Xela is a beautiful city that sits in the middle of lush green vegetation. The place we are staying has a rooftop balcony with a restaurant where we have breakfast and an open area where we begin each day as a team. Surrounded by mountains you can see out across the whole city, and it provides a great environment to reflect on life and on the things we are seeing and experiencing.
We have now had two full days with camps in the morning with middle school/high school aged girls here in Xela and two days of coaches clinics in the afternoons. It’s been incredible to see the ways God is working in the lives of the Guatemalan girls already – girls who haven’t had a chance to have good technical training before, or to be recognized for their skill and accomplishments, or to have equal opportunity are beginning to see that they have value, that God loves them, and that they are enough.
As Tessa Anderson reflects:
Hey everyone, we are now two days into the camps with the girls from Guatemala. Everyone there came with big smiles and were very excited to be there. The first day we worked on technical skills. The girls were ready to learn and were very attentive. The second day, we worked on defense, attack, where to place yourself and how to do faints. Some of us got to step up and coach alongside our own coaches. Also, today we gave out prizes to the players that had a good attitude, presence and effort. In addition to these attributes we were looking for the most improved and the ones that were ready to learn in every team. The girls gave a speech on how thankful they were to be there and to be able to play soccer. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are so happy to be coaching these girls and to be a role model for them. This camp shows girls that they can’t let their gender keep them for trying to achieve their dreams.
We are also seeing coaches who are observing the camps and attending the coaching clinics catch the vision of using sport for a bigger purpose and who desire to keep doing camps like this after we leave – camps where soccer skills are taught alongside spiritual principles. Cristobal, the leader of AIA Guatemala, is thrilled to see people rising up desiring to volunteer with AIA in Xela and to continue the work that God is doing here. With two more days of camps and coaches clinics we’re expectant that we’ll have more stories to share with you as the week unfolds.
Here are some ways you can be praying for us:
- For our team as we go into our first game today – that we would be unified, that the girls would play in freedom, and invite God into their sport
- or Kayla as she shared her story after the game
- For deeper relationships with the girls at camp and to show them how much they are loved
- For good connections with the head of the Guatemala Equity Commission and the Olympic Committee who will be at our game today
Thanks for following along with us!
And Happy Independence Day to all our Americans out there!