Day 2 (Part 2)
What do I expect? This being my first missions trip, I simply did not know what to expect going into today.
I must be honest, I grew up going to church, however I personally do not have a strong relationship with God. I have been wanting and trying to learn how to make my relationship with God grow. When my coach, Anna Jobe, brought the idea of this mission trip upon our team I knew this was the perfect opportunity for me to not only grow in my faith, but to share my love for soccer. With the help of the people around me, including the staff and the children, I have already learned a lot about where I stand in my relationship with God in one short day.
Today was more than I could have imagined. We started the morning with a tour to a few sites in Guatemala City. A couple of things stood out for me during the tour; the garbage dump we visited and the community where the locals live. When seeing the garbage dump you could not help but feel heartbroken for the conditions that people have to work in. I was sad for the people until one of the FCA leaders explained that the garbage dump is a blessing to the people of Guatemala City. It is where the young children learn how to be tough and they learn values, while also earning money for their families. Later on in the day we visited a community in Zone 3, which is where most of the kids and families from the school we are helping at live. A lot of the houses the families were living in barely had a roof over their head. Reflecting on their homes and the dump we visited earlier in the day I realized how much we have and how much we take for granted.
In the afternoon we visited a school (AGM). This for me was the highlight of my day. These children all had so much life to share. Each and everyone of them wore a huge smile on their face. It was the small things and the people around them that brought them joy. It is the simple things that we take for granted in our lives that mean so much to them. During our time at the school we were blessed to share the love of soccer with the children aged 7-15. It is amazing how a sport can bring two completely different cultures and languages so close together.
Today was long, it was a day filled with tears and joy, but definitely mostly joy. It was a joy that I will take home with me. It was a joy that we will leave with everyone we met. Through god we were able to bring and experience the joy of life, the joy of serving and the joy of the beautiful game to everyone around us and for that I am blessed.
-Jalen Donaldson (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)
Posted on Wed, May 15, 2019
by Benjamin Johnson