Yesterday in the morning we played an older team that is preparing to play in the locale league’s championship game. We were outplayed in the first half, but as the game wore on it was satisfying to play more at their level of play. We ended the game losing 2-0, but winning their respect. Between the two, the respect was the far more important prize. Because our ultimate objective is to bear witness to Jesus and represent not just our church but also our host church, our credibility is largely established in part on the pitch.
Unfortunately we had our first injuries in the first game. Aaron got a sweet black eye courtesy a slightly misplaced free kick from Christian. I stepped in a small hole during full spring and pulled my hamstring. We took the afternoon off to rest and recover, and I stayed out of the night games that we played against young adults from our host church. During that game, Kasey re-aggravated a leg injury and Nader received a bloody lip.
We also had the privilege to attend a church service with our friends from the Athletes in Christ soccer ministry. Nader shared his testimony and Kasey sang “I love you Lord”. We all joined in singing with our Brazilian friends, and had a great time worshiping our God in both Portuguese and English.
In just a few minutes we’re leaving to spend time with a local children’s ministry. Afterwards we’re heading to IPM for the evening church service (they do church in the evening because of the heat) then to the river! We’ll sleep on the boat and spend the next 3 days on the river. We won’t have Internet or phone access during that time, but we’ll return in a few days with more stories to share. Between the various villages we’ll visit, the hammock-sleeping, the multi-village tournament scheduled for Wednesday and my birthday (tomorrow!) these will be eventful days for sure.
Please continue to pray for us. It’s possibly Kasey and I will struggle with match fitness or even not be able to play. We also have blisters, aches, heat and general fatigue to contend with. Pray also for our spiritual well-being. We’re honored to share our testimonies, and the good news of Jesus Christ to people daily, and need to keep our dependence fully on God and his grace during this week.