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Friday, March 15, 2013
Originally written for Lumination Network
The Lipscomb women’s soccer team, with the encouragement and support of a new coaching staff, has planned its first spring break mission trip to El Salvador. The team will serve and share the Gospel with indigenous communities and knit a stronger bond between themselves.
Assistant coach Chris Klotz has been in direct communication with the mission staff of Sports Outreach Institute, and they have set the trip to begin on March 15. Between now and then, Klotz will be leading team meetings and preparing the hearts and minds of players to accept and embrace the challenge.
During a mission trip meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Klotz asked the team to meditate on and pray about Biblical passage Romans 12, which tells Christians to become a living sacrifice for God, serving humbly with joy, faith and sincere love.
“There is something very significant that happens to the culture of a team when they are focused on serving others,” Klotz said. “Through building relationships, experiencing a much different culture and realizing that God is bigger than the bubble we live in, it is my prayer that our team would become more unified in the purpose God has for us — to love Him and love others.”
Sophomore defenseman Brittany Rupple is looking forward to the trip.
“I decided to go on the trip because I wanted to embrace this amazing opportunity God has provided – to travel to an area that isn’t as fortunate as we are here and to show His love to children that have been put in difficult living situations,” Rupple said.
El Salvadoran native and freshman midfielder Cristina Giron said she hopes the values of her culture will allow team members to grow as individuals and together as a unified family.
“Love in El Salvador is nothing like what we experience here, and life is so different," Giron said. "I’m confident that being exposed to a different culture will not only allow us to value what we have, but also value each other."
With the help of the Sports Outreach Institute staff, 11 players and three coaches will devote themselves to a week of service in less privileged communities. The team intends to visit a local orphanage, help teach English at an inner-city school and share the Gospel with families living in El Salvador’s developing communities.
Klotz and the rest of the coaching staff are refocusing the women’s soccer program for players to desire and recognize the necessity of God’s presence in their lives.
“A trip devoted to serving others, domestically or internationally, will grow our team on so many levels,” Klotz said. “It is my hope that each member of the team will experience Christ’s love in El Salvador and their lives would be changed forever.”
(Author Kelsey Reiman is a member of the Lipscomb soccer team and will participate in this first mission for the young women.)