Today was our last day in Africa, which is so sad! We are all excited to see our family and friends at home, but it's always hard to leave the people we've grown to love here.
Today we did a huge soccer and basketball clinic with over 200 kids from the Mukuru slums that Walter works with. I helped Rachel at the shooting station in the basketball clinic with the younger kids, which was an adventure! For some of them, it took all their strength to just get the ball as high as the rim, so we made a pretty big deal about it when someone made a shot. For both basketball and soccer, we were able to have several stations and spend quite a bit of time at each station and finish with some scrimmaging. Our soccer girls even got to scrimmage the coaches. At the end of the clinic when we all came together, Walter asked how many of them learned something new today, and just about every child raised their hand. We got to hear from Walter, a couple of coaches he works with, and Wes, and of course we reminded the kids of the main reason we're here. We are sharing Christ's love and making His name known! It's such an encouragement to know that the ministry will continue to be carried out after we leave. We are blessed to be able to come help people like Maffat in Zambia, and Walter and Boniface here in Kenya. Seeing how how appreciative they are of our help and how their ministry grows every year is awesome.
After the clinic, we were able to share a lunch with the children and just spend time with them. We have all built special relationships with the kids and really enjoyed being able to hang out with them before we left. It wasn't an easy task getting all of us on the bus to leave, but we made sure to give some big waves good-bye on our way out as the kids were eager to wave back to their new special friends.
From there, we headed to the Masai Market. This is my fourth time to Kenya, but I never seem to get over how crazy of an experience it is to walk along and have person after person saying, "Just look here. I give you good price." However, they do sell some neat things and you really can get them for a good price. We spent an hour there before heading back to the Grace House to clean up and get ready to go to the airport.
Thinking about returning home, it is a challenge to know how different life is there compared to the poverty we've seen here. I think we all agree, though, that it's incredible how much joy we've seen. We have been able to see what it looks like for someone to truly have complete faith in God and His provisions. Now our job is to figure out how to respond. A verse I came across while here in Africa is something I've thought about quite a bit. From 1 Peter 4:8-11:
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another with out grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very word of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
Keeping this mindset, we know that even though this mission trip is over, we have a mission at home as well, and there is still plenty that we can do. Your prayers are still appreciated as we seek out what God is calling each of us to do!
Liz Graham, Volleyball Alumni
These past two weeks have been an absolutely amazing experience. During our time here in Africa, God taught me a lot about fully trusting him in every aspect of my life. During these past two weeks, God continually brought people into our lives that lived every day fully dependent on Him and He never failed to provide for their needs.
Samantha Hill, Volleyball
Today was our last day in Africa, so so sad! I didn't realize how hard it would be to leave and say bye to the people I got close to. God has done amazing things these past two weeks. He has taught me so much through these kids. They taught me how to fully live with joy every day.
The second week here we went to the slums and I met this boy named John, he went by nana. He was the first person here I actually got really close to. When we were in the slums he held my hand as they showed us around. Him holding my hand the whole time made me feel so much safe. Never thought a 13 year old boy could make me feel so safe! It was so hard saying bye to him today. Before I left he gave me a picture he had painted for me. I am so blessed to have met him this week and make all the new friendships I made these past two weeks. God worked so much in my life here in Africa!
Regan Volke, Spirit Squads
These past 2 weeks have been outstanding, amazing, and enlighten. During our time here in Africa, I have developed great relationships with our team and also the people I have came in contact with. Our team has maximin every opportunity to bless someone and also to teach the word of GOD. The people taught me to fully trust in GOD in every aspect of my life. They might not have " The good things" as us but their FAITH that GOD will provide what they need is ridiculous Also, they taught me that the little things can have positive impact on a persons day, week or maybe a their life.
Words explain everything I have learned and seen!
Anthony Moore, Football
Kenya has yet to fail me. It's a mind blowing experience that really can't be explained in words, but I'll try. These past two weeks have definitely been life changing. From hanging out in the prisons to doing sports clinics with orphan kids. Being here helps me to grow stronger in my faith and it helps me to better myself as a person. I truly feel like my life has been changed for the better. By this being my second time coming i really feel like I learned more this year than last year, because I feel like I have a better understanding of the trip and seeing something's for the second time can give it more clarity. I am definitely happy I came back this experience has changed me and hopefully I can be a better example to my peers and teammates. We are truly blessed!
Joseph Williams, Football
Friday Blog Updates 11:13 P.M. CT, FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2013
Our day started before the crack of dawn at about 5:15am and seemed to be a busy one ahead . Twenty five of us loaded up a bus and began our journey to visit and minister to the street boys of Nairobi. We arrived at Shekarumeh Road and had to wait for Wes and Bonifice to wake up the boys, but once we got off the bus their faces lit up. It was a bit cold and was very early in the morning but the boys were happy to see us regardless. We all went down the line and introduced ourselves and greeted them individually, they welcomed us likewise.
During our time there I got to spend time talking to the security guard that patrols that street. His name was Barrack Onyango and he was nothing short of ecstatic to meet us. He told me that it was truly a blessing for us to come, and that the people there only hear about America and never see anyone or know what the people or the country is like, but now that he has met and spoken to us that he has a good opinion of the American people. I was able to answer his seemingly endless questions about America to the best of my ability and he was just filled with joy, which was really uplifting to my spirit. As we left Shekarumeh Road I prayed with Onyangoand he told me that hopefully we would meet again someday, and if not, we will surely meet in heaven.
Later that day at about 9:30 when everyone was wide awake we hit the road again, and this time went to just play with some of the boys that used to be on the street but are now working men. We played soccer with them and even played catch with a football with one or two of them. After we played we fed them lunch and just shared the Word and the love of Christ with them. We enjoyed their company just as much as they enjoyed ours and we had a grand time with them.
When we left the park where we played and journeyed to a childrens school that overlooked the KiberaSlums, currently the largest slum in the world with over 1 million inhabitants. There we held a soccer and basketball clinic for the children of the school. The children in the basketball clinic were so energetic, happy and eager to learn the game of basketball you wouldn't believe they lived in slums. Halfway through the clinic, myself and a small group of athletes took a trip to the New Life Children's orphanage to visit and play with the children. That was the highlight of my day. We got the opportunity to spend time and play with orphaned children who were extremely malnourished when they were first brought in and were now all very healthy and happy children. I got the opportunity to feed a child named Aaron and he might be the biggest eating baby I had ever seen. He ate 3 times as much as all the other children and was first to finish every time. I had such a great time with him and all the other children in New Life that it was hard to say goodbye when we had to leave.
With today being our last full day in Africa it was truly a bitter sweet moment, because we as a team were all going to miss the relationships we had established with the people we met in Africa, as well as the ones we had with one another. We know that God is not finished with us yet, and He will continue to work in us to be a blessing to those around us, and we also know that this work that has begun in Kenya through Machezo Africa and Baylor Sports Ministry, God will be faithful to complete it.
Josh Benenoch, Football
Thursday Blog Updates 9:09 P.M. CT, THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013
Love Thy Neighbor
This is my third year visiting the slums of Nairobi and I'm always amazed at the selflessness of the children and adults living in them. All year I've been thinking about one kid in particular, Francis, who remembered me when I was too shocked at what I had seen the year before to remember him. The second I got off the bus today, Francis ran to me, embracing me in a full bodied hug. The fact that this kid remembers me two years in a row is a testament to the impact we make even after such a short visit. And it absolutely warms my heart and put a huge smile on my face to know that the kid I've been praying for the past calendar year is happy and well.
However, not all things within the slum are happy. The moment you exit the bus you are overwhelmed with the smell of trash burning on the banks of the heavily polluted river, seemingly used as a trash can and running adjacent to the slum. Children play on dirt soccer fields with deflated balls that often fall into the river and are retrieved by hand. The streets are dirt, the aluminum houses which support whole families are small and dark, and the lingering presence of raw sewage follows you as you gingerly step over questionable trenches filled with lumpy grey liquid as you weave through narrow alleys.
The sights, smells, and experiences from the slum are something that cannot be unseen and leave you with a feeling of guilt. How can I live such a lavish life having seen these things? Where do I go from here? We visited the slum, played with the kids, did several work projects, and saw things that will change our lives forever. But at the end of the day, we came back to our hotel, ate a good meal, and showered off the stench of slum life. Those kids are still there; they live in it and don't have the opportunity to lay down in warm, clean bed at the end of the day.
God blesses each of us with different gifts. If you're reading this blog, you are so blessed to live in a situation in which God has given to you in abundance. And instead of feeling guilty for over eating or leaving food on your plate because it wasn't to your preferred taste, feel overwhelmingly blessed to be given a meal. God puts us all in different situations for a reason. With as much as we have and our particular talents, we can bless others. The kids in the slums are blessed with humility and selflessness (not to mention great talents in soccer). And instead of being hardened by a life of poverty, as one might expect, people who live in the slums are joyful for what they have been given. Their reliance on God for everyday needs is absolutely incredible, and brings them joy, a love for life and one another.
Often times in America, when we are given an object we claim that object as ours. Today when a kid was given a water bottle, he took one sip and passed it to his friend, who passed it to his friend, and so on. The slum is a great definition of what a community should be like; everything is shared. A baby was standing in the street with a runny nose and another child, who hardly knew her, walked up to wipe her nose with the hem of his own shirt. What if the whole world followed God's commandment to love thy neighbor as faithfully as slum children do? What if sharing overcame greed? How beautiful might the world look.
Jennifer Gueldner, Track & Field
Wednesday Blog Updates 5:57 P.M. CT, WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013
Lets be honest: waking up at 5 in the morning to go to the streets and talk to people does not sound like my cup of tea. But as the early hours of morning broke and 28 of us boarded the buses and departed for the streets, the excitement of my teammates sent a pulse of excitement running through my body. I did not know what to expect as our bus pulled up to a dark city sidewalk lined with men, and that's when a man named Boniface boarded our bus to give us a plan. Boniface had already been out on the streets for a while and was about to pray with some of the men and boys that lived on the street and invited several students to pray with the men. As 10 of my teammates exited the bus I tried to watch with intrigue. After they were done we moved to another location as for Boniface's instruction, to interact with the woman and children who lived there.
The night before, we learned a little about those who lived on the street, and how many of them were addicted to sniffing glue, and are referred to by the local people as "trash". Having this in my mind, I did not know what awaited me as we got off the bus and were headed toward the women and children who lived on the streets. Boniface instructed us to interact with the women there, and I found myself talking to a woman named Susan. Susan is 23 years old and has been living on the streets for 11 years. She has an 11 year old son named Carlos, for whom she stays on the streets and works to make a living in order to support him going to school. Because of Susan's sacrifice and love for her son, she lives on the streets in order to ensure a better life for him.
While talking to Susan, Boniface came around handing out bags of milk and bread, feeding the women and urging us to pray with them. After praying for Susan and her son Carlos, and my teammates praying for the women and children they met, we headed towards the bus to leave.
The rest of the day was spent at Boniface's home which was about an hour outside of Nairobi. When we arrived at his house, we were all officially introduced to him, and were able to listen to his testimony.
As a child, Boniface was forced to live in the streets himself with his mother and the rest of his family when his mother and father became separated. Boniface and his family were lucky that they were not forced to live on the streets for very long, but he still got a taste first-handedly of the lifestyle. Because of this, he felt that he was called to serve the street children. At first he ignored this calling and went to school to become an engineer, but as he continued his education in university, he felt the calling become stronger and decided to serve God as becoming a Pastor. Once he became a Pastor he still felt the call of wanting to help the street children. However, the church that he was working at did not support this notion, and Boniface followed God's calling and went his separate way. Boniface gave up his paying job at the church to live a life of relying on donations and God. At first, Boniface relied on his own savings to provide bread and milk for the street children who were known as dirt. But after a while his savings ran out, but God did not leave Boniface in trouble; instead a student from the University of Alabama decided that she was called to help, and she provided some money as well as ministry in order to help the street kids. When the student when back to the university, she did not forget Boniface and the street kids. Instead she helped find a donor to donate money towards buying land for Boniface to build a new house on. You see, Boniface was living in a rented 2 bedroom house with his wife, his two own children, and six other children that he had taken in off of the streets. Not only does Boniface provide these children with food and ministry, but he tries to help them back to their own homes if they have them and they are stable, or he takes a select few who want to turn their life around in. The student was able to get a donor to donate the money for the land, and Boniface acquired it. However, this was still not enough as Boniface did not have the financial means necessary to build a house upon the land. That's when a student from Baylor became touched by Boniface's story and what he did, and decided to do something to help. She held a benefit concert at the university and was able to raise enough money to build the house for Boniface and his family! This is how Boniface has a special connection with our school. Now Boniface lives in the house with his wife, his two children, and six other boys that he rescued from the streets.
We were able to meet two boys that he rescued from the streets. These boys were able to turn their lives around and become clean, in order to get their education and to make a better life for themselves. Both men ages 18 and 22 had graduated high school and are praying for the opportunity to be able to attend university as both of them want to be engineers.
What amazes me is the amount of sacrifice that Boniface has made in his life in order to help out others. His devotion and trust in God, even in times of uncertainty is truly inspiring. Not only did Boniface give his life to serving the children through ministry, he took an extra step by sacrificing many things in order to bring in six extra children. Boniface's wife should also be praised for her sacrifice. Imagine how hard it would be to stand by your husband as he gives up a paying job for one that relies on the generosity of others and of God. Not only did she stand by him in his ministry, but also when he felt the need to bring in six extra mouths to feed, and extra places to clean. This couple's devotion to God, each other, and the children is definitely something that should be made an example of.
After hearing the rest of Boniface's story, and talking to the two boys, the team spent the rest of the day doing yard work and chores in order to help Boniface in every way that we could.
Reflecting back on the day, it is so great to look at the glorious things that God is accomplishing through his worker Boniface. 1 Corinthians 13 says that without love we are nothing, because of God's love for the children that live on the streets, even though their circumstances are from, he sent Boniface to take care of them. And because of Susan's love for her son Carlos, her sacrifice of living on the streets allows him to have a better life. The same chapter of 1 Corinthians states in verse 5 that love does not dishonor others nor does it keep record of wrongs; Boniface exhibits this when he goes out and cares for the street children even though they may not do things that honor The Lord, but because of his love for them and his love for The Lord, he brings them closer to God by bringing them the Word.
Boniface's story is very moving and reminds us that God's love for each and every one of us does not fail.
Please continue to pray for us, as we have a long couple of days ahead of us! My prayer for the rest of this week is that we can continue to be the hands and feet of Christ, and spread his divine love to every person we encounter.
Sending my love to you,
Alexis Humenik, Equestrian
"I rejoiced greatly in The Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:10-13
I wish I could have done more.
That is the thought that seems to reappear after every soccer game that has been played, every sports clinic that has been taught, and every school we have visited so far in both Kenya and Zambia. The streets today were no exception. Walking up at 5 am is no easy task for 28 college students (half of our group) to achieve and yet, every single member of our group was on the bus early and ready to serve a God bigger than themselves. If I have learned anything on this trip it is that GOD IS SO BIG! So much so that he sent me to pray for a man named Nicholas today on the streets of Kenya, a man who I was introduced to by a former pastor named Boniface Mwalimu that runs a street ministry here in Nairobi. By the end of the morning, Boniface had given Nicholas some milk while I offered a hand to hold and two ears to listen if only for a few minutes. In that short amount of time Nicholas told me or his struggles and pain but also that he had Jesus in his heart so I left him with the only thing I had left....hope. You see that is one thing I've found more of in Kenya and Zambia then I ever had in the United States.
With every place and person I've spent time with, regardless if the school was too cramped or the children were starving, orphaned or HIV positive (sometimes all three), I have yet to find anyone that believes their situation was hopeless simply because Jesus is their rock. No ifs, ands, or buts, Jesus is on the streets or Nairobi! He is singing songs with the children praising God in schools like Mapalo in Ndola Zambia. His face is in chubby cheeks of the bouncy baby boy I held for an hour at the New Life Orphanage this evening. More importantly, He is in the hearts of all of us right here, right now. He is waiting for us to rely solely on him alone for strength and to never forget that no matter where we are in the world there is always hope.
Lauren Bagwell, Baylor Club Soccer
Tuesday Blog Update 5:40 P.M. CT, TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013
Our team of 56 split up into three groups to visit three prisons around Nairobi, Kenya. I had the privilege of visiting the Langata Women's Prison, a maximum security jail. For many of us, myself included, it was our first time visiting a prison--much less in a foreign country. But the nerves ceased once we stepped off our bus and through the gates into the prison. The guards were all very welcoming and grateful that we had come to visit the inmates. The warden assured us that despite the crimes that these women were in jail for, they were all kind people who were eager to meet us. We put on a basketball and volleyball clinic for the women, teaching them basic drills and just interacting with them and having fun through the universal language of sport.
I worked with Shanay with the basketball clinic and once we finished the drills and shooting practice, our group of women taught us how to play their version of basketball called "netball." Despite somewhat of a language barrier, we were able to have a lot of fun learning from the Kenyan women and playing basketball, volleyball, and netball with them. After our final game of netball, the group of Baylor girls at the prison joined the Langata women in a dance/aerobics workout. It was so fun! The cool part was that the music we worked out to was Christian techno music. It seems like everything that the prison provides for the women is done through faith and has a Christian foundation. The primary difference I observed between the prison we visited in Kenya and the American prisons is the care that the prison guards had for the prisoners.
Despite the fact that the women's criminal offenses ranged from murdering spouses to stealing food for their children to survive, the guards treated them as their sisters in Christ with love. It was obvious that they truly cared for the future of the women and wanted them to find God. The entire experience was so humbling that the women were so warm and inviting and were able to succeed in the drills and have fun in the games despite a language barrier.
When I spoke to the women to explain the Baylor sports ministry soccer and volleyballs, I asked if anyone knew what John 3:16 said. To my amazement, nearly all of the women in unison recited the verse perfectly and beautifully. It made me tear up and assured in my heart and mind that God is truly at work in the people of Kenya.
Gillian Chant, Equestrian
First of all, let me just tell you about the types of people taking care of us here at Gracehouse. They are welcoming, kind, so supportive of what we are doing, and jump at a chance to serve us. And today, my roommate, Jenna, and I got back to our room and discovered that members of the Gracehouse staff had cleaned our shoes. Cleaned our shoes! Sometimes it's too easy to forget about the special people behind the scenes, like the Gracehouse staff, who make all of our work possible. Needless to say, we are honored to be here.
So today our team split up into three groups to go to three different prisons in Nairobi. I was part of the group that went to the Nairobi West men's prison. When we got there we were taken on a tour of the prison, even through the common areas with the prisoners, like the workshop, courtyard, and wards. Right away we could tell this prison is different from prisons in America because we were right there with the prisoners seeing everything and getting to talk with them. In the workshop the men were making beautiful pieces of furniture, some of the intricately carved. These men are learning trades in prison so once they are released they will have a foundation to build a life on and hopefully won't get pulled back into the same temptations. It was obvious this prison's goal is rehabilitation. They are learning to become self-sustaining. Seems like some of America's prisons could learn something from Nairobi West.
Now that being said, this prison is not a 5 star hotel. The 4 wards for sleeping hold about 105 prisoners each. However one of the wards only has 2 sets of bunk beds. But the guards in the prison want the prisoners to be rehabilitated and they have the program to help accomplish that. After our tour we went out to a dirt track that was right by the prison. There was traces of chalk lines marking the lanes and the starts. I was impressed to see that. There were professional Kenyan track athletes working out on the track when we got there. It was so amazing to get to talk to them and their coaches! I met a few 400m runners and the reigning 100m Kenyan National champ... Talk about star struck.
Once the prisoners got out to the track they split into football (soccer) and volleyball stations for our sports camp. While playing sports they weren't just prisoners. They were just guys having a lot of fun with their brothers and sisters in Christ. I was blessed enough to speak to one man, Julius, for a while. He's from Uganda and has been in prison for 6 years. He is being released in 2 weeks. I know on June 13th I'll be saying an extra prayer for him. He, like so many there, is so full of hope for the future. He even asked me how to apply to Baylor!! He never asked me to pray for him, he asked me to pray for the other younger guys who all they've ever known is life in trouble. They just have never had the opportunity to learn things like family values that would have kept them out of trouble. Some just didn't have a family growing up to learn these life lessons from. Before we left we all gathered up and they thanked us for taking time to come to a prison. They called us "beautiful people who care for the least." Every time we do one of these clinicss I promise I leave taking just as much from the experience as the people I meet and play those sports with.
This afternoon I was blessed enough to be one of the 15 girls that got to go to the New Life Orphanage for HIV/AIDS/vulnerable children. Everyone will get to go, we are just spread out in groups over the next few days. It was amazing. After washing my hands I was immediately handed a baby. They needed some help handling so many kids. So I got to hold little Alex for 45 minutes just loving on that precious baby. We all had so much fun just holding those kids and talking in baby voices at them for about two solid hours.
I definitely feel like today was all about love. We got to show the prisoners love just as Jesus loves them. It doesn't matter what they've done. It's not our job to judge, it's our job to love our neighbor. And those little babies don't have earthly parents, but they do have an awesome Heavenly Father who loves them beyond any amount we will ever comprehend. I'm just glad we could show them that they are so loved so much here on Earth too. I hope we were able to change/affect at least one life today. We've said that sometimes the work we do feels like attempting to empty the ocean one drop at a time. But that first drop is a start. And that one life is a start. And that one life definitely matters.
Asante sana to our wonderful family and friends for all the support!!
Kaylyn Schultz, Track & Field
Monday Blog Update 3:40 P.M. CT, MONDAY, MAY 27, 2013
Today we flew from Livingstone to Lusaka and then on to Nairobi, Kenya where we will spend the next week with our long time partners. We were greeted at the Gracehouse with songs and freshly squeezed juice then had a good meal and team meeting as we prepare to go into three prisons tomorrow. Please continue to pray for strength and wisdom as we continue our mission!
Baraka (Blessings in Swahili),
Director of Sports Ministry
Week One Highlights: Zambia 10:15 A.M. CT, MONDAY, MAY 27, 2013
A transition to Kenya
"If this is what God can do on Earth, I can't imagine what Heaven looks like." This is what Claire Dykeman said to me as we watched the sunset from the Royal Livingston hotel Saturday night. We were both in tears just thinking about the beauty we were witnessing. We had a water color sunset straight ahead, monkeys to our left and zebras to our right. We have reached the halfway point on our trip and have taken the weekend to relax and reflect in Livingston, Zambia.
We hiked around Victoria Falls and spent a day safariing through Botswana. Between one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an African safari, I'm not sure there's a place more like Heaven. As Leah Altman and I crossed the bridge at Victoria Falls we just stopped in the middle, getting completely drenched by the Zambezi River and admired the perfect rainbow on our path. Who other than God could come up with such an incredible image, and create the majestic animals we saw on the safari. We have witnessed a lot of heartache this week, but I am more sure than ever that there is a God and He is so good.
I saw many children this week that live with almost nothing; old clothes, hardly any food, and sad family lives, but I've never seen so much JOY. Honestly it is an unexplainable joy. The pictures really don't do it justice, the kids' faces just radiate. The only explanation for such joy is Jesus Christ. Because they have so little they must rely on God for so much. I wanna live like that. God is doing big things in Africa and He's doing big things in America too. We just have to tune our hearts toward God and be ready to say "yes" to Him. I get so caught up in my everyday routine and get so easily distracted by things of this world. The people of Zambia have taught me to be thankful for what I have and live in complete reliance on God. I am so excited to finish off our trip in Nairobi, Kenya.
I cannot wait to be reunited with our friends at Grace house and see how The Lord has been working in the people's lives that we were able to impact last year. I selfishly wish that some of my friends in the prison are still there because I have never met a group of guys more content with where they are and more grateful for the life they've been given. I hope to see a few less street kids holding glue bottles and a few more kids out of the slums, but if I don't its okay because I know God is in control and his plans are far better than any I can dream up.
My prayer for this week is that The Lord breaks our heart for what breaks His, and no opportunity goes unseen or no voice goes unheard. Please continue to pray for the safety and strength of our team as we finish out our trip.
Hope Ogden, Volleyball
Reflections- A look back at this week
Each day in Zambia there has been something I've seen or heard that has made an impact on my life. But one girl's song stood out to me more than anything. On Wednesday we went to visit the Mackenzie School for underprivileged children. When we arrived, some students sang us a song in their native Bemba language. The song was lead by a young lady with a beautiful voice. Their song and her voice were enough to make an impact on me.
But then I asked the school's founder standing next to me what the song meant. He told me the chorus was "I will never go back to all those bad things, I am walking with God and will never go back." You could see in the kids' eyes and hear in their voices that the song meant something to them and what they may be going through at home. But, I also believe it represents the nation of Zambia. There are so many problems and so much heartache that we saw this week.
But, we also saw so many smiles and met people with a true passion for God, and they walk each day with him to become better than they were yesterday. Amazing things are being done in Zambia, even through the troubles the people face there. I pray that I can better myself with God by my side as my new friends in Zambia do.
Levi Norwood, Football
The lack of opportunity available for the kids in Africa bothered me the most. Experiencing the dilemma first hand really made me realize how unfortunate many children are throughout the great continent of Africa. There's a serious lack of educational opportunities available, mainly due to the lack of support from parents, who aren't able to afford primary schooling for all their children.
Many parents here were just struggling to feed their children, so I understand how so many individuals grow up without finishing their education. One local told me "many individuals stop their pursuit of education very young, many as early as 12 years of age," then she went on to say it's very rare for individuals to finish high school, since many have already quit by age 15 to go find work.
It really forced me to realize how blessed we are as a nation in America, yet so many of us take education for granted. Even the poorest communities in America have free public school for anybody willing to go. Our government at least tries to give everybody equal opportunities. I wish governments in Africa would follow these same steps. I have really loved the people I've met here this week. My dream is to play professional football in the NFL and come build at least one school every year.
Cordarius Golston, Football
Friday Blog Updates 4:43 P.M. CT, FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2013
To be honest, I know many of us woke up nervous of what was to come. The girls were visiting the children's hospital was a hard, emotional experience. Plus, let's face it, a group of forty girls going to visit sick children in a foreign country.... better get the tissues. We all got on the bus and departed for Arthur Davison Children's Hospital. This is the only children's hospital in Zambia. Many of the families do not pay for the help. This hospital consists of multiple wings, from emergencies to highly infectious to the mortuary. When we arrived they split us into three groups in order to not clog the hallways.
They told us to put on our smiles and just to simply smile, get to know names, and send up prayers. I walked through the halls not knowing how I should compose myself. Is it rude to smile? There are mothers rocking their crying, sickly babies. Will my smile offend them as they sit there, helpless to do anything for their child? I decided to smile because it was the only thing I could do. However, I started to discover that as I walked and talked to small children and mothers I never felt helpless. I was sad, but I felt strong. I had no fear as I told children that I would be praying for them. I had no fear as I looked into mother's eyes and asked the name of their child.
The group I was with was constantly waving and smiling at children as we got our tour through the different wings of the hospital. In some rooms, we were even allowed to actually walk in and talk to the children. I was truly touched to see my teammates courageously walking up to mothers and children and speaking boldly to them. It started with simple conversation and then somewhere Jesus or a prayer was mentioned. I talked to a mother about her one year old daughter, Chantel. I met a kid, sitting on his bed in the hallway named Blight. I waved to patients in the ICU. However, the boy that stood out to me the most, was a little boy by the name of Frank. He waved wildly to the group as we passed by his room.
Along with a few other girls, I walked into the room that he shared with several other children and started asking him questions. Frank was twelve years old. I continued to talk to him when his caretaker decided to show me the reason he was in the hospital. She lifted the blanket and pulled it back. Exposed, were his burnt and beaten legs. He had apparently broken both of his legs. I cannot tell you what the burn marks were from, but they covered the majority of his scrawny calves. This twelve year old child smiled as he showed me his injuries that caused him to stay in the hospital for three whole months. All he had to block infection was this measly blanket. These Zambian doctors do the absolute best that they can, and let me tell you, they are smart, but they simply do not have the resources to help these cases.
Frank never showed pain. He wore a spider man shirt, and to me, this symbolized his strength. He laughed and smiled as I held down my own shock at his injured legs. The crazy thing is that I was overcome with a sense of power. Not power of my own, but power of the One who is inside of me. I gently pulled the blanket back over him and grabbed his hand. I prayed over this child. I said amen and opened my eyes to witness Frank closing his eyes and praying with me. I said goodbye to Frank as we left the wing, still hearing cries of children getting injected with fluids as they were about to head into surgery.
We said goodbye to all of the families waiting for help. We said goodbye to the children, all having bandages across their forehead, identifying who they were and what was wrong with them. We said goodbye to the child with a huge gash across his head, exposing his skull, and he waved as he smiled back at us. We stood out in the hall when one of the leaders came to me and spoke. "You cheered the children." "Really?" "Yes, I heard the mothers speaking in their native language and they said your smile and talking about Jesus really cheered them. You told them their children were beautiful." This was the first time I broke. Tears welled up in my eyes because I knew that us simply walking the halls and promising prayer made a difference.
So many problems that we cannot seem to fix, yet the littlest things can be a ray of hope. Throughout this trip, we have constantly been reminded that even if you only have an eye dropper of water to fill up a lake, even those few drops of water will make a difference. It may not feel like much, but it is still something. Friends, I write this description of the hospital not to discourage or make you feel sad, but to show that we have brothers and sisters that really do need help. I also want to encourage you in the fact that our Father and King is so powerful and sovereign over all, even in the hardest places. He was there, in that very hospital. I truly believe this.
We went back to meet the boys for lunch and we were able to give back to Northrise for all of their hospitality. Some of our team served them lunch, rather than them serving us. It was neat! Later, we all went back to the fields we had gone to the day before and split the students of George, Northrise, and Baylor into seven teams. These seven teams competed in several tournaments. Although my team may not have won too many rounds... I would dare to say we had the most spirit. That's what matters, right? It was fun to see all of the students participating in American chants and chants from their own country.
We played games involving eggs, Oreos, and potato sacks. The kids had such a fun time and found it hysterical when I placed an Oreo on my forehead and only used my face muscles to move the Oreo to my mouth. It was a sight! We later played a few pick up games of fútbol (soccer) and just enjoyed company with the students. We also decided to make our own Harlem Shake video starring Baylor University and the students of Zambia. It will probably be on YouTube soon, so keep an eye out!
We enjoyed the rest of our time playing soccer and running around as the sun set. Many of the Zambian kids got our home addresses and emails. So, parents, if you start to receive some letters from Zambia, we are sorry. We just couldn't turn those precious faces down! We finished up our day back at Northrise with a final dinner with nice table cloths and ice cream and cake! After we ate Dr Moffat Zimba expressed how grateful he was for us. I cannot tell you how incredible it has been to start building this relationship with Northrise University. If you are reading this blog, please take the time to pray for this college. They have already had such an incredible impact on Zambia and it would be a blessing for them to continue their work. I am excited to see what is in store for them.
Needless to say, God has touched the hearts of many once again. I am honored and so blessed to be His. We serve a God that is great, and a God that has created us all equal. I have enjoyed getting to build relationships with brothers and sisters of Christ in Africa. Today, I saw the strength of God, the fairness of God, and the unity He provides. Hopefully this blog gives you a glimpse of it too.
With much love,
Michelle Pratt, Spirit Squads
Thursday Blog Updates 1:02 P.M. CT, THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2013
Today's experiences further opened the Baylor Sports Ministry team's eyes to the reality that there is a disparity between living conditions that we as Americans are accustomed to and that of those native to Ndola. After breakfast today our group was separated into men and women. The men had the opportunity to visit a local children's hospital just minutes from the Northrise campus. This hospital was by far the most underfunded medical institution I've ever seen.
With a limited capacity of approximately 250 children, those without the finances to rent out a room where forced into the halls. Many of the wards and wings of the hospital were off limits to us because of the possibility of infectious illnesses spreading from patients. Our hearts broke for the men and women who had little hope of their child surviving. The director of the hospital said something powerful: "It's much different then America isn't it? It's amazing how difficult and rough it is here is and yet we are able to survive." Despite the sting of reality, we were reassured by the hospital's director and God's faithfulness that these children did have a hope of being delivered from their own pain and their family's pain.
After our tour of the hospital the men then had the chance to visit the market in Mapalo, a very poor area of Ndola that many of those children came from. It was astonishing how many people could gather and respectively coincide in such a small location. Much like a flea market or farmer's market back home, a lot of locally made merchandise is grown or collected and put onto display. The market buzzed with Zambians of all ages excited to trade and sell and hopefully obtain what they need to continue to support themselves in the hard days to come.
Because most people in Mapalo live in extreme poverty, twenty U.S. dollars exchanged into kuwachas (Zambian currency) can seem like a small fortune. I was able to buy a round of glassed soft drinks for 3 people, candy and snacks for less than five dollars. I really enjoyed seeing and tasting local produce and hand made outfits, and it really impressed me how much these people can do with so little. I believe God has sent us to Ndola to not only to touch the lives of the native people, but also the hearts of us who traveled here all the way from the states.
Kevin Mitchell, Football
Day 3 in Ndola was definitely a day to remember. The girls started out with a women's conference led by two amazing, God fearing women who impacted each of our lives with the sharing of their testimonies. It was really amazing to see the students from Baylor and the students from Northrise bond over one God.
Although we come from two completely different worlds, we all praise the same Father. I loved being able to share that time with those incredible ladies. Later in the afternoon we got the opportunity to lead another sports clinic with the students who attend George. These students were much older than the students we led in the last soccer clinic which made for a completely different experience. We were able to talk to the students and bond on a deeper level with them because of their age. It was a really empowering experience.
With each day, a different experience follows. We have one more day left in Zambia which makes me sad but also excited for what is going to come next on our journey!
Carly Jones, Spirit Squads
Wednesday Blog Updates 12:29 P.M. CT, WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013
Today was an unbelievable day. Something impacted my life for eternity today. You know, we hear a lot about kids who do not have anything to eat, who do not have shoes, who don't have parents, who are HIV positive who.... you name it, well this place we stopped by today, Arising Life, had it. It was moving to say the least. We were with actual kids like this. The joy and the smiles touched our hearts but you could tell there was hurt. A quick little back story.
There is a woman named Joyce, a Northrise grad, who has a heart for the hungry and the needy. She quit her job and moved out to an area to start a free day care for kids with needs that we all hear about and talk about, but don't really ever see. This orphanage has about 130 kids. These kids, let me tell you, love life! They love everything about it. They do it with a smile on their face and just very vibrant energy is around. They sing to Jesus and they know He loves them. It is so cute to hear when they sing Jesus loves me, and when they get to the part "yes Jesus loves me" they all scream "yes I know". It is cute but moving. It is moving because they do know it. They rely on it. It is all they have.
Anyways, today we were able to a brand new pair of tennis shoes on each and every child one by one. They smiled, they thanked us, and they ran around and began to get them dirty as every child would do. Some even went into the street and gave their old shoe to the kid in the street without a shoe. Absolutely breathtaking and moving. I thought to myself, these shoes are going to tear and get old and worn out, and what do they have. These American super heroes? NO! They have the love of Jesus! One of our teammates Kim Parr, a BU Track athletes said, when we say bye "we are not saying bye forever, we both love Jesus and will see each other in heaven". This is so true! We will see these kids in heaven and see their smiling faces.
Lastly I thought you know Gods grace is enough and it is sufficient. And it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness". This reminds me of a song that I would like to leave for you as a prayer. It was written by Matt Maher. It's called "Your grace is enough"
Here is the prayer.....
Great is Your faithfulness, oh God.
You wrestle with the sinner's heart.
You lead us by still waters and to mercy.
And nothing can keep us apart.
Great is Your love and justice, God.
You use the weak to lead the strong.
You lead us in the song of Your salvation.
And all Your people sing along.
So remember your people.
Remember your children.
Remember your promise to us Oh God.
Your grace is enough, your grace is enough. Your grace is enough for (me) all of us and everyone in this world.
Scott Beckwith AKA Bruiser the Bear
Top five things I've learned in Zambia: (by Hadley Young, Soccer)
The kids are so joyful here despite their circumstances. I have not even seen one kid cry, but they are all smiles all the time. The best thing so far was giving kids at the Rising Life School shoes and seeing their faces light up. I think it brought us just as much joy as it did them. It really makes you think about how much excess we all have in our lives; how much we have that we don't use and don't need.
Although there is definitely a language barrier here with some of the kids, it's awesome to see how you can interact with them through motions and facial expressions. Sometimes all it takes is a wave, a thumbs up, or a fist pump and you are instantly connected. Something I will never forget is watching the excitement the kids on the street got from us waving at them as the bus passed. All they want is to be acknowledged, and it's amazing how one smile can send them away squealing with happiness.
The people here have no agenda, no schedule, and no to do list. This allows them to be more engaged in the present and less worried about the future. They never multitask but instead give everything to what they are doing and focus only on what's in front of them. It makes me wonder how much more focused we would be if we put down our cell phones, turned off the T.V.s, and actually fully engaged ourself in the task at hand.
The people here walk like they have no where to be and talk like you're the only person they want to talk with all day. Unlike the fast paced world we are used to at Baylor, here patience is absolutely necessary. They do not see time as a limit, but rather they see time as something that is precious. If we had a little more patience maybe we would see time as our most precious gift too.
One of the coolest things we've seen so far is the way the kids have responded to us. From the moment we arrived there was an unspoken trust between us. The first time we stepped off the bus, it was like someone famous had arrived. They swarmed us and their first question was always "How are you?". They actually wanted to know how we were even though they had no idea who we were or where we came from. The trust between us was what made it so easy to love on the kids and share the gospel with them.
This morning we had the chance to go back to Mapalo and water the seeds that we planted yesterday, figuratively speaking. Like yesterday, the kids chased our bus from the outskirts of the campus to the school. It was pretty awesome! As soon as we got off the bus, we were bombarded with hugs and high-fives and I immediately knew that we impacted the kids yesterday way more than I realized. A girl from the team whipped out some really cool glow bracelets which made her extremely popular right off the bat; because I happened to be standing next to her, the kids assumed that I too had some cool stuff to give them, so I took out the beaded bracelets with the 5 colors.
I asked the kids if they remembered what we taught them yesterday and shockingly, they did. Obert, a 12-year-old boy that we met yesterday, immediately recited what he learned. I pointed to the black bead, Obert said, "Sin!" I pointed to the red bead, Obert said, "The blood of Christ!" I pointed to the white bead, Obert said, 'Purity!" The green bead, "Relationship with God!" And finally, the gold bead, "Heaven!" I was impressed. He already had a bracelet, so I gave it to a 3-year-old girl who was with him. She didn't speak English, so Obert said to me, "do not worry, I will tell her what it means."
For some reason that really moved me. I guess that I figured that what we were teaching was actually sinking in, I definitely hoped it, but to realize that they were actually learning about Christ through a some colored beads amazed me. Not only were they remembering what we taught them, but they were understanding it well enough to relay it to their friends! As I walked away I heard Obert explaining the beads in their native language. What a blessing!
Also in Mapalo, we had the opportunity to paint the school. Some of us worked in the school painting, while others worked outside, interacting with the children. I got to hang out with the kids. They sang some pretty awesome songs and busted some pretty sweet moves! To see them being so happy and having so much fun was a huge blessing! It melts my heart every time they sing, no lie! I even was able to teach a few kids how to do cartwheels and I'm pretty sure that after a couple of minutes they were schooling me at my own game! I also met a 10-year-old boy named Junior who liked to play tag, loved to be tickled, and was a huge fan of customized hand-shakes! We didn't do a whole lot of talking, but we did play for two hours straight.
As the bus was leaving for lunch, Junior yelled, "Harry!" (that's what he called me, he struggled with his "Ls"). After he got my attention he ran up to me and we did our handshake for the last time. I gave him a big hug and got on the bus. I don't think Junior realizes it, but the time that I spent with him really changed me. I got to see how someone with so little, someone who doesn't even have shoes to wear on his feet, can be so happy and so content with his life. He didn't care that I didn't have any cool bracelets to give him. He just wanted someone to show that they cared about him enough to play tag, to have tickle fights, and to make some wicked awesome hand-shakes.
After lunch we headed over to Mackenzie. We were welcomed to the school with a super cool song and dance. The students were so happy and impressively well-behaved! The older kids were singing and dancing while the younger kids were split up into their classes watching the show. It was such a blessing to see kids sing to Jesus and sincerely mean every lyric.
When we finished up at Mackenzie we were blessed with the opportunity to visit a school for the underprivileged called Arising Life. From the moment we walked into the school until the moment we left I was completely overwhelmed. The students weren't in any worse physical condition than the other children that we've met, but to know that they've suffered some extreme situations (whether it be becoming an orphan or abuse) completety changed everything. When we first arrive the students seemed nervous, they didn't seem to want us touching them or even acknowledging them, but by the time we left they were hanging on us like we were a jungle gym! Joyce, the amazing woman who started the school, told us the story of Arising Life, putting tears in all of our eyes. Her heart for those children was outstanding. You could see the love she has for the students in her eyes (I know that sounds so cliche, but it's the truth)!
After we heard Joyce's testimony, Prince Kent said a prayer for the orphanage. He was so moved by the children and what Arising Life is doing, that we were moved by him being moved! This is going to sound so lame, but it was a blessing to be able to see a big football player be so vulnerable to God and to those children. I could see the Lord working in him so clearly. It was powerful. Seeing the way that God opened his heart and allowed him to feel so much for those children was amazing. And I know that he wasn't the only one being impacted. After Prince prayed, looking around the room, I don't think there was one dry pair of eyes. For me, this was probably the high point of the day.
God allowed Northrise University and us to bless the students at "Arising Life" with a new pair of shoes. You would have thought they got a new ipad! They were so excited to put on their new shoes! They didn't want them dirty either; we went outside and they kept wiping the little specks of dirt off... It was adorable!
Today was a big surprise to me. I honestly didn't think that it could get any better than yesterday.. and then it did. I can't begin to explain how blessed I was. The kids don't realize it, but every song, every wave, every high five, every hug, even every little smile is a huge blessing for us. I can't explain how exciting it is to hear them tell us what the colors of the beads and the balls mean, it's amazing. These kids are so bright. They understand. They get it. Sometimes I think they get it even more than I do. Everytime I tell them that Jesus loves them I end up feeling silly because they say, "I know." To watch these kids who have so little and see that their faith is so big is so inspiring and so moving. I can honestly say that I hope to become more like them. They want to learn about Jesus, they want to know more.
Before we left for Africa I had been praying that God allow me to see through His eyes, and to see things the way He does. That's actually happening for me more and more each day! When I see a kid learn something about Christ I see my relationship with Him growing as well, and it is so awesome. I can't wait to see what God has planned for us tomorrow! I'm sure it's some more blessings!
Hailey Cowan, Acrobatics & Tumbling
Tuesday Blog Updates
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who shall I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here am I. Send me. " Isaiah 6:8
Hey everyone! Mulishani!
After a very long preparation process and an even longer trip, we finally had our first full day in Ndola. We began the day by splitting up into two teams, one team holding a soccer clinic, and the other holding a basketball and volleyball clinic. Once we got our bearings, we were off to teach and preach.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the soccer sports clinic held at Mapalo (meaning "blessing" in Bemba), which is a school that was founded for children whose families didn't have enough money to send them through any other education system. As soon as we pulled in, every three-foot nothing kid with the BIGGEST heart-melting smile I've ever seen immediately surrounded us. This is an experience that is utterly impossible to not return a massive smile back.
We started off by playing an impromptu match of keep away with a small wooden ball they use for soccer games, which quickly turned into a 'everyone-attack-and-jump-on-the-big-white-people" game. Which is once again, impossible not to have a giant grin on your face.
Once the game was over we met with the founder of Mapalo, Pastor Emil. Emil is a graduate of our partner Northrise University and has been serving these children since 2003. We were given a tour of the campus and where greeted with songs and hugs from all the different classrooms, as well as an incredible performance from one of the older students. Needless to say, it got real. Some people cried at how beautiful it was.
After the tour we began our soccer clinic, where we split into different stations composed of passing, shooting, touching, heading and dribbling. We started noticing that every time we picked up a soccer ball, it was covered with sharp stickers, which came as a surprise because the majority of the children were running around barefoot. It seemed that they were too busy laughing and enjoying what we were all doing to stop and worry about the conditions of the field.
At the end of each station we used the colors on our soccer balls to teach them the gospel, where we were met with the majority of students knowing who He was and some were even reciting John 3:16 back to us. Thankfully Pastor Emil and his staff have been doing a great job sharing the love of Christ to every student coming through their system.
After a brief remission for lunch we came back in the afternoon and continued another clinic with the older students, which quickly turned into massive groups of games all over the soccer field. Whether it was playing some sort of duck-duck-goose, having a dancing circle, or piggyback races, it all cumulated into an hour of nonstop laughter and joy.
Coming back for the second time to Africa with this missions team has made me realize how incredibly fortunate and blessed I am to come love on these people. It's humbling to see how big their faith is with what little they have. It continually throws me out of the world I live in where I seem to only be worried about the transgressions and endeavors I face, even though Jesus plainly states that He died on the cross for everyone, and not just me.
We are continuing our relationship with Mapalo as we head back tomorrow to repaint their facilities and to be living jungle gyms for the little ones. I only ask that you continue praying for the Lord to give us strength as we continue spreading the Gospel to the people of Zambia through our ministry. God is big and can move mountains, but we are simply asking that we are able to build relationships with these people through the unique gifts and talents our Father has bestowed upon us.
Thank you for your continued support, and we will update you on the rest as we go. 2 Tim. 1:7
Taylor Douthit "TD", Football
Monday Blog Updates 1:22 P.M. CT, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013
Because we have been so limited on our Internet access we have not been able to update the blog but we want you to know that we are having a great experience in Zambia. After the 36 hour journey we arrived in Ndola, a little weary but full of excitement. Dr. Moffat Zimba and his wife Doreen, who started Northrise University, met us at the airport along with some Northrise students who had made a huge welcome banner for us. After getting a chance to freshen up they fed us a meal and we got to hear Dr. Zimba's inspiring testimony. It's amazing that a guy who grew up up in a small village learning how to write in the dirt is now President of the only Private Christian University in the Country but is another example of how God does extraordinary things through those who are faithful to Him.
We got to visit the 640-acre campus God provided and see the banana trees, corn, and chickens all raised by the Northrise Agricultural school that helps sustain the University along with the beautiful buildings they have been able to build. Though tired from our long journey our time that day left us all eager to see what God would have in store for us in the days to come!
Tuesday morning everyone woke up early and after a good breakfast and morning devotion and challenge from Hope Ogden, BU Volleyball, we split into two teams and headed out to do some sports clinics. One team went to the Northrise campus where they did volleyball and basketball clinics with students from a nearby elementary school and the other team did a soccer clinic at Mapolo Elementary, a school a Northrise graduate started for children whose parents could not afford to send them to school. Again it was awesome to see what God has done through one man who said "Yes" to Him to impact the lives of hundreds of children.
We had a great first full day in Africa. It was a joy for me to watch our students love on, play with, and share the Gospel with so many children today. Hopefully we can work out a way to be able to share more with you tomorrow! Thank you for your prayers!
Director of Sports Ministry
Ah! We FINALLY arrived in Ndola! We were a mix of sleepy, exhausted, disoriented, dirty, and really really excited. (If this blog thing had emoji's or avatars I could express more accurately our physical condition.) Personally, I was super excited and I couldn't shake how happy I was to be here. I couldn't stop smiling and I remember thinking, "Okey-dokey God, work in and through us here!"
After we found our luggage, got to the hotel, cleaned up, and got some food (I'm making this all sound easier than it really was), it was mid-afternoon and some of us were falling asleep in our seats. Dr. Moffat Zimba, the founder and president of Northrise University, warmly welcomed us and shared his testimony and the story of Northrise. Born into poverty, Dr. Moffat couldn't go to school because his father couldn't afford it. He learned to write using the dirt on the ground for paper and a stick for a pencil (or maybe it was his finger?). Coming from nothing, by God's grace, Moffat got an education and after some pretty wild adventures, he founded Northrise University nine years ago. Dr. Moffat has the most amazing story and its obvious that God has had His hand over Northrise and its very humble president.
We took a tour of the main campus--an adventure in and of itself. The 600-acre land is covered with huge red termite hills, there is a large banana farm that helps to provide funding and provisions, and they have their own chicken coops (right next to the slaughterhouse). It was such a blessing to see their campus--their dorms and classrooms--as new as all of it is, and share in the vision of many God-fearing people for a prestigious Christian university in Zambia. Once we got back to the hotel, we had dinner, Wes gave the team the itinerary for the next day, and we pumped up the basketballs, volleyballs, and soccer balls for our clinics the next day. Even though we had only been in Zambia for half a day, we could already see God at work in us and our partners.
Continue to pray for us,
Sune Agbuke, Women's Basketball
Hi my name is Prince Kent. I am Truly loving this experience that I am getting to have. We take for granted a lot of things in America. I didn't realize it until I got here. I'm just blessed by all the people here rather than me being the one blessing them. It's crazy! :) If anyone ever gets a chance to serve God in another country don't hesitate to go! I could have gone on this trip earlier but I took things for granted. God has opened my eyes and I know he would do the same for you. Yesterday I got to experience seeing so many beautiful faces.
I didn't know what to expect from this day but my heart was open to whatever God had in store for all of us. We went to Northrise University to have a sports clinic for the kids that were in high school and even kids our age. The best part about our first day was seeing the children and adults not just play sports with us but seeing them love and accept Jesus Christ into their lives. It was an amazing site that I will never forget seeing- All of those young kids knowing the scripture John 3:16 by heart and screaming! Seeing them do that gave me a sense of urgency to run towards God even more than I am.
All in all I am truly blessed to be here and I want to thank everyone for the support back home. We love you guys!!
Prince Kent, Football
Baylor Sports Ministry Embarks on Fifth Mission to Africa 4:45 P.M. CT, FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013
On Saturday May 18th, 56 student athletes, managers, trainers, spirit squad members, staff, and one Bruiser the Bear will be departing as a part of Baylor Sports Ministry's fifth mission to Africa. We once again be joining our sports ministry partners in Kenya working in the Mukuru Slums, Nairobi Prisons, with the street kids in downtown Nairobi, and finishing a well project at the Liberty House in Kitengela. We will also be forming a new relationship with Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia and will serve in three elementary schools and an orphanage started by Northrise graduates and in the Arthur Davison Children's Hospital.
We are so thankful for all of those who have so partnered with us to graciously provide the resources, equipment, supplies, and training needed to make this mission possible. We will treasure your prayers as we seek to make ourselves available to God to do whatever He desires, both in and through us, as walk alongside our friends in Zambia and Kenya. We hope to be able to update you every day through this blog so you can better know how to pray for us as well as hear about the eye opening and life impacting experiences God gives us each day.
Baraka, (Blessings in Swahili)
Director of Sports Ministry