Competition and Awards

Day 5 English Soccer Camp

Today we wrapped up the 2015 English Soccer Camp and the day started much like the way the camp began by pouring rain. While there was a lot of rain this week it never seemed to dampen the spirits of the campers. Morning stretching is moved inside. And when it is time for the soccer training, football as they call it, you go outside and train as if it wasn’t raining. After all matches are played in pouring rain so we need to practice in it the coaches remind the players. So off we go.

The last day features competition between the various teams that come and there is no doubt this is their favorite part. A bracketed match tourney is set up and the next several hours are spent on the pitch. This year it was decided the coaches would be divided up among the four teams. Which meant that I got to play an hour of soccer. I played in the midfield so it is nearly constant running. It did stop raining part way through and then the heat kicked up but God gave me what I needed and it was a great bonding experience. The guys were really glad I competed and you could tell it meant a lot to them.

So your prayers were at work because I started the week with a cold that was so bad I couldn’t take a deep breath without coughing and there was so much improvement that I don’t remember coughing once during the three matches. Way to go God. It is ironic how He is never late but seldom early. He knows exactly what He is doing to teach us to depend on His strength.

There were a lot of awards handed out and gifts given (as is the custom here) with plenty of smiles to go around.

This is my third camp and of the three I think we made the most eternal progress. The spirit of the camp was different with more intentionality in the schedule, more seeking by the campers and more set up for next steps coming out of the week.

It would be even better if we could bring more Americans next year. The campers need examples closer to their age and more of us. They like to practice their English, which is a stated goal of the camp, but the best practice comes in the unplanned moments of hang-out time. There is no substitute for having enough Americans to be in the various small groups of students who are playing pool, ping pong, monkey in the middle (a soccer game), video games, etc.

Thanks for following the updates. Thanks even more for praying. Would you begin praying with me now for at least 6 Americans to commit to next year? We can do if we start early enough.