Belmont University

May 16, 2011

Step One: Get to the airport!

2011 Sprts Evangelism Team

The 2011 Sports Evangelism team did get to the Nashville airport this morning to begin the long journey to Italy. Several family members and Belmont University coaches were there to see the group through check-in, let them know of their support, and gather for a pre-security check word of prayer. All are in great spirits and looking forward to the exciting days ahead.

The group is scheduled to depart from Chicago in a couple of hours and will be without communications for the night and parts of tomorrow. It has been a long day already for several team members and prayers for a restful flight have been requested. More later...

May 12, 2011

The Aroma of Christ!

Betty WisemanFinal exams are over and we are ready and waiting for Monday’s departure at 1:50 p.m. Our flight takes us through Chicago to Rome. From Rome we will be taking a two hour train ride to Naples for our ten days of ministry. Everything is in order as team members spend a few days with family before leaving.

Some of my daily devotions in recent weeks have centered around the following scripture:

“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved, to those who are perishing. ..…in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”
2 Corinthians: 2: 14-17

“We are the aroma of Christ!” WOW!

Oh, that we will be the sweet aroma of Christ during these days in Naples! God has triumphed – He is the General – He leads us in Christ. We follow! We are to manifest that triumph in our ministry in Naples. We will be an aroma that will initiate a response of some kind day in and day out. I pray the fragrance of our lives will be sweet, sincere, encouraging, loving, joyful, peaceful, and inviting as we share the amazing saving grace of Jesus Christ through our actions, testimonies, and the gospel.

More later - from Naples!
- BW

May 09, 2011

Thankful and Humble

WesThankful and Humble. These two words describe my involvement on this year’s mission trip and I have used these concepts in our small team meetings as we have prepared for next week’s trip.

I am both thankful and humbled that Betty Wiseman asked me to go on this year’s trip as a leader. I remember the experiences I had on these trips as a student athlete myself and I am looking forward to working with our student athletes and watching them interact with children, teach the fundamentals of basketball to crowds large and small and share their faith.

I have told our team that God could have chosen anybody to go on this trip and for some reason, God has chosen the 14 of us. He has something in store for us, some divine appointments, and while we may be a blessing to others while in Naples, I can assure you we will walk away blessed.

- Wes

May 08, 2011

Comments Enabled

Some of you have asked, "Why are my comments not showing up?"...The answer is: spam filters set up for this year's group were just a little overzealous and marked all comments (prior to today) as 'Junk'. Well, we know for sure that your supportive comments are not junk and that they are as welcome as much as your prayers are coveted.

Try again, please, with your comments. We'll keep the spam filter monster under control this time :)

May 05, 2011

More excited each day

KristinIts Thursday May 5th which means we're only 11 days away from our journey to Naples! As the days grow closer I get more and more excited each day about this opportunity that has been presented to me. I have never been on a mission trip and this is something that I have always wanted to do and I couldn't be more thankful for being a part of this group. Last night as I sat around the dinner table at BW's house I realized how special each and every one of us are and the gifts that God has blessed us with. I have only heard great things about the previous trips and I cannot wait to get over to Italy and begin our ministry! Continue to keep us in your prayers as we prepare for this amazing journey.
God bless!

- Kristin

Un-tethering - A different sort of fasting

Team MEal at Betty's HomeLast evening at Betty Wiseman's home, the 2011 team gathered for a time of fellowship, trip packing, and prayer. After filling up on lasagna, KFC chicken, fresh corn, salad, and a to-die-for chocolate cake, the group sat together to hear Betty talk about a different sort of Biblical fasting that applies to the digital age. The concept of leaving something behind for a period of time so that one's focus is concentrated on our relationship with God is repeated throughout the Bible. In a world of iPhones, headsets, Facebook, and instant information we tend to be tethered, technologically, to the world around us and more easily distracted from things of a spiritual nature. B-Dub suggested that each member of the team make plans to disconnect from distractions as the team gathers next week to travel to Italy. Un-tethering for a time would mean that the forward focus of the team is concentrated on the needs of those who will be touched by a week of ministry led by student athletes and not restrained by anything that might pull the group backward to the hectic, always connected, lives we live stateside.

To hear the words spoken in prayer as the gathering ended, this team is ready. There is a genuine sense of calling to the mission before this team. There is an enormous amount of gratitude toward those whose gifts are making this trip possible. There is already a growing kinship among the team members that will grow and become contagious. There are numerous prayers for spiritual growth, individually and as a team, that will be powerfully answered. There are lives who will be touched and changed forever during this trip.

The next time the team meets as a group will be at the Nashville airport... Un-tethered and focused forward.

April 29, 2011

Hectic right now

hd_brandon.jpgIt is Friday the 29th, the last Friday of the semester. We have two more days of class, exams, and then school is out. Normally I would extremely nervous and anxious right now, thinking about the two papers and four exams I have ahead of me, but instead I feel excited. I know that with the end of the school year comes our mission trip to Naples. I have been looking forward to going on a mission trip this year since we left Malta almost a full year ago.

Talking with the rest of the team, I have found that I am not the only one who feels this way. All of the players who went to Malta last year can’t wait to go on another trip, and the rookies are excited to find out what its like. To prepare ourselves for the trip we have been meeting in small groups to have weekly Bible studies. These have been going very well and I get the sense that this group could be very special.

There were many things about the Mission trip last year that made it a life altering experience for me. It was the first time I had left the country, I got a chance to experience a new culture, and I grew closer with everyone involved in the trip. All of those aspects of the trip made it amazing, but it was something else about the trip that caused it to change my life. Until we had left for Malta last year I had never shared my testimony with anyone before, and I had never talked about my relationship with God with anyone that wasn’t in my Sunday School class or in my family. Explaining to the people of Malta, who ranged from grade schoolers to professional basketball players, about all that it means to have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe was something special. I felt closer to God than I have ever before. I had always felt like God had a plan for my life, but until I shared my testimony with the Maltese men’s national basketball team I had never felt God work through my before. It was an amazing feeling to know that my Lord and Savior was using me as a tool in the lives of those men. So even though my life is hectic right now academically, I find myself thinking back to that feeling last year in Malta, and hoping and praying that God will use me in a similar way this year.

- Brandon Baker

April 18, 2011

Reminding myself of the opportunity

hd_adam.jpgAs I prepare for the trip I just keep reminding myself about the opportunity that God has given us. Last year was a tremendous experience. I am really looking forward to this year because of my experiences from last year. Our devotional bible studies have really given me the chance to bond with the new team members. We are less than a month away now and I cannot wait to meet at the airport. God has blessed us with the opportunity to share his word and I am looking forward to doing that with this team.

- Adam

Coming together

hd_cacy.jpgAs this Spring Semester winds down, my excitement grows in anticipation of our upcoming mission trip to Naples, Italy. I was lucky to be a part of the previous two trips to South Africa and Malta with BW. Each trip was a unique experience with life changing impact. Our team is already very close, but our relationships continue to grow as we have group meetings and devotionals in preparation for our trip. My testimony has changed from year to year as God continuously works in my life and I am in the process of refining my testimony that I will share. I, as well as the rest of the team, am very excited to see what God has in store for this journey. One of the most fulfilling aspects about these trips for me is seeing it all come together in the end and realizing the impact that I may have had on an individuals life.

- Cacy

April 14, 2011

Hoping to make a difference

hd_jj.jpgI have never been on a mission trip before, but I could not be anymore excited. Talking about it with the other people going on the trip, and even people who are not going on the trip, gets me even more excited every time. I am just pumped to get over there and to serve God and hopefully make a difference in peoples' lives.


Setting the tone

hd_alyssia.jpgI cannot even put into words how excited I am about going to Naples. The preparation time leading up to it has seemed to fly by. I feel like our meetings and Bible study time with one another has really set the tone for heading out. It has given me a way to start seeing my teammates and friends in ways that I have never seen them before. I am sure that will continue when we get to Italy.

Please keep our team and the people we will be with while in Naples in your thoughts and prayers.

- Alyssa

I try to count the days

hd_haley.jpgThe weeks leading up to the departure date for Naples are so exciting. I try to keep count off the days, but they go by so fast. I feel that no matter how much I talk to God, there could always be more said. I try not to focus too much on the trip though because I know that God is leading us and he will allow us to get through to any person and/or all people that we can. He works in mysterious ways!

After going on the trip to Malta a year ago, I know that I will have an amazing time with the people of Naples. Talking to anyone about who Jesus Christ is in my life, is a great opportunity and it is easily done have the support of a team. Its just one day at a time right now praying, talking to teammates, and getting the correct mindset, the rest is prepared by our leaders and God. I cannot wait to be apart of their culture and spread the GREAT NEWS!

- Haley

April 02, 2011

It Won’t Be Long!

Betty WisemanEverything is in order and ready for departure for Naples, Italy on May 16. Preparations have been on-going since January and the team is now focused on final-exams and closing out the semester. Our last meeting prior to departure will be at my house on May 4th for dinner, distribution of uniforms and equipment, and the usual informal commitment time. Career missionaries, Charlie and Shannon Worthy, have organized an itinerary that will keep the team focused and busy in local schools and communities.

You are invited to walk the journey with us through this blog/journal. We understand that internet connections may be a difficult to find at times, but we’ll do our best to keep you informed and updated on our ministry.

A special “thank you” to all who are supporting this endeavor financially and through your prayers and encouragement. The team has bonded beautifully already through team meetings, orientation, and member led small group bible studies and devotionals. We are excited about all that God has in store for us May 16-26 in Naples, Italy.

- BW