. My first time teaching a sports clinic to a bunch of little Brazilian boys...and one girl. My first time learning to correctly, and still terribly, kick a soccer ball. My first time eating Brazilian BBQ. My first time going for a run on a Brazilian beach.
This day was jam packed with first times, language barriers, and sweaty children....and I loved every second of it. In all my discomfort and first times I had ample opportunities to say "yes" to Jesus. Yes, I will follow you today. Yes, I will love these children. Yes, I will eat this food that is slightly scary so that I can be fueled to love your people well. Yes, I will go run around in the scorching sun. Yes, I will laugh with and enjoy the company of my fellow teammates.
I pray that my life song today sang a loud and resounding "yes, Lord"
He is good.
Baylor Acrobatics and Tumbling