On Saturday, we had practice pretty early at Ed Bush Stadium (7am). Welcome back early morning practices! At least we got to sleep an hour more than we normally did during the winter. Anyway, practice was pretty light with a good warm-up to get our legs moving. Near the end, Voss told me to sit out (Liz) because I have been battling an ankle sprain and he wanted me to keep it fresh for the games. I was not too excited about this, as any athlete can attest to, but as I sat down next to Emily, we saw a group of young boys walk by. Emily pointed out that one of the boys got in trouble with the security guard for reading one of our mission balls(as some of you know, the mission ball is a soccer ball that has the gospel message typed out on each one of its patches). We have been praying for opportunities to share and give out the mission soccer balls, so Em encouraged me to go talk to them and give them the ball. It opened up an opportunity for me to talk to them, get to know them, and share the message of the gospel with them. Apparently the boys ranged from ages 10-12, and they were at the field because they had a game after our practice. Many of them were church goers, and they were overjoyed to receive the soccer ball. They also promised to read it and share it with others. Even though this was a small instance, it reminds me that our disappointments are truly God’s appointments.
Later that evening, we went to some futbol matches to watch the local clubs and some of the girls we would be playing in the next week. After the games, we ended up meeting the girls, dancing, and being our crazy selves. One of the girls commented, “Your team is so joyful! You guys are like Christmas!” haha.
We also invited all of them to dinner and worship. One of the girls was cussing a lot and some of her teammates seemed embarrassed and asked if we were sure we wanted to invite her. Jalisa immediately responded, “We love her anyway, and of course we still want to invite her!” What an awesome response! Our mission is not about finding perfect people, it is about loving imperfect people with the love that Christ showed to us!
A bunch of girls ended up coming to dinner and we had a blast. It was crazy how fast they opened up about their lives. There were countless conversations and opportunities to minister to these girls. It was awesome, and we love them all so much already! After dinner, we had worship and Vic shared about the Father Heart of God and how that was demonstrated in her life through our Florida National trip. After worship, she was talking to two of the girls, and one of them said, “There is just a glow about your team!” and the other girl replied, “It’s Jesus.” WOW! We were not expecting God to open the doors so fast, but we are so grateful that He did! We can’t wait to love on these girls, encourage the believers on the national teams, and be a witness to the unbelievers. It is so cool that we were able to just be ourselves and allow God to use our unique gifts and talents to draw people to Christ. (Liz)