Sunday, June 12, 2011

10 hours and counting

My head is spinning. Actually, it's been spinning a bit off it's axis for the last couple of months. Coaching, unexpected teaching responsibilities, and challenging home improvement activities have cast me into my private little orbit in far out space. Good thing I was tethered to the mothership. If not, I would still be drifting  in the deep and distant darkness.

But, I do have one more mission before coming in for a splash-down. I will be getting on a plane tomorrow with a dozen female athletes, traveling to Costa Rica. Over a period of ten days, we will be jumping, running, playing games and kicking soccer balls with our Costa Rican counterparts. But why?

Let me explain. A frequent question asked of me over the years as been, "Why do you run?"

My standard quip was usually "Because I can." But that's not really it. The last several years I have been impacted by the thought that my athletic ability was not an accident or a handy skill sculpted and honed by coaches. No. I am an athlete because God made me that way. And just like the musician, engineer, artist, or doctor, I have a responsibility to use that talent to bring honor to the Father and point toward his love for us. Hence, a mission trip with like-minded athletes to serve young Costa Rican athletes and share our faith.

Our team of athletes has adopted a theme for this trip: "Go with love. Return with honor." Our purpose is to use our love of sport to establish relationships with the athletic high school girls of San Jose. For in relationships, communication is established and trust is forged. It will take setting aside what is familiar and comfortable and an embrace of a different culture and perspective. We will need to see those girls not as an oddity or a refreshing respite from American culture but as people who need to understand the truthful claims of Jesus Christ. If we do not go with love and serve with compassion, we cannot possibly return with honor.

We have been praying that God ordain divine appointments with just the right people at just the right time for just the right purpose. It is our desire to use the platform of athletics to share the hope of an abundant life in Christ. As God brings us to your mind over the next week and a half, please pray for our safety, willing hearts and Spirit-guided minds, and an effective ministry because God is choosing to draw those ticas (Costa Rican girls) to himself.

If technology does not fail us, I hope to be able to post here while we are in country. Also, please check http://www.handsofcompassionintl.org/ or follow us on Facebook for pictures and information about our daily activities.

1 comment:

Rick Gray said...

You and your girls will for sure be in my prayers. Have fun and be the wonderful witnesses that God designed you to be.