June 09, 2009

BW's Closing Thoughts

Betty WisemanI think I have recovered now from travel, jet lag, inability to focus, and general malaise following the trip to South Africa and then immediately to A-SUN meetings. Being at home all this week-end for the first time in about six weeks was a breath of fresh air! These are my closing written thoughts about our mission trip to Cape Town.

I must say this was a tough trip physically for all of us to make. The long flight was difficult. The weather (early winter) in Cape Town daily carried us through four different seasons – cold evenings/nights/mornings, rain, heavy winds, and some sun! Within any given hour during the day we might experience all four seasons. Of course, our ministry was outside and our team did a great job of coping with and adjusting to the weather. Layers were in order as we put on and took off and put on and took off.

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Our experiences with the people in all the assigned communities were the highlight of the trip. Reaching out, loving, touching, hugging, playing with, and connecting with all the people made each day special. We never really knew what to expect from place to place or what we would be doing. Basketball and volleyball players adapted beautifully and became world class soccer players. They taught us games, games adapted to a small place without equipment, that we came to enjoy. Play is play regardless of where you are. It is the most natural state for kids, even us big kids, and crosses cultural barriers and brings people together. Play brought smiles and laughter and joy! Play connected us for an even greater purpose – a time to sit down and share Jesus Christ! We played and we shared. They played and they listened. No barriers of language, culture, race, or religion. It was all about relationship, with one another and with Christ. That was our ultimate connection.

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We saw need. Need for the basics of food, clothing, shelter, and safe drinking water - the necessities of life. Need for education, health care, sex education, aids awareness and medicine and prevention. The need to be loved and valued and affirmed and cared for, the need for a greater meaning and purpose for life; ultimately, the need for a relationship with Jesus Christ and all that can mean in one’s life.

We were reminded of how blessed we really are! We have far more than we need. Maybe we discovered the difference in our wants and desires and our basic needs in life. Our priorities may have changed. We have far too many clothes in our closets, too many shoes to choose from, and too much food to eat. We don’t know what it means to be hungry, unloved, suffer from the elements due to lack of shelter, barefooted due to lack of shoes. But we saw happy people, content with circumstances in life, making do with what they have. We learned that we’re pretty spoiled, set in our ways, and we see things through rose colored glasses. We were humbled.

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We witnessed true ministry, people giving their lives in service to others, like Nathan. His life revolves around kids in the community and his church and how he can minister to and serve them. The joy of his service shines bright day in and day out as he gives of himself for his people. There is Pam and Mike Talley from Brentwood Baptist Church who made a long-term commitment to Living Hope Ministries following a mission trip, leaving children and grandchildren to serve the people in and through King of Kings Baptist Church. Avril and John Thomas blew us away with their vision, passion, commitment, and service to their ministry. How can they do all that they do? God has his hand on all these people. We are fortunate to have served with all of them for a short period of time.

We were well fed by Nadine, housed comfortably at Team House, and transported by Gordon – all with great love, generosity, and gentle care. We lacked for nothing. We knew we were being bathed in prayer daily by so many. Only God knows the results. Seeds were planted, lives impacted, and many came into a relationship with Christ.

And, God provided the special night at the game reserve before leaving Johannesburg for home. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, wild beasts, zebras, lions, monkeys, and on and on! What a way to end this trip.

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Thank you, team, for all you did and the spirit in which you served. Thank you for saying “yes” to the call and being faithful in all aspects of the ministry. A special thank you to Tony for keeping us all connected through this journal and a forthcoming DVD. I believe God is smiling down and saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.” To Him Be All The Glory!

May 29, 2009

South African Experience

KeatonMy South African experience was what I hoped for and much more! All 12 of us would agree that we had a great time and would not trade a single moment for the world. When looking back on everything that we accomplished over the course of a week and a half I would have to say that we did what we set out to do, and that was to get complete strangers to give their lives to Christ. When we would sit the kids down and share with them I truly believe that we got their attention by our positive attitude and personalities. They saw the cross symbols on our shorts and t-shirts and realized that what we were saying was important.

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I met many wonderful people on the trip. Nathan, who was the Ocean view community leader made me laugh by telling me that the only thing that he didn’t like about America was the amusement parks because they make the roller coaster carts too small. Clynton, who was our host at the Team House and he helped me mail out family postcards. Nadine, our Team House chef who let us experience the African culture by cooking us the best meals. Kelly and Brodwyn, two young ladies whom I met at the Fish Hook King of Kings Church while playing Chair-Ball. Dr. Thomas, the pastor at King of Kings who gave us an interesting perspective on Barack Obama. Keaton, a young African boy who I told that he had the coolest name in the world. Tom and Cindy, who I met as we were leaving the Johannesburg airport to go home. And last, but certainly not least, Gordon, our bus driver who provided us with humorous sayings and conversations as he would drive us around Cape Town. He was my favorite person on this trip. He was a strong Christian man who really cared about us student-athletes at Belmont. There are many other great people that I met on the trip, but it would take all day to name them all.

As BW told us at the team meeting Sunday night, “I’ve never had a mission team love one another like you all have this week.” We seemed to unite quickly and learn a lot about one another. Here is what I learned about each team member:

Continue reading "South African Experience" ...

May 25, 2009

Strength of Relationship


It’s our last day and I am already starting to realize how much I am going to miss Cape Town and all the people I have met and talked to about Christ. Today I have been going through in my mind all the places we went, all the people we met and the lives we changed. I can’t believe how fast the trip has gone and I have mixed feelings, I’m excited to go home but I want to do more for these people and I am going to try my best to help as much as I can from home. Every place we visited was amazing and the kids were so full of joy and beautiful. My favorite place of all was a place called Red Hill. It was probably the poorest community but it was full of the happiest people I have ever met in my entire life. The people we encountered all knew about Christ and had relationships with him, you could see Christ in each of their faces as they joyously sang and played games in the worst conditions. Women and children praising god from the doorways of their small tin shacks and dirt floors really opens a person’s eyes about their own relationship with God and a lesson of humbleness and selflessness.

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Throughout the trip I have really bonded with the team, those that I already knew I am closer to and the members I didn’t know very well I feel I have gained a strong friendship with. Since we stayed at the team house with another group of Belmont students I also gained friendship with many of them. I feel so blessed to have met all of them and I can’t wait to hang out with them when I get back in the states. I just feel blessed in general about the opportunity of this trip and how it has made me a better person and has strengthened my relationship with God. I am so thankful and would love to return to South Africa and help in any way I could.

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Growth in Faith

RachaelIt’s our last day here in Cape Town, and I’m sitting on the back of our little bus trying to process this whole trip. It has been amazing and I hate to leave, but I know that we have done the job that God has sent us over to accomplish. My favorite day, I would have to say would be Sunday because we were able to worship with two churches the first being a Baptist church that was similar to the ones back at home. The second one at masiphumilele and it was awesome. Even though we did not understand what they were singing it just made me fill as if God had come into the church and made us all come together as one.

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When thinking about the rest of the trip all the kids that I have met; Keith, Keagon, Shaundy, Mandy, Sam, Peter, and Frans. These are just a few that stick out in my mind that I know I have made contact with and will think about when remembering this trip. Another thing that I will keep in my mind is keeping the same attitude that I have had over here this whole trip because it is an awesome feeling sharing the word of God and showing love for everyone that I meet. This is third step up in my Christian life; the first one was being saved, second in Brazil, and third here in South Africa. Can’t wait to see what my fourth one is going to be.

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In closing I want to thank some people who have made this trip happen and who have supported me throughout. I want to thank all my family and friends. My parents for their prayers and helping me get to where I am at Belmont. I want to thank Coach Lindsey and his family for their support and all the love they show me. Meme, Uncle Billy, and Billy Roo for all the prayers I know they helped and gave me energy on those days I was really tired. Last but not least to all of my teammates who have encouraged me to do better and given me support when I needed it, and to BW who without her none of this would be possible. She is the key to all the doors that have been opened to me with these past two mission trips. I just want everyone to know she is truly an amazing woman and I feel lucky to have met someone as spiritually blessed as she is. See you all when I get home!


Cacy This has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. I feel so blessed that I got the opportunity to be part of this team and come to South Africa. It is amazing how close each and every one of us have become over the past two weeks. I have met some very special people on this trip. No matter if we were all jammed packed in the van, on the thirty hour plan ride, playing with the kids, or out to eat we always where laughing and having fun.

Each day here was awesome; however, if I had to pick my favorite it would be when we went to the community of Red Hill. This was probably the poorest place we went but the people were the happiest and most loving people. It really made me realize how fortunate we are and how much we taken for granted.

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Throughout this whole trip it has been amazing to see how God has worked through all of us. This trip was the first time I actually got to share my personal testimony. It was amazing through support of BW and the other team members I got to speak and share with the kids about Jesus Christ. I really feel like I got to reach out and bring kids closer to god and at the same time became closer myself. Words truly can’t describe everything we have seen and experienced on this trip. To be able to experience this as a freshman has been amazing. I have learned so much and feel like I have grown as a person.

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South Africa is a beautiful country. The past few days we have had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. We went to the top of table mountain, Robben Island, and got to go to the market and spend all our rand! I am sad the trip is coming to an end. It has flown by. However, I can’t wait to go home and share my experiences with everyone!

May 24, 2009

Catch Up Time!

Betty WisemanTime flies in Cape Town! Can it be that we just finished our last day of ministry following worship at two services this morning? We’ve had very little down time at night. Being a little older than these young people I have tried to use my night time to rest, especially with the sinus infection I picked up earlier this week. It is better now. I’m just praying for relief before getting on the plane to come home.

I bet you’ve heard from the team about Red Hill and our afternoon in the poorest of the poor area on top of a mountain. With wind blowing, dust flying, and smoke filled atmosphere from fires built to stay warm we played make-shift games of “net ball” and “street soccer.” Trees kept the sun from hitting us and the longer we stayed the colder it became. But, what we discovered on that mountain among those dear people was a happiness and contentment with life that put us to shame. It was amazing! They welcomed us with open arms, happy faces, and joy! Laughter permeated the place. There were children everywhere, young people eager to play games, and adults of all ages gathered to watch. The spirit of community overwhelmed us! And when we gathered them around to share God’s love through testimonies and the gospel there were all ages. God was there! They listened and they responded. Not one of our team will forget that afternoon in the village of Red Hill. It was a divine appointment for us on that mountain. A part of each of us is still up there!

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We have been from one school to another, day after day, playing and sharing. Basketball and volleyball players became pretty good soccer players. Our team has simply exceeded all expectations. I wish I could come up with new words to describe them. They bonded quickly, became one in mind and spirit and purpose, with a deep sense of calling to this ministry. Each of them stood, over and over, and proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ. It was a matter of who asked first to share! They were ready and willing to stand before their audience and their peers at a moment’s notice to share God’s love. The team concept has been a beautiful thing to behold. It began as they dared to love one another, encourage and affirm one another, and hold one another accountable. It is always a unique experience for me to watch the “team” concept develop. This was extra special. I wish parents and family, coaches, Belmont administrators, faculty, staff and Trustees, donors, prayer partners, and friends could witness what I have witnessed these days in South Africa. I can tell you this – they will come home different, having encountered Christ in a new and very real way. You will see it and in time they will be able to share. It will take time for them to process everything.

Continue reading "Catch Up Time!" ...

Special Experiences

ANDYTonight was the night. There is always one night on these trips where everyone gets together and BW guides us through our thoughts and feelings. She asks us to reflect on our feelings about what we have done, about how it has affected us. She asks us to express our feelings towards one another and how we have seen each other interact throughout the week. “There is never another time like this, you will never be in this time again, talk about how you feel and say what you want to say,” she always says. She is so right. I believe everyone cried at some point tonight. Words, pictures, videos can depict our trip, but they can never portray the things shared and the experiences on a trip like this. When you completely pull yourself out of your own culture, schedule, and country you are solely devoted to those around you and whatever goal is ahead of you. Our goal was to give hope, inspiration, and encouragement, through the love and teachings of Jesus, to those living in desperate measures. We have accomplished our goal. Even if it was one or two children that were inspired or encouraged, we were successful.

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We heard a story today by the pastor of King of Kings Baptist Church, John Thomas. He told us of a 14 year old girl who knew that when she graduated high school, the best job she would get was to clean houses. She would make a total of 30 dollars a week and live in the same shack she grew up in for the rest of her life. Her goal was to live life to the fullest, having sex as much as possible with whoever she could in hopes that she would contract HIV and die at the age of 20 so that she would not have to live in the terrible conditions she was living in. We have spent all week in the neighborhood that this girl lives in. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have the same thoughts if I lived there too. It is a sad story, but underneath the sadness is a message of hope. Hope that there is a future for these children. And there is. Living Hope has done an incredible job with these communities and it is obvious the impact they have amongst the children. They encourage the children and spread a message of a better life. But it takes a revolution, it takes changing the way people live. Changing their way of thinking about how life can and should be. It cannot be done by just a nonprofit organization with 150 employees though. It takes our help. Our time and sacrifice. I encourage those out there reading this to get involved and contribute in any way possible. In order to make a difference, you must be different.

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There is something to be said for a woman who has spent the past twenty years of her life investing time, money, and love in twenty-year-olds to travel the world and grow in their faith. BW is amazing. The guidance she gives to the small groups of student-athletes on these trips is remarkable. The influence she has made on me, will affect the way I am as a husband, the way I treat my friends, the things I say to my children and the way I live my life. How profound is her impact on the students and people she meets. She is a hero in my books.

Last Day of Activities

StefanThe best part of winding up a mission trip is to see and hear just how close of a group the experience has allowed us to become. We share our most intimate and personal testimonies with one another and feel just like family for it. The troubled times and great times in our lives all seem to be shared with one another during these trips. Today was such an eye opening experience for me when we were worshiping at the Masiphumelele Baptist Church. We pulled our Van next to an unfinished brick building and entered to African worship songs. The group eased in and sat down not knowing what to expect. I was sitting in the second row right near a window where I was able to see thousands of homes no bigger than closets, the lucky ones having a roof. I sat and listened to the most beautiful worship music I have ever heard not even understanding a single word. The holy spirit was moving in my soul and I struggled to fight back tears of all kinds of emotion. Music is a universal language, but even more God is a universal savior. It was as if God had allowed me to understand for a moment that his people are everywhere. His children are not just in Nashville at Belmont, but they are all over this beautiful universe. God’s power and vastness is impossible to imagine, but none the less all the real.

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The day finished off with our last stop of mission work at the King of Kings Baptist church. A crowd gathered and waited our arrival to play the” great American basketball team”. The absence of basketball goals didn’t stop us and especially this creative group of South Africans. We proceeded to play a game called “Chair Ball”. Basketball without a hoop and a goal was simply throwing the ball to your teammate on the chair. As simple as this sounds, it was so much fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. After a massive warm up match, the players were broken down into four teams where we played a small tournament. The first match was a stacked number one squad led by Andy Wicke and Keaton Belcher. The newcomer Cacy seemed to be a sleeper and spark on the court as she meshed well with the two veterans. The first matched seemed to be no problem for this group as they advance 5-1 into the finals.

The next match was the three and four teams. I was on the fourth team which definitely had to be the most gifted and best looking team on the court. Let’s just say God was in a great mood when his hands molded these athletic specimens. My troop consisted of Whitney “steals” Seals, Carly “Contessa the Contenda” and of course of course myself “Bronze Back”. Our first challenge came from Driveway phenom D-Hanlen with Big Bird Mick holding down the defense. After a slow start, Our team hit them like a one, two combo from Ali, “DOWN GOES FRASIER”! we quickly dismissed team 3 and set our sights on Wicke and KB’s NightHawks. The Battle began and my team hadn’t missed a beat. With a commanding 4-1 lead we thought the game was in the bag until a brilliant last second coaching call from team captain and point guard Andy Wicke. Keaton now switched from a field player to the chair prevented a slight match up problem for my small but highly agile crew. Before we knew it Keaton had caught 3 goals and the game was tied. The next two plays are still disagreed upon as I write this blog. I went coast to coast where I forced the ball to the best goal catcher in the history of chair ball, Whitney Seals. Transfer and possession was made and a goal should have been called, but our Coach and ref BW seemed to be playing the rhyming game with Gordon the G-Boi driver. The next play Andy and keaton’s combo finished us off. We all know in our hearts who the true chair ball champs were today, and I know I’ll sleep nice and tight with the Gold medal around my neck. I must remind you; this story will be drastically different from team number one, different but far less exciting.

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God is working in the lives of my teammates and it truly is amazing to be a part of such a great group of individuals. God has used each one of us during this ministry as his vessels to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. The funny thing is you come on trips like this to reach lost souls and God moves into your heart and soul and changes you forever. BW and Tony have been incredible leaders and we can only hope that God is wrapping up this work here in Cape Town saying well done good and faithful servants.

May 23, 2009

Joy of Friendship

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May 22, 2009

God's Plan

JennyHello there from Cape Town!!!

This trip to Africa has been absolutely amazing. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Cape Town last summer as well. I worked in the townships and became familiar with many of the children that were there. Knowing that it was in God’s plan for me to return to the country, I was very excited about what I was going to experience.

Last year I had the privilege of meeting a 14-year old girl, Lucy, in one of the townships. We became very close over time and developed a bond unlike any other. After returning home, we continued to write letters through one of the life skills teachers that worked with her. She has not left my heart since the day that I had to say goodbye. Yesterday was one of the days that I was most looking forward to. As we were playing with children at a school and teaching them volleyball, I saw Lucy standing amongst the crowd. Our eyes held with an immediate connection and a rememberance of the time we shared together. We were able to spend the remainder of the time together and also hang out during the evening session at the youth group. I believe that Lucy was a major part of my calling to return to Cape Town and I pray that our relationship will continue.

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We also went to a township called Red Hill. Having gone there last year, I knew what to expect. However, my teammates did not. They quickly realized how the township was different as soon as we arrived. Of all the townships in Cape Town, Red Hill is amongst the poorest. There is no form of flat surface for the children to play on. Although one of the poorest townships, it is also one of the happiest. There is a joy in the people of Red Hill that cannot be found anywhere else. Welcoming us right into their community and inviting us to play net ball with them; we were all changed by the experience. It is absolutely amazing to see such a deep joy on the faces of people living in conditions that most of us have never seen. A joy like that can only come from the love of the Lord.

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Our events today began with going to Ocean View High School. We worked with groups of students, playing basketball relay races and sharing the word with them. Taking a short break to view some baboons, ostriches, and penguins (in different areas of course), we got energy to continue with our mission work. We concluded the day with a basketball game at a township. It is amazing to see the places that the Lord brings us. We are able to witness to anyone in any possible situation. It doesn’t have to be an organized event or a planned program, but we have been able to show the love of Jesus Christ through our actions.

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The trip has been more than expected thus far and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us. Thank you for your prayers.

I will check in with you later! :-)

1 Corinthians 2:9

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"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 -

May 21, 2009

God's Purpose

CarlyHello Readers!

We woke up to a big thunderstorm here in Cape Town! Being able to see the lightning out over the coast was beautiful! It passed in perfect timing for us to visit our first group of kids at Ocean View. It was a morning of volleyball and basketball and we had a great turn out! J Gray, Casey and I helped with the volleyball courts and worked on passing, setting and hitting. The kids were so fun to be around! We spoke to them about how much Jesus loved them and how big He is in our lives; without Him we could do nothing. They prayed, thanking Jesus for their family, friends, teachers and the opportunity for them to come out and play.

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After Ocean View we visited Red Hill which was probably the poorest place we will visit here in Cape Town. The living conditions there were almost unbelievable; tiny shacks and liter and debris everywhere. Although their lifestyle was not ideal, they were probably the happiest people I have ever been around. The joy that they got from the smallest things like playing “net ball” (their version of basketball) and street soccer was so humbling. You could feel God’s presence among those people and the love that they displayed for us was so moving.
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As a first timer on a mission trip like this, today really opened my eyes to what God’s purpose is for us. Showing that no matter what the difference in His people are, He is still the same, He will never leave us and His love is everlasting!

Red Hill ChurchUntil next time….

May 20, 2009

The Story by Pictures

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Amazing Day!!

DrewAnother amazing day in South Africa! I can't really explain how beautiful this country is in words. Waking up every morning to a sun rising over the mountains, with the ocean beside it, is truly amazing.

Something even more amazing is the reaction we have received from the community members that we have worked with. Today we worked with two huge groups of people. Our first stop was to Zerilda Park Primary School. About 300 children in their blue and gold school uniforms were waiting for us with smiles on their faces. We hosted a few relay races before sitting them down and sharing with them. I got my first chance to talk to a group, and I really enjoyed it. Stefan Baskin accompanied me, and I thought the kids really took our words to heart. These were truly great kids and it seemed like most of them were headed in the right direction, and I feel like after hearing us talk today that we influenced them to stay out of trouble and to make the right decisions in their lives.

drew 1.jpgAfter speaking to the group we had a chance to talk and play with them. I had all 300 kids circle around me for a few minutes while I preformed some of the coolest looking ball handling drills I could think of, dribbling two and three balls at a time. The kids all had huge grins on their faces and they enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun for me to be able to show off some of the drills that I do, especially seeing that the kids were really enjoying it.

After the dribbling expedition the kids stampeded us all. We played with them for a while and signed hundreds of autographs. We all signed shirts, hands, shoes, and anything else they could find. This truly was a great group of kids.

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After we left Zerilda Park, we went over to a community called Capricorn to play a few games of soccer. We lost our first match 2-1, but managed to sneak away with a 2-1 victory in our second match. It was amazing to see a community gather for an exciting afternoon full of soccer games. We sat down to talk with the teams and we actually had a lot of the community members that were there to watch the games, listen to our speech as well. Andy Wicke, Stefon, and I talked in front of them, and I feel like it touched some of the soccer players, along with some of the members of the community.

This trip has changed me already, and it has only been three days. I have never experienced anything like this, and I’m so glad that I am getting the opportunity to help out. I’m excited about getting the chance to work with other communities, and I am looking forward to helping out as many people as possible for the rest of the trip!

Our Hearts Overflow!

Betty WisemanOur morning at Zerilda Park Primary School, Lavander Hill, was filled with kids, basketball, and volleyball. Eager faces with smiles as big as the ocean welcomed us. They were eager to get their hands on the balls. Excitement ran rampant. We shared time with a small class of little guys around 8 years old and had a really unique time of sharing God’s love with them, led by Stefan and Drew. Then we were overwhelmed with around 300 kids who came out of nowhere! Basketball skills and demonstrations by our team brought Oooh’s and Ahhhh’s, clapping, excited response. We finished with a game of volleyball and more cheers.

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A short lunch at the park consisted of sandwiches and water brought with us from the Team House. We proceeded to Capricorn for an afternoon of soccer. As we began to play a team of local youth more and more teams began to show up. A crowd of around 200 gathered as the afternoon progressed. Each team wanted to play the Americans. At least the field was better than yesterday. Our team played three games and had a powerful sharing time where Drew, Stefan and Andy captured their attention by giving testimonies of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. I closed with an invitation to receive Christ and there was a wonderful response as young men asked Jesus into their hearts. It was the divine appointment that we had prayed for in our morning devotional.

We played one more game and then said we just had to go since we needed some rest before an evening at Ocean View where basketball is on our schedule.

Tonight we arrived to find the activities cancelled. They couldn’t get anyone to open the facility. Were we disappointed? Somewhat, but relieved also that we could get back to the Team House at a decent hour. God provides for all our needs, even tired bodies. God is good and we look forward to all that is in store for us tomorrow.

Psalm 37:5

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Commit Thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.
- Psalm 37:5 -

May 19, 2009

Serving the Lord

Betty WisemanThree days already? Since leaving my home on Sunday a.m. I have had only about 5 hours of sleep. It is now Tuesday night. Ministry began for me on African Airlines when they closed the aircraft doors to take off in Washington. I spotted an empty bulkhead isle seat and hustled to claim it for more leg room. I was a happy camper! I looked to my left and there sat a beautiful African woman holding a tiny baby. To my right on the side isle seat sat another African woman holding another tiny baby. There was a seat between me and the one on the left and the isle separating me from the one on the right. I was so taken by these precious baby girls (one a month old and another one month twelve days). I was in the nursery!!!

It was my first divine appointment of the trip. They needed help! For the next seven hours until our stop in Dakar, Africa I helped with the babies – helping each with the special baby seat belts that no one knew how to use, getting items from the diaper bags, holding babies while mothers went to bathroom, standing and rocking – back and forth, preparing formula for a bottle, and on and on. I felt lost when they got off in Dakar. They were so appreciative of my help. We hugged and said goodbye. Those seven hours passed rather quickly and then all the seats filled up with people getting on for eleven more hours to Johannesburg. That may be the longest eleven hours I have ever spent, in spite of taking an ambien that just did not work.

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Our team had a busy first day on the field with orientation and then two ministry stops in the afternoon. No one slept last night. I found all the guys up before daylight, along with several from the other group. We were all still on Nashville time and had not slept. We played volleyball at one school and soccer for two hours at a local field that was all sand, covered with rocks and glass and trash. While they played a local team I walked around and picked up rocks and broken glass, etc…doing field maintenance.

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Afterward Keaton and Andy and I shared greetings, testimonies, and the gospel. Several members of their team accepted Christ, along with three others who were bystanders. It was the perfect ending to a good day. A walk down to the beach and into the cold water topped off the day’s work.

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The Team House, our residence for our stay, is located on the hillside with a path leading to the beach. Our hosts serve us the most delicious home cooked food you can imagine. I hear the two groups downstairs playing a game as I sit in my room writing this entry. I wonder when we are going to sleep. Did I say this is a beautiful place with incredible people as our hosts? Everyone here sends greetings to Belmont and Brentwood Baptist Church.

We have 3 ministry times scheduled for tomorrow in schools and basketball tomorrow night at a local community center. The work is on. Our schedule is full. Keep praying. Be proud of your children, our students, and how they represent all of you. They are a blessing!!

Isaiah 30:21

Sports Evangelism in South Africa 2009Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it."

- Isaiah 30:21 -

(click image to view larger size)

May 18, 2009

Arrival in Cape Town South Africa

TonyHello everyone!! After 20 plus hours on the plan, 3 stops both groups are safely in Cape Town, South Africa. Only one person's luggage was lost out of both parties (mine). It is fifteen till 11 pm here and the group is relaxing, getting cleaned up and going to sleep. We will have breakfast at 8 am, orientation, and then our work begins. Pray that God will shine so brightly through both groups that people will just stop and look to see what is so different. We thank you all for your prayers for our safe travel.

In Christ,

May 11, 2009

Ready and Waiting!!

Betty WisemanWe had our final meeting at my house last week, a time for food and fellowship, devotional and commitment time, and distribution of equipment and items to pack. Team members are in final exams this week before meeting at the airport for departure this Sunday, May 17, to begin the 30 hour trip to South Africa. An email today from Cape Town indicates that plans are coming together for time in schools and gatherings at community-wide events. I am confident that God has divine appointments awaiting us upon our arrival in South Africa.

God is good and faithful. He has provided the funds needed for this trip and we trust Him completely for all He has planned. It will be a new place for all of us and we are excited to be invited to share in what He is already doing in Cape Town in and through Living Hope Center. We go in His name and pray His will be done in and through us.

Thank you for sharing the journey with us through this journal. Pray for us!


May 07, 2009

Ready to Experience God's Love

KeatonThere are three things that come to my mind before we take off for South Africa on May 17th.

The first is that I feel so blessed and honored to be able to travel the world and spread the Word of God. I was thinking the other day about the places and countries that I have been to, and all have been because of Belmont. I am thankful to be apart of a special University, with great people. I feel like we have a great mission team this year and am excited about our journey to Cape Town.

The second thing is I am excited about learning about the South African culture. I am anxious to see how they live their lives and how it compares to Venezuela and Brazil. I am almost certain that it will be a unique experience and I will learn a lot from it. We will be there for ten days so this is plenty of time to get the full experience.

The third and most important thing that comes to my mind is that we are traveling to a different continent and are trying to get complete strangers to give their lives to Christ. It is a special value to have to be able to work as a team and complete this task. As we share our testimonies with these kids, and get to know them I believe that we can get majority of them to show their true love for Jesus. I am also excited about my relationship with Christ getting stronger. On the other two mission trips I felt like I became closer to God and that is what these trips are all about.

Again, I am excited about going to South Africa with our team. Hopefully it will be an experience we will never forget!


May 03, 2009

Anticipation of Showing God's Love

Rachael Hey everyone, starting to get things ready to go on my second mission trip with BW and a new group of athletes. Brazil was awesome and I learned and am still learning from things that I saw and heard from people over there. Now I'm onto my second journey and it's going to be as awesome as the first one. I've never been to Africa and will probably never get a chance to go back so I'm going to make the best of it while I'm over there trying to; Show the kids how much I love them, How much God loves them, and just have as much fun with them as I can in the short amount of time that I will be with them. Can't wait to get over there! When I do I'll give everyone an update on how things are going.


April 20, 2009

Sports Evangelism in South Africa 2009

Betty WisemanThe annual Sports Evangelism Mission Trip is scheduled for May 17-28, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa where the team will work with Fish Hook Baptist Church and the Living Hope Center. Ten student-athletes and Tony Howell, Assistant Volleyball Coach, will accompany Betty Wiseman to do sports ministry in local townships, schools, and communities within the Cape Town area. Team members are basketball players Keaton Belcher, Drew Hanlen, Mick Hedgepeth, Andy Wicke, Cacy Burtnett, Whitney Seals, Rachel Swisher, former player Stefan Baskin, and volleyball players Carly Frazier and Jenny Gray. The team is scheduled to travel with the School of Religion Study Abroad students and faculty who will remain in South Africa for an extended stay. While there the team will work with leaders of the Living Hope Center to establish an on-going sports community outreach ministry.

March 09, 2009

Meet the 2009 Sports Evangelism Team

Africa Team 2009 - Belmont University

Belmont University

About this Trip

The annual Sports Evangelism Mission Trip is scheduled for May 17-28, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa where the team will work with Fish Hook Baptist Church and the Living Hope Center.


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