Mission "Teams": Asbury Athletes in Ministry
WILMORE, Ky. – Like so many other mission-minded Asbury University students, three Asbury athletic teams — comprised of more than 70 athletes and coaches — ended their summer breaks early for a chance to spread the love of Christ around the world.
From playing soccer and helping communities in Jamaica, to remodeling churches in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, Asbury student-athletes and coaches from the men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and cross country teams took time to help those in need.
See below for a photo gallery compilation and a few thoughts from each trip. You can also click on each trip’s blog to read about their adventures and service!
Men’s Soccer - Jamaica with Global Soccer Ministries
Coach Ben Andrews: “I feel like to just look back on the kids, the fun, and the country is an escape of what really went on while we were there. There was so much more to our trip than that. What we got out of it most — or what I feel we can take away from this the most — is the sharing of our own testimonies and being able to learn their stories along the way. Our guys connected well with all the people we came into contact with and were able to pray with them and for them. It was truly a great experience.”
Women’s Volleyball – Puerto Rico with Puente Missions
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Coach JP Rader: “The trip to Puerto Rico was in many ways the consummate Mission trip experience: a great connection with the local community in Moca through our volleyball clinics, an opportunity to complete a work project, help with a children's home, share the Gospel with campers and opponents alike and grow as a team through our book study and evening sharing. It was exciting to see God working through all of those strands. The relationships built were Kingdom building experiences that we will take with us in the years to come.”
Kelly Cole: “This has been one of the favorite mission trips that I have ever been on! The people we met here were so excited and thankful that we were here! Volleyball is such a big sport here in Puerto Rico, so we were able to relate to the girls and their parents in a way that was easy and natural for us. It was awesome to see what an example we can set for the girls as the potential future that many of them want and need. Many of them looked up to us, and it was such a special feeling! I would love to come back in two years, even if I’m not on the team.”
Morgan Newton: “Coming on this trip was the most amazing experience. Being my first mission trip, I really didn’t know what to expect. The people and relationships I have met and made have and will continue to impact my life. Seeing how people contently live their lives every day with a substantially less amount of amenities than us took me back. But the most rewarding moment was on the first day of the second clinic. Towards the end of the session, Natalia and I were talking and I asked if we could take a picture after. She grew a huge grin saying she’d love too. Her excitement blew me away, making me realize how much we take for granted. Needless to say this trip has sparked a lot of reflection for me. Along with all of this I have come so much closer to all of my lovely teammates. Within each day God jam-packed it with numerous examples to show me just how blessed I am.”
Cross Country – Costa Rica with One Mission Society
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Coach Randy Crist: “The trip to Costa Rica was a wonderful experience. The Lord used us in a powerful way. We helped feed the homeless, we painted several rooms in a group home for abused children, and we poured a concrete floor for a church in a poor area of San Jose (mixing the concrete by hand!). It was very hard work, but extremely gratifying. We attended a service in the church and saw first-hand how they worship and love the Lord. The team bonding that took place and the wonderful sights we saw as we served were icing on the cake.”
Julie Chin: “We got to work on a church to help expand it because the congregation was getting too big. The first day we knocked some walls down to start in the process and that night we were able to attend the church service. When we got there it was too crowded to get in the door, but when we finally did get in, it was really moving to see the way they worshipped and how the spirit moved in them. It was awesome to be a part of growing their church to accommodate all the people coming in. At the end of the week, it was just great to spend time with the church members and being able to see the spirit work and move in all of us.”