Last week, I (Mandy) was able to experience my fifth Sports Crusaders Mérida mission trip and it amazes me how these trips seem to get better and better each year! We had a great group of girls that came down for our volleyball mission. Click HERE to see some amazing photos from our trip.
These mission trips first and foremost serve God but they also help to serve us as missionaries and of course also the people here in Mérida. It is always refreshing to have people come in who are eager to serve God and His people. It not only renews our spirit of service but allows us to fellowship with friends! And what a great group of girls we got to work with this time! Shelby and Rachel returned again for their third trip and Lexie and McKenna served for the first time here. The love for God these girls show is awesome to see. And we are continuing to lift them up in prayer as they each serve in different areas of ministry this summer.
We packed our schedule full with activity and praise God the girls stayed healthy for the most part and we had only one mid-week cancellation. But its amazing what happens when we do have cancellations. It seems that God always orchestrates something much better for us! Whether it is needed rest or going to a local village to talk to people and hand out tracts and candy, God always seems to put us right where he wants us. The mission of Sports Crusaders from the very beginning has been to reach people for Christ and plug them into the local church. This can be very difficult sometimes when a local church doesn´t exist. Our goal this year has been to contact area pastors to be included in our clinics so that they can see and learn the faces of those who have heard the gospel and continue to work in these areas. Please be in prayer for the local churches and pastors here that they may see and feel the urgency of involvement in these local communities.
We always have our favorite places that we like to visit but last week we went to a brand new village and it was definitely my favorite place so far. We were supposed to be in a larger city about 5 minutes away, but we could not get the courts because of various reasons. So we were able to schedule the games in nearby Ekmul, right in centro where all the people come out in the evenings. We had one of the biggest crowds I can remember having at our games and we could see right away that God´s plan was for us to be in that small village. We were able to share the gospel with many people and the church people shared some very meaningful drama. We were there for hours, but it was ok because we knew the Spirit was there. A lady came up to me afterwards and told me that she had made a decision to turn her life over to God. I was able to share more with her and to me that was the greatest moment of the whole week. We played a lot of volleyball during the week, but she was a wonderful reminder of our sole purpose.
On Thursday, we were able to visit a Baptist Children´s Home in Tekax. We were able to play games with the kids, paint their fingernails and just love on them. We learned some of their stories and were reminded that we are all God´s children. We are very excited for the opportunity to go back to the orphanage in July and want to continue a relationship there. We´ll have more information on this in the future along with ways that you can be involved.
We have had a short week of rest and preparation with the Sports Crusaders basketball mission team arriving on today (Saturday). We are praying for each of the team members who are coming as well as those who we will be ministering to. Its so easy for us to get caught up in the sports aspect of our trips. Especially when we are competing. But our prayer for everyone involved is that the glory of God will be revealed in everything that we do. I´m reminded of a passage in Exodus 33:13-15 where Moses is speaking to the Lord:
“If it is true that you look favorable on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people¨. The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest–everything will be fine for you.¨ Then Moses said, “If you don´t personally go with us, don´t make us leave this place.¨ NLT
Our prayer is that every place we go, every decision we make, every attitude we have, no matter how we may feel, will be honoring and glorifying to God. And wherever God is leading, that is where we will be going.
Please join us in praying.
Sports Crusaders Basketball Trip: June 16-23rd
FBC Cold Spring, Kentucky Mission Trip: July 9-16th
ESBA Trip to Missouri: July 24-31st
Children´s Home in Tekax
Mandy Wisdom Teeth Surgery June 27th