I DO NOT HAVE PICTURES READY YET...I WILL PUT THEM ON SOON.
This was our second official Soccer Tournament for the youth. Tuesday through Saturday four teams of five guys played their hearts out. Unfortunately, this time the teams were pretty uneven and you could see who was going to win the Championship game from the start, but that didn’t stop the runners up from putting the Championship game into overtime. Just like last Christmas, the tournament ended with huge excitement and the underdogs almost won.
The four teams each had a captain who is either a student leader or a very good soccer player that can lead a team. We emphasize to them that they are “mentors” to their team and have freedom to pastor them spiritually. They all take this serious and have a lot of fun. It’s a great experience for the captains to gain more leadership experience and skills. One team did not win any game, however, the team captain was voted by the participants to receive the Best Sportsmanlike Conduct Award because of his positive attitude and encouragement to others.
Saturday evening we had a LIFE NIGHT and Award’s Ceremony. We gave away a number of Awards:
**Hospitality Oscar Award for showing Hospitality to the American groups that come for Short-Term Missions. That Award went to Rubén.
**We gave out two Medals to students who we wanted to recognize for their help with the Short-Term Missions teams: Ana received an award for helping set up before the teams came but was unable to greet the teams because it was late when they arrived. Pedro received an award for being hospitable to youth from other towns; having a missionary attitude by making friends with them on outreaches instead of hanging out with his own friends or “comfortable” crowd.
**We also gave out awards for the three best goalies and the three highest scorers: José Luís was the best goalie with the highest percentage of saves and Carlos was the highest scorer with 28 goals, breaking the last tournament’s record of 26.
**The Championship team Los Correcaminos (The Roadrunners) won every game they played sweeping the competition. They did a great job and are great players.
**Finally, the Best Sportsmanlike Conduct Trophy was awarded to Martín, the captain of Los Vencedores (The Overcomers) who did not win any games, but made it to the last day by overcoming discouragement. Martín, a Student Leader, did a phenomenal job of keeping the team unified and from not giving up. We focused on attitudes all week and how we need to have the attitude of Christ…humbleness, not thinking of ourselves first, but others first and serving one another.
The tournament was successful in bringing towns together and students making new friends which opens up the door for evangelism. After the message at the Life Night, we had people raise their hands who wanted to receive Christ into their life for the first time. Two students raised their hands and we prayed all together. It was the first time ever that one of those students had been to a church event with us. Please pray for Carlos and Aidé for a continued desire to know Christ and an understanding of their New Identity.
EXTRA NOTE: After the Championship game, Los Jefes (“The Chiefs” or “The Bosses”) played a game against the winning team. Los Jefes consisted of: Pastor Gollo; Missionary and Director of Alternative Missions—Cofradía Dave Elías; Missionary and Director of the Indigenous Ministry Jay TenBrink; Missionary and Director of Student Ministries (myself); and Missionary Intern Jonothan Green. Basically, the “old” guys (the youth's words) against a very tired Championship team and the “old” guys WON, 9-7!