June 15, 2007

Personal Reflections - Deane

DeaneIt is hard to believe that we’ve been back in Nashville for over two weeks already, as it we were just there. Though it has been wonderful to be home and to see family, it has been challenging as well. It’s always a struggle reinserting myself back into daily life after a mission trip, but for some reason this time has been much more difficult.

It is truly humbling to be used for God’s purpose, be that at home or around the world. Knowing you’ve been used while feeling unworthy to be used fit perfectly when describing my emotions from our trip.

One of the things I will remember is what an outstanding job each of our team members did while there. From players getting up to talk and share about their faith for the first time in their lives, to Tony and Josie doing an outstanding job leading, I was impressed time and time again.

deanefinal3.jpgI’ve come away from the trip with a couple of personal reflections. There really aren’t answers right now, more things for me to think about, pray about, and work through. In what ways should we, as a team, be involved in ministry in and around Belmont that we haven’t done in the past? In what ways should I, as a coach, minister to our team that I haven’t done in the past?

Thank you to all of you that supported us and our trip. Whether through prayer, transportation, finances, or communication, each piece of support meant a great deal to us and is yielding eternal significance in the lives of many people. Thank you to all of the parents that entrusted your daughters to us and allowed us to take them to Brazil for this life changing experience.

deanefinal4.jpgLast, but far from least, a special thanks goes to BW for leading our trip. After beginning to talk and pray about this trip four years ago, it was amazing to see it all take place. Thank you for all the work you did in preparation for our trip, and thank you for the example you continue to set here at Belmont. It was an honor to minister alongside you as your brother in Christ.

This trip is another beginning in our lives of God working in us and through us. I don’t know where my (or our team’s) journey will take me, but I know that He does.

There is a chorus by Steve Green (from Philippians 1:6) that seems appropriate now in light of God working in and through us:

He who began a good work in you, He who began a good work in you, Will be faithful to complete it, He'll be faithful to complete it, He who started the work, Will be faithful to complete it in you



June 08, 2007

Personal Reflections - Cat


It’s strange coming home after such a life-altering trip. I view things so differently now, and it makes me see how much we take life for granite and don’t understand how blessed we are. In this time of reflection I am still taking in all that I saw and experienced in Brazil—still finding it hard to grasp. I feel like I’ve changed a great deal emotionally and spiritually, and my eyes have been opened to what is most important in life. Everything about Brazil is beautiful—the people, the culture, and the land. However, there is so much suffering and despair that goes unnoticed. These people certainly live in a paradoxical world. Yet, while they endure so much toil to survive, they remain the most loving and giving people I’ve ever met.

This trip was an experience of a lifetime, and I am so lucky to have spent it with my best friends and teammates. I know we are going to be so much closer now, if that’s even possible, and we will always have this great memory we can share. So many great things have come out of this trip and I am so fortunate to have been given the chance to go and experience a different culture.

It’s difficult summing up this trip in just a few words, because I feel like it’s something you have to experience for yourself to fully understand. However, if I can pass on any words of wisdom, it is to love your friends, love your family, and have faith. It may seem cliché, but when you have nothing left, it is what is most important in life—love and faith.



Personal Reflections - Josie


Brazil. AMAZING! It is hard to find the words that can express how grateful I am for receiving such an awesome opportunity. Being able to travel, share about Christ and play volleyball in Rio, Brazil was a once in a lifetime experience. Playing volleyball is one of my favorite activities, but to use the simple love of a sport to connect with others even with a language barrier was incredible. No matter where we are in the world, who our parents are, the language we speak, or the food we eat, there are always similarities and a way to connect. As much I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Rio, the people we were able to meet was the greatest joy of the trip. There were so many interesting people, ranging from the missionaries, interpreters, the children we met at schools, or the many people we played against. Each person had an original life story that made each encounter wonderful and unique. In conclusion, I feel my mind and more importantly my heart is much fuller after spending ten unbelievable days in Rio, Brazil.

Josie Hackworth



June 05, 2007

Personal Reflections - Colleen


Looking back on our mission trip to Rio, I am starting to realize just how lucky I really am to have been given such a wonderful opportunity not only to experience all that this wonderful city has to offer but also to experience it with some of the most important people to me in the world. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to witness the breathtaking beauty and at the same time, tough realities of Rio with my teammates and best friends. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this trip possible, to name a few: Betty Wiseman, Sharon and Ray Fairchild, Marsue, and all of our wonderful translators. And to everyone else who had a part in making this dream a reality, I cannot express to you enough how much it has meant to all of us. God bless you all…

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June 04, 2007

Personal Reflections - Emily


To try to write one page on my final thoughts from our trip to Brazil is impossible. All I can say is, it was an experience of a lifetime; Rio, the people we met there and the things we did will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget any of it. It has changed my life in ways that I never would have thought and has opened my eyes to a life that i never knew existed. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, good and bad. The sights are permanently engrained in my memory along with the testimonies and conversations of my teammates. It was a time spent with not only my team, but my best friends, and to be able to experience this with them is the best thing i ever could have asked for. It brought us closer as a team but even closer as friends. Thank you to all of our interpreters, to sharon and ray for allowing us to have this opportunity. Thank you to Marsou who made sure that we had teams to play and places to have a great time. Thank you most of all to BW. With out her none of this would have been possible. Belmont and it's athletics are lucky to have her representing us.

Obrigada!! :)




June 01, 2007

Home - BW Last Entry

pic I arrived home yesterday (Thursday) in my “scrubs”, having gone directly from the medical clinic to the airport in Rio to fly home. I find adjustment a bit difficult following three weeks in Rio. However, it was wonderful to be at home last night and sleep in my own bed. Needless to say, I spent hours doing laundry.

My experience with the medical team was indescribable! I spent about 7 hours a day sitting in a room welcoming anywhere from 5-10 people at a time to share the gospel. Most times there were children present with parents. On one occasion a young mother had two babies nursing (one on each breast) while another child leaned on her lap. Nursing babies in public is just as natural as feeding from the bottle in the states. The people were so excited to hear me share about God’s love for them and his desire to have a relationship with them through his son, Jesus. Time after time, the room was filled with the sound of people praying with me, in Portuguese, to receive Christ. That beautiful sound continues to ring loud and clear in my ears as I reflect on my time working with the medical team. The smiles on their faces when they left said it all. One lady said, “I have always wanted someone to help me understand about God and Jesus. Thank you for helping me to have Jesus in my heart.”

The only way I can describe it is to say “I experienced a revival in that little room.” There were four of us doing evangelism in separate areas of the little church where the clinic took place. Each person who came for medical care sat with one of us for a time of sharing the gospel before getting to see the doctor. They came for medical care, but got unexpected spiritual care as well.

This morning I asked God to help me adjust back into my routine at Belmont. It is always difficult to get back into the swing of things after a mission trip. Paperwork seems kind of insignificant, but God reminds me that my work here is ministry also. What I do in this office is just as important as my three weeks in Rio. He planted me at Belmont a long time ago and has been faithful through the years to give me precious lives to influence. This is my daily mission field and it is good to be home!

I am enjoying reading entries from our volleyball team as they process and reflect. I’ll let you read for yourselves how God worked in and through the lives of the volleyball team and coaches. It reaffirms my call to continue to do Sports Evangelism at Belmont and to be “on mission” every day of my life!


May 31, 2007

Personal Reflections-Jaye


What an amazing experience this trip was. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to go to Brazil and share my faith through my passion for the sport of volleyball. Thank you, to all of you who made this trip possible. The volleyball team is very grateful. Without your support, none of us would have the memories that we now have.

As I sit and reflect on my time spent in Brazil, I am overcome with many emotions. I have had so many thoughts running through my head and emotions running through my heart since returning to the United States. I find myself thinking and daydreaming frequently about Brazil.

Through experiences with the Brazil trip, God has shown me so many things. One lesson I learned was patience. I am usually a very patient person, except when it comes to time and being punctual. I am the type of person that is always early to arrive and I also prefer to follow a schedule. In Brazil, punctuality became less of a priority for me. The “laid back” culture of Brazil led me to question my priorities. What is the hurry in life? Why not sit back and take it all in every once in a while? I asked myself these questions over and over when we were traveling from place to place. I did not want to miss anything.

The most rewarding thing for me on this trip was the smiles on all of the children’s faces. It did not matter how tired I was physically or emotionally, whenever I saw a smile on a child’s face, everything was worth it. I don’t know anything about the home life of the children we played with. But to see them smiling, running around, and having fun was incredible. I will never forget the little boy I played with at one of the last schools we visited. I wish I knew his name. We were playing with a little bouncy ball and every time he threw the ball to me and I caught it, he had a huge smile on his face. His smile is unforgettable. I am glad that I had the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful smiles in the world.

One thing that hit me the hardest emotionally was driving by the biggest favela, or slum, in South America every morning. The first time I saw it, I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was a daily reminder of how blessed I am and how much I take life for granted. Every day is a gift from God; it is a blessing to wake up with a roof over my head each morning.

Right now, I am having culture shock. It baffles me that our culture in the United States leads us to believe that everything has to be the biggest and the best. Why can’t we be happy with the simple things in life? I think that we can all learn a lesson from Brazil. That lesson is to be happy with what we have and to make the most out of life. Life is an incredible gift from God. A part of my heart stayed in Brazil when we left, and it will always be there. I hope that we had as much impact on the lives of those we worked with, as they had on my life.


Personal Relections-Jenny


The time spent in Brazil was nothing less than amazing. While we played volleyball and served the lord, our team grew much closer. It was certainly a trip that I will never forget and always cherish. While in Brazil, I was able to realize a lot. Not only did my coaches and teamates shine in the wonderul opporunity, but i was able to see how a different culture lives, an oportunity that many never get to truly discover. The volleyball play ended in a word of prayer, which was absolutely amazing to see. Personally, I love children and going to the schools to play with the kids was my favorite. Its strange how you often come to realize so much by traveling to another country. The plan of God was exposed in each of our lives throughout the trip. It sure is amazing what Christ can do with a volleyball team. Brazil was an amazing oportunity and I am extremely greatful for the blessing. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers while we were away. It was certainly an amazing 10 days.. and Brazil will always have a special place in my heart.



Personal Reflections-Brittany


Jennifer, OJ, Teresa and Robert, Edgina, Skinny, Salu, Cicaida, Sharon, Medium, and Norma....
I never thought I could get so close to strangers. But here I am at home, occasionally wiping my eyes because I can't go back to Rio to see them anytime soon. My "life" has started up again; summer classes, responsibilities, weddings...and all I can think about are flash images from public schools, late night talks at our hotel, a certain girl named Gabriella. I am here, but not really here. I have dreams of the school for special needs, and of riding the bus with everyone around me, of a crowd of kids asking me for my autograph.

I can't really talk about what happened in Rio with my family yet, because I can't put it into words. It's mostly feelings that I took back with me, and it's hard to convey feelings to people. I can't even look at our pictures yet.


This trip has made me question my relationships with others, my future, and what should be important in my life. I beleive it will directly affect my career choice. Again, I am reminded how big our world is, and that it takes many different kinds of people to 'keep it spinning'. To borrow a saying of Deane's, I feel so empty, but also so full: I gave everything I had in Rio, but was filled up with memories, feelings, and love from the translators and children we met along the way. I honestly think I am a different person than when I left for Rio. I wonder how the rest of the girls are coping and adjusting. It was a culture shock for us to come back to the US. I wonder just how much this trip changed their lives. By the end of our trip, I know I was ready to stay there for another few months. I didn't want to leave. I tried to memorize everything I saw on the way to the airport so I could take it back with me. It didn't work.

This experience was irreplaceable. To everyone who donated money and made this trip possible, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Know that these trips have the power to change lives, open eyes, and draw hearts closer to God. In just ten days.

Thankyou for this opportunity. It will not go to waste and will never be forgotten. :)

God Bless,


May 25, 2007

Betty - Not alone in Rio and blessed by a reunion

BettyIt was difficult leaving the team at the airport yesterday. OJ brought me back to the hotel in a taxi that got stuck in evening traffic. I just sat and prayed for a safe flight for the team. I went to bed early, following a hamburger on the roof, thinking about being in Rio alone. That didn't seem to bother me because I slept eleven hours.

After some cereal and coffee this morning I pulled up themjournal and read all the entries, my first time to see and read all the team's comments and your responses. My heart is still overflowing with gratitude for all God did in the lives of our team.

I had a surprise call from "Edge" (translator) when I returned to my room. He was in the lobby waiting to take me to see Pastor Douglas, avpastor I worked with three years ago with a basketball team. Bob & Theresa took Edge and me to the favela to see if we could find Pastor Douglas and "Maria". So many of you have heard me talk bout Maria, a young woman who prayed with me to receive Christ during that last trip. I wrote a special story about her and have wanted to see her again. I brought an enlarged photo of that moment in her life captured by Paul Chenoweth three years ago. My prayer was that I could find her, remember the experience with her, and give her the photo.

Betty, Maria 2004To make a long story (morning) short, I FOUND MARIA and had a sweet reunion with her and her daughter. She lives near the new church that was born out of a seed planted by our team 3 years ago on that little hilltop with the small outdoor basketball court nearby. Maria's daughter was there and yelled "Betty" when she saw me. And, there stood Maria!! What a heavenly moment for me! Her smile said it all. After a period of time she went inside her home and brought our her newborn son, Marcos. I held him and prayed for Maria and her three children, along with Pastor Douglas and the new church start that stood nearby. The smile on Maria's face will remain vivid to me for years to come. She took the photo and the other gifts I brought her. It was difficult to say "goodbye" again, but God had granted me the desire of my heart - to see Maria again.

I now know why I had this "off" day in Rio by myself. It was a divine appointment and I am so grateful to God for this special blessing. I walked three blocks to McDonald's and had a late lunch. Now, Í'll settle in the room, read, pray, and have some down time before going to the airport tomorrow morning with Sharon to greet the medical team from my church. It will be good to welcome some of my dearest friends to Rio and share ministry with them.

I was glad to read that the team arrived safely, in spite of the close connection in Houston. God is good. He even holds planes for us in airports. Wish I could hear each team member sharing with family and friends their experiences.

Blessings from RIO!

May 24, 2007

Back in TN

team4.jpgHello everyone. We are back in TN. It was a very rewarding experience for everyone. We started out the evening very interesting in that we left the Sao Paulo 1 hour behind schedule. This made our arrival time in Houston at 6:40 am, our departure time was at 7:20 am. They held the plane for 10 extra minutes for us. We ran through the airport, customes, etc. to get there. We made it with one minute to spare. We were all awake after that. We are glad to be home.

I will post some additional information on the journal. So keep looking at the journal. God Bless each and everyone of you and supporting us.



May 23, 2007

Activities Day 8

teamday82.jpgGood Morning Everyone!! What a week it has been!!!! The girls, the people, the translators, the leaders (who put this all together) just Amazing.

Today will be a day of touring this beautiful city of RIO. We will go all over Rio to visit the sites, one being the Christ Statue on top of a Mountain. After we finish the tour, we will then go to the airport to get ready to come back home. We will depart Rio by 7 pm and arrive in the states at 9:30 am.

Please continue to pray for the seeds that were sown, the missionaries that are here, the new missions that are to come, because there so much more work to be done. God Bless you and thank you for all of your Prayers.


May 22, 2007

Day 7-Betty, our Leader in Christ

servicebetty.jpgWOW! Is it really over? Words fail me as I attempt to bring closure tonight to this journey. Part of me feels like we just got here and another part feels like we have been here for weeks. I feel empty and yet so full. I’m exhausted, yet energized as I release the team to a free evening without schedule. The girls are at the hippie fair across the street getting some last minute souvenirs before our tourism day tomorrow and departure for the states tomorrow night. They are free now, free in the spirit.

service7.jpgservice6.jpg God may have saved the best experiences for the last day. We went to a school this morning in a favela (slum) and the entire school was waiting for us, surrounding the outdoor court. Preschoolers to middle school children turned out to welcome us as we stepped off the bus. They were waiting, waiting for the Americans and greeted us with smiles as wide as the ocean. How beautiful they were!!! The screams turned to clapping, then to hugs and kisses as the team took time to reach out and touch each one. I just knew this would be a special day to end the mission journey. They even had us line up on the court while they played our national anthem. It brought tears and great joy to hear it in another country. Following our anthem they played the Brazilian anthem.

service4.jpgservice3.jpg We played, hugged, signed autographs, danced, and loved on those children. We took enough photographs to filled up all our cameras. There is no way to describe the morning at this school. Following our time with the kids, we then took a walk into the favela to see for ourselves where these children come from. I won’t attempt to talk about that. The only way I can describe it is to tell you I can still smell the place as I type this closure. You have to be there to have any idea how these people live. And, that favela is just a small dot in what is a typical Brazilian landscape, slums on top of slums, mile after mile. The bus was very quiet as we drove away.

service2.jpgFollowing a light lunch we proceeded to the last stop in our trip, a small school for children of special needs. There we saw children with multiple handicaps and many needs. Our hearts were broken as we observed children with muscular dystrophy, extreme autism, and many other needs. I watched our girls kneel beside these children, touch, hug, love, and give attention. I saw our tears from broken hearts. We were truly humbled. We met with mothers who stay at the school for support and encouragement from one another. They answered our questions, along with the staff and teachers. They told us not to feel sorry for them. Their children are God’s gift to them and that He has a purpose in giving them these children. We gathered to pray for the children and their families prior to leaving.

service.jpg Saying goodbye to our local leader, Marsio (Marsue), and our translators was a very emotional time. Looks like it would get easier for me after all these years, but it is always the toughest part of the trip. There is a special bond between teams and their lay leaders and translators that is very unusual. I won’t even attempt to describe it. This team has made some very special new friends.

service8.jpg I’m not doing this justice tonight. I feel so inadequate to even share my thoughts. They seem so trite compared to how it really is. My heart is full and overflowing, but empty at the same time. The team gathered in my room for debriefing and processing prior to our meal. Each member shared from the heart. I feel so blessed to have led this team. They are an amazing group of people. They have touched my life deeply, making a lasting imprint while joining the other athletes who have served in the past twelve years in Sports Evangelism. I can’t say enough about Deane and Tony and their leadership. These two are men of God who have shown their players what it is to take a stand for Christ. I have watched them, time after time, follow the girls’ testimonies with a clear explanation of the gospel and how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. The more they shared, the better they got. I listened as the girls opened their hearts and talked about how Christ makes a difference in their lives. Each player had her own special ministry. I am so proud. I am blessed. I just wish parents and families and people at Belmont could witness what I have seen these past ten days. I am confident we will see all this make a difference in what is already a championship team.

They will leave for the US tomorrow night. I will stay for another week and work with a medical team from my church that will arrive in Rio on Friday. I’ll have a day and night alone in the hotel to rest and continue to process. I’ll return to Nashville and Belmont on the 31st and try to adjust to my work routine. It won’t come easy; it never does. Thank you for supporting us through your prayers and encouragement. I pray you will have gotten a small glimpse of this trip through this journal. Seeds were sown, people came into a relationship with Christ, and lives were touched. Only God knows the ultimate results of this trip.

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A special thank you goes to Tony Howell for this journal. He deserves the credit for your ability to share this journey with us. “Thank you, Tony!”


Day 7-Jennifer

jennifer.jpgI am always amazed at the different ways God uses our gifts. I am a pharmacist, and my primary job here is pharmacy. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t do anything else. God has taken these girls’ talent of playing volleyball and brought them to minister through a sport that people in Brazil love. The kids are simply in awe of these players, and the teams they have played have been excited to have a team from the United States to play. Quite a few people from these teams have noticed the girls smiling all the time, and there is nothing like a smile. It speaks a thousand words that these girls can’t say because they don’t speak Portuguese.

This week has been an amazing one. I like small teams better than large ones, because I have the opportunity to interact with more of the volunteers the way I like to interact – one-on-one. I have watched each one of these girls, and each of their reactions to this trip is different. Some are wondering if this (missions) is something they can really do, asking “Is this a possibility for me?” Some are just trying to reconcile the inequality that exists in the world. Some are coming to see that their story is important because it is their story, that not everyone is going to have the same things to say about Jesus, because we have all experienced Him in different ways.

Every member of this team has been a blessing to me in one way or another. To see their expressions, to hear them talk about what they are experiencing and feeling, to hear about what they are learning, to hear them ask hard questions and know they may not get immediate answers; those things have blessed me more than they will know.


Day 7 - Igor

Igor I'm here to tell about my experience with the team as a translator. It has been very different than the usual medical clinics that I work. At the beginning when Jennifer told me that I was going to work with a volleyball team, I thought it would be harder than usual because they are athletes. I didn't know how it would be because up until now I've been working only with teachers, doctors, dentists, and eye doctors helping them to share the Gospel.

In the end I found that they have something in common -- the Love for God and the will to serve Him are all the same. We helped the girls to give their testimonies to the people here in Brazil and to teach volleyball to children at the schools we visited during the day. It has been a unique experience to see how dedicated they are with their sport and how seriously they take the Lord and His son. Well, as a bridge to help them to cross the language barrier, I can tell that they did their best and whatever was necessary to reach people through sport. How wonderful it is to know that there are people from a college playing some sports and still concerned nor just with God, but with others, people that don't know about God yet.

It has been a great privilege to hear their testimony and be a part of this somehow, to see how God changed their lives, and to support them in whatever they need. There are so many people here in Brazil that need to hear the Gospel, and God has provided not just Brazilian people to share the Gospel, but He has sent missionaries from all over the world to come here to Brazil to talk about Him and His will. When I started to think about this, a verse came to my mind, which is a part of the prayer of Jabez: "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory" (I Chronicles 4:10). For this group, it is just the start of what God can do with and through them. I'll keep praying for them, that they never get out of the middle of God's will, because it is good and there's no better place to stay.

Igor Chagas.
25 years old

Activities Day 7-Last Day of Service

Bom Dia!!! Today is going to be a tough day. We are all tired, but the girls are extremely tired. Being tired is not the reason why today will be tough. It will be a very emotional day for this is our last day of service. This will be the last day for us to be in a public school, sharing our testimony, seeing those smiling faces, helping those in need. We will visit a handicap school, and a favela for the first time this week. Pray that the Spirit will cover us this day.

The best verse I could find to match today is:

Isaiah 40:30-31 "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I know that I have used this verse a couple of times in this journal. If there was any day to truly use this verse, it would be today. Our Hearts have been torn all week long from what we have witnessed here in Rio. Today will be no different, it will be even harder because it is our last. The girls are very strong, and you can see how much compassion they have in their hearts and souls about these kids and Rio. You know what!! This is the day the Lord Has made, and be glad in it. For this is the day the Lord has made, and REJOICE. May we all SOAR ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES, MAY GOD COVER US IN HIS SPIRIT, MAY EACH CHILD AND ADULT SEE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN US TODAY.

Pray with me this Prayer, Each of you know it:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your KINGDOM come, your WILL be done on earth as it is in HEAVEN, give us this day our Daily Bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." I pray a special prayer for these young ladies, the translators, Sharon and Ray, Jennifer, Betty, Deane, and for the people we come in contact with today. That Your Holy Spirit will be upon us today, that our smiles will shine brightly, that the LOVE of CHRIST will flow endlessly, and that everyone will see Christ within us today. Praise you Father!! Amen!!


OJ's Experience this week in Portuguese:
oj.jpgEsta sendo uma semana muito legal e muito interessante estar com essa equipe de volleyball de Belmont. Esse grupo e muito especial e muito dedicado ao que elas fazem – jogar volleyball. E muito bom ver como elas se dedicam a esse esporte sem reclamar de cansaco. Como e bom ve-las compartilhando a Palavra de Deus e dando seus testemunhos. Realmente Deus tem abencoado essa semana com elas aqui no Rio de Janeiro. E bom tambem ver como elas estao curtindo e aproveitando a estada aqui. Realmente sao meninas de Deus e creio que Deus ainda tem grandes coisas para fazer na vida de cada uma delas. Como e maravilhoso o nosso Deus, como Ele faz as coisas. As vezes ficamos sem entender qual sera o proximo passo do nosso Deus. Louvado seja Deus por isso. Realmente nao tenho palavras para expressar o que estou sentindo por estar aqui com elas essa semana. A unica coisa que posso dizer e que tento fazer o melhor que posso para fazer a obra de Deus cada vez melhor. Muito obrigado pela dedicacao e pelo amor que voces tiveram com cada pessoa aqui no Rio. Muito obrigado mesmo! Que Deus abencoe cada um de voces.
Hasta la vista, babies!!!!

OJ's Experience Translated in English:

oj2.jpgIt has been a very cool and interesting week to be with this volleyball team from Belmont. This is a very special and very dedicated group in what they do the best, to play volleyball. It is good to see how they dedicate themselves without complaining. It is also good to see them sharing the Word of God e sharing their testimonies. God has really blessed this week with them down here in Rio de Janeiro. It is good to see them enjoying and digging this week. They really are people of God and believe that God has yet much more great things to do at their lives. How wonderful it is our God and how He does the things happen. Sometimes we cannot understand which will be God’s next step. Praise Him for that. I don’t have words to express what I’m feeling for being with them during this week. The only thing I can say is that I’m doing the best I can for God’s work. Thank you so much fellas for ya’ll dedication and for the love ya’ll had with the people in Rio. I really thank ya’ll. May God continue blessing each one of you.
Hasta la vista babies!!!!

May 21, 2007

Day 6-Jenny G

jenny-g.jpgThe pure amazement that has captured us all on this wonderful experience is nearly indescribable. Since our arrival in Brazil, we have had many amazing opportunities. Driving through the city on our bus, we look out onto a beautiful ocean. On the other side, we notice something beyond description. Hundreds of houses are literally stacked on top of each other occupying an entire mountainside. As we go into schools to be with the children, the main goal is not to play amazing volleyball. Ministry is at the center of all of our hearts, waiting for an opportunity to share our faith. Although language may be a barrier, a smile can be understood in any language. A simple smile and hug can truly change the day of a child. Through the playing of volleyball, we have been able to share our love with these children. As we continue on this trip, a desire is shared among all of the girls, a desire to do more, to help more people, and to continue sharing our faith with the people of Brazil. Although the favelas may not always be safe, we all look forward to the day of which we will enter the community. Not knowing what is behind the walls, we can only imagine the life that is yet hidden to the remainder of the city. This trip has been extremely rewarding, having the opportunity to experience so many wonderful things is a true blessing from God. Volleyball may be a reason for the trip, but the main purpose of this is to spread the amazing love of Jesus Christ and doing that through a game of which we all love is an experience of which we will all cherish.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. The trip has been a true reflection of the answers to many prayers and the work of Christ has been shown while in the beautiful country of Brazil.


Day 6-Emily

emily1.jpgThis trip has been the most amazing experience of my life. We have seen the gorgeous beaches and sunsets that make you never want to leave. We have seen the slums that break your heart and make you want to do whatever you can to help. The favelas look so sad during the day, but at night with all of the lights, the favelas look almost beautiful. It seems that their poverty is masked at night just as their reality is masked by dreams of opportunity. We have met the most amazing people who have helped us to understand the Brazilian culture.

We have interacted with so many children who see us as celebrities always asking for our autographs and getting pictures with us. They are so eager to learn about American culture and touch our blonde hair and see our blue eyes. We have established a bond with them that I have never experienced with anyone else. There are a couple special kids that I will never forget. Like the shy little boy with the gorgeous eyes who stood off in a corner by himself just watching us the entire time we were there. When I finally made eye contact with him, he gave me the biggest smile I have ever seen, and gave me a hug that I will never forget.

I have never stood in front of anyone and given a testimony about my faith. Faith has always been more of a personal thing for me. However, when I stood in front of those girls and talked to them about who God is in my life and saw how intently they listened, it helped me to realize how important my faith is. The experience of worshiping in a church that was in a different language completely was one that I will never forget. Even though we didn’t understand the words, I think that helped me to get more out of the service. Listening to the music and literally everyone in the church singing showed how important faith and religion is for these people. It is these experiences that have made this trip as fulfilling as it has been for me.


Activities Day 6

day6.jpgGood Morning Everyone!! We are leaving today at 7:30 am to take a 2 hour drive to tour the Brazilian Olympic Center. We hope that we will get to interact with the Brazilian National team, and share our faith. God will open those doors. The girls are very excited, because it is not to often to see players at this level, the Brazilian National team is ranked #2 in the World. They are also very excited to meet and to share their faith with them. After, the visit at the Olympic Center we will then get ready for our last match of the trip. We will be playing the number one club in Rio.

God has opened the doors to these clubs for us to speak and play. The doors to these clubs has not been opened to Christians before. One of the Missionaries has expressed that we are sowing a lot of seeds. The reason is, we are going into places they were not able to go, this is all through Volleyball.

May God bless each and everyone of you for your prayers!!!


May 20, 2007

Day 5-Deane

deane2.jpgToday was another excellent day for our team. After breakfast at the hotel, we went to church at Recrieo. I’ve only worshipped in other countries a few times, and each time has been both unique and powerful. Today was no different.

The church we attended was very nice and was located in an affluent part of the city. It was the first time on an overseas mission trip that I’ve attended a church with air conditioning, not to mention a sound system and a computer to project words of songs and scripture.

We sang several choruses to begin the service. Two of them were songs I recognized, so I sang along in English. A couple, I did not, so I did my best to follow along in Portuguese. In addition to Portuguese and English, we were seated next to the interpreter for the deaf members of the congregation, so we had the opportunity to sing in English, hear in Portuguese, and see in Sign Language. At one point, I was overcome by emotion as I kept thinking, “I am so small, and God is so big.” While this is true at all times, it somehow seemed more real to me today as I worshipped in three languages with a group of believers many thousand miles from home, all while knowing that at that moment my family was heading to church back in Tennessee. How many people around the world might have been singing the song we were singing, and in how many different languages? I’ll never know, but I’m sure God was pleased.

Continue reading "Day 5-Deane" ...

Activities Day 5

day5.jpgBom Dia!!! Today we are going to a 1000 member church. We will have to get there early for it is standing room only. We look forward to worshiping and praising God in a different culture. It will be an amazing experience for all of us. After we go to church, we will then go and play a club team called Vasco Barra at 2:30. This team is ranked 3rd in their league. The other day we played Flamengo, who was ranked 2nd in their league. But you know, it is not about the ranking or the competition. It is about spreading the word of God to others. Volleyball is our tool to use. Believe me when I say these girls are using this gift / tool to its fullest.

Matthew 9:37-38 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest fields."


May 19, 2007

Day 4-Cat

cat1.jpg I’m not quite sure how to describe what I have experienced so far in Brazil. It has been breathtaking in so many ways from the loving people to the warm hearts of the children. I have been completely overtaken with the culture and beauty of this great country. We have seen so much in so little time, and everywhere we go we are welcomed with open arms. While there is so much beauty on this land like the incredible mountains there is much suffering on the other side that saddens your heart. However, what’s remarkable is the fact that despite all of the pain that these people endure, they always seem to be smiling and a loving life. It makes me wonder what we Americans are doing that we don’t have that joy and zest for life! I have definitely grown spiritually on this trip as well. I gave my testimony for the first time ever, and the emotions that followed hit me like a freight train. We have touched the lives of so many while we’ve been here, including mine. Today we played volleyball on the beach and it was so much fun! Some of us stayed on the shore while Colleen and Cary were rolling around in the waves like crazy people. Needless to say it has been a fabulous adventure. I have had such an incredible experience so far and I can’t wait for what’s to come.


Day 4-BW

bw3.jpgThere is information and emotional overload for me as I try to collect my thoughts to put in this journal. I have not had time to even look at the entries on this journal. I’m just trying to keep us on schedule and in the right place at the right time. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team. I’m so blessed to watch them give of themselves so beautifully and unselfishly. I can tell you this – they are tired little babies, having worked day and night since our arrival. They are like the energizer bunny – they just keep going and going.

This morning was a welcomed reprieve as we spent time at a beach with a local church and it’s members. The team got an orientation to “beach volleyball” and found that they prefer a hard surface as opposed to sand. Following our morning tournament they had about thirty minutes to play in the waves. It was unique to interact with the local church members and see their beach ministry - families gathering on the beach for fellowship is the norm for a Saturday morning. It is now 4:00 p.m. and we are leaving for another game and ministry.

We have seen God at work day after day. Large crowds become unbelievably quiet as the girls stand to share and we present the gospel. It is impossible to anticipate what the days will bring. Just when we think we know what to expect the plans change and we adapt. God keeps us from taking control.

B-Dub and Tony8:00 p.m. We have just returned from a game with a local club. It was amazing to see how God took tired and weary bodies and gave strength for the occasion. I watched as the team rallied from within, from reserves they didn’t even know they had, to play and have fun, interact, and share Christ. Cat stood before her teammates and the crowd to share from her heart how she has learned to trust God is some very difficult times. It was refreshing to see her speak of God’s love and how she had discovered that love in a new way. Tony followed with his genuine passion for his friend, Jesus Christ, and how important it is to have a personal friend who understands all our needs. He shared with the crowd how to have that relationship and prayed with them to receive Christ. It was a powerful moment to bring to a close another day of ministry.

Continue reading "Day 4-BW" ...

Activities Day 4

day3.2.jpgBom Dia!!! (Good Morning!!!) The past three days has been amazing to witness. The girls are doing awesome, having fun, learning Portuguese, winning kids and adults over to Christ. It is truly amazing to see the interaction between everyone with our girls. There are no words to express to you on what we are witnessing. Each time the girls get up to speak, everyone is hanging on every word. Everything that I have witnessed so far, I know that God is with us.

Romans 8:31 "....If God is for us, who can be against us?"

day3.3.jpgToday the team will be playing in an outdoor tournament on the beach. The goal is when people stop to watch the tournament play, that we can tell them about Christ and invite to church. We look forward to spread the word of Christ to people we come in contact with on the beach. After the tournament, we will then take a little rest and get ready to go to the American School.

day3.4.jpgLast night the Ladies played a very competitive team. We played a full 5 games. The match went back and forth for a very long time. It ended up that we both had two wins and it came down to the final game. Our girls came out strong and took a 5 point lead. Hang on!! The Brazilians did not give up. They came back to tie the game. The game then went point for point to 12, then our girls received their second wind and was able to overcome. After the match, we began our ministry!! However, who knew that while we were playing we were ministering to those young ladies, to the people in the stands, and the coach. They were amazed in how we constantly had a smile on our faces, calling our own errors (nets, touches, etc.). We had earned a lot of respect. We presented the team with towels with John 3:16 embroidered on it in Portuguese, and presented the Coach with an NCAA Game ball (with our signatures). Everything was well received to where the word spread about our message. Brittany and Deane were witnessing to a soccer player who wanted to hear the message. Just AMAZING!!!! God is Amazing!!!

May 18, 2007

Day 3-Brittany

brittany1.jpg Each of us has had different experiences so far, and each of us has been touched by certain people or children. I have literally fallen in love with Brazil, with its simplicity and its beauty. My closest ties so far have been with the translators; Jennifer, Norma, Igor, Skinny, Terresa and Robert. They have treated me with so much respect and love. I can’t believe we have such good people who can speak two different languages with such feeling. They feel like family already.

Today, we were given the chance to swim at a local beach in between matches. Our days have been packed full, from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and it was peaceful to slow down and just play. When we were supposed to leave, we entered the water one last time while holding hands.

brittany3.jpgI experienced something tonight that I will never forget. A boy came up after we left the gym and wanted a hug and a Brazilian greeting (a cheek kiss!). I talked for a short time, then said “Chow!” and started walking away. Teressa called me and a translator back, because he wanted to talk about God with us. He had seen us play and heard our testimonies. His sister, who already had a relationship with God called him as he was about to leave. Immediately he picked up the phone and told her that people from America were talking about God. She said “I know, that’s why I called you”. That is why he hurried after us.

We went on to talk with him about our personal relationship, and I got to add a few words on why we were here, and told him we’d pray for him. He said that he would give it deep thought and thanked us from the bottom of his heart. It was amazing. Teressa called it divine intervention.

brittANY2.jpgThere is so much more that is happening, it is overwhelming. More will definitely be shared at home! See you soon!

Day 3-Ednan

Edge.jpgHi, my name is Ednan Pessoa. I am a Christian and also I have translated for Belmont players. It has been such a blessing to experience this wonderful work! God has been using volleyball to reach out to Brazilian young people! Many Brazilians have had the opportunity to see god’s love in those American Players. Not only can the Belmont players play volleyball very well, but also their kindness, happiness have been a testimony to those who do not know Jesus yet. Praise god for this Christ-like volleyball team!

Someone Else Noticed

Not many bloggers noticed our trip to Brazil this year, but this one did.

May 17, 2007

Day 2-Cary

cary1.jpgThe past two days have been life changing for me. I’ve never felt so many different emotions all at once. Not only are all of the schools in Rio in dire need of help, but the whole entire community is as well. Even though there are people living on the streets, children covered in dirt, and sewage floating in the ocean water, beauty is everywhere. Once I was able to look past some of the distractions, I began to see how blessed I was to be here. At both of the schools, I fell in love with each and every child. Every one of the children was crying out to be touched, loved, and just paid attention to. One boy in particular has completely changed my life. His name was Choby. I noticed Choby because he was alone most of the time and just looked like he was used to not having any attention or love. I reached for his hand and we sat down to listen to Tony give his testimony. As Tony was speaking, Choby grabbed my hand and just held it. He held my hand so tightly and he slid over so we were closer. At that point, I was struggling to hold back my tears. As Tony finished, Betty took over and offered the children the opportunity to live a life with Jesus Christ.

cary2.jpgI looked at Choby and put my hand on my heart and said “Jesus Christ”…and as I did that he started to cry and put his hand on his heart like mine, and said “Jesus Christ”. Choby accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. When Betty told me that she was wanting to take the volleyball team to Brazil, I was so excited that I made a packing list 3 months in advance. I am truly witnessing the power of God in every activity we do here. Never before have I seen so many children, and never before have I felt the Holy Spirit working constantly through me. God has sent each and every one of us here for a reason and I feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing team.

Romans 9:25 I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one.

Day 2-Jaye

jaye1.jpgWow! My experience so far in Rio has been incredible. My eyes have been opened so much. I LOVE Brazil and everything it has to offer. The food is incredible; I am definitely not going hungry. I have even tried new things, like chicken heart. It wasn’t bad, though I’m not sure that I’ll ever eat it again. The city is gorgeous. One of my favorite things to do here, so far is to sit on the roof of our hotel and look out over the ocean toward the mountains and loose myself in thought. God continues to blow me away. Rio is so different than anywhere I have ever been. I love the Brazilian culture and people; it is much different than I am used to. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to my personal space.

My favorite thing about Rio is the people, especially the children. Every time we have to leave a school, I want to pack all of the kids in my bags and bring them home with me. Each child is precious, I love talking to them, and hugging them when we have to say goodbye. Today as we were leaving, the children followed us down the block. It brought tears to my eyes.

jay2.jpgI love being in the schools and spending time with the kids. Playing tonight was also fun. The team was very good. It was a good experience to play against people that are older than us. The people here are so open to what we have to say. It is amazing to be sitting among them while someone is talking and to see how attentive and drawn they are to hearing what we are going to say. It is evident to me that God is working through us. I have realized, in a very short time how much I take my life for granted, especially the little things. Most of the people in Rio have so little compared to what we are used to in the United States. Every time we are driving from place to place my heart is torn by the sites I see. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve God here in Rio. I am truly blessed.

Day 2 Activities

16-inch-play.jpgGood Morning everyone. It is a beautiful morning here in Rio. We will begin our day around 10 am, the girls are getting a well deserved rest from yesterday. Yesterday was an amazing day, seeing the girls interact with the kids and the team we competed against. The love that they showed would touch anyone's heart. The kids are amazing themselves, they were so excited to see us that at the end of the day they were wanting the teams autographs, pictures, etc. One little boy was crying because we were leaving, that tells you how much of an impact these young ladies are having on these kids.

Today's schedule will be very similar to yesterday. We will visit two schools back to back and then compete tonight. So, it will be late again for the next update. Keep us in your prayers today. I found out that God is working in our trip already. People are hearing that we are here and they want to play against us. This is allowing the mission group to go into areas they have not been able to get into. Some of these teams do not let Christians into their place of practice. We are the first team they have ever let in. So, pray that these lives will be impacted by God the rest of this trip.

Psalm 33:18 The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.

May 16, 2007

Day 1-Josie

JosieThe first day in Rio has already been an amazing experience. Before I left BW told me by the end of our trip I would feel a huge change in my life. I was slightly skeptical. However, at the end of day one I feel a gigantic rush in my heart. Looking into children’s eyes at schools, taking in incredible sites, and already wishing I could be in Brazil for more than ten days. I recently graduated from Belmont with my master’s degree. I can tell you that in my six years at Belmont this has been my greatest educational experience. Our world is connected in many ways, and being here in Brazil demonstrates that relationship. I am truly blessed to have Jesus Christ in my life, and blessed to be apart of such a wonderful involving experience.


Day 1-Colleen

day1c.jpgToday in Rio, we visited two schools where we had the amazing opportunity to play volleyball and share this unforgettable experience with the Brazilian children. In the end, I think I got just as much out of our time with them as they got out of me. These children weren’t just any children but had a certain enthusiasm to whatever we threw their way. They couldn’t ask enough questions or spend enough time with us. As we left the second school they chased after the bus for 3-4 blocks until reaching a busy intersection. As we watched them out the window of the bus sending off their finals waves and blowing their last kisses, my heart went out to them and I knew that I would always have that image of those children to look back on. What a wonderful experience and its only day 1!


May 15, 2007

A Look at our First Day of Ministry

Team-at-airport.jpgWe will depart the Hotel at 8:30 am to perform a clinic and speak at 10 am at E.M. Burle Marx School and 1 pm at E.M. Menezes Cortes. We are anticipating working with ages 5 to 8 years old for these two schools. After the completion of the clinics we will then journey to Academia B.T. to compete against a Coed Club Team. This will conclude our first day beginning at 8:30 am and ending approximately returning to the hotel at 11 pm.

Jermiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you , plans to give you hope and a future."


Rio Team Picture

Zechariah 2:11
“Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

After a long flight, a small delay at the airport, we are here safely. Ray and Sharon Fairchild met us at the airport, and took us to the hotel. At this time, we just completed lunch and will begin our orientation for the mission work ahead of us.

Please continue to pray for we do feel that God has brought us here for a reason. May we fulfill God’s plan this week.

We will begin our mission work tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. We are very excited!! God Bless!!

May 14, 2007

Checked-in at the Nashville Airport

Rio Mission Team 2007
Pictured from left to right: backrow - Betty, Jaye, Emily, Jennifer, Cat, Deane; front row - Josie, Brittany, Colleen, Tony; not pictured - Cary (who will join the team in Houston).

The team made it through check-in following a little shuffling of items from bag-to-bag in order to meet the 50 pound limit per bag. Last minute instructions were shared and the group circled for a brief word of prayer before heading off to pre-flight security.

Arrival in Rio will be just before lunch tomorrow (Tuesday)...with a little luck and a cooperating Brazilian Internet connection the next time that we hear from the group will be tomorrow afternoon.

On the Way Out the Door

BettyI will leave for the airport in an hour or so to meet the team. How exciting to know the day has arrived for us to be on our way to Rio!

This morning has been a real blessing as I have had some extended time to "be still" and "be quiet" and "uninterrupted" in God's presence to commune with Him. I was reminded that God ordained this trip with this particular team long before it was revealed to me. I am just the instrument for putting it in place and making it happen. How blessed I am!

As I prayed for each individual member of this team I refklected on what I know about each one's personality, gifts, and abilities. I prayed for a life-changing experience for each one. I prayed that each would be open to God's leadership in his/her life. I prayed for divine appointments for each of them where they will share God's love and His amazing grace. They can't know just yet what the events of the coming days will mean to them. I prayed that each of them would become more intimate with Christ as they become totally dependent on Him for resources these two weeks. I prayed for their spirits to soar!

My prayer for myself is that "He would become greater and I would be come less" and thiat I would be stripped of my own pride and ego and humbled so that God could use someone as insignificant and ordinary as me.

To God be the glory for the coming days of ministry in Rio, Brazil!!!

May 09, 2007

Soaring Like Eagles


Isaiah 40: 30-31
“Even Youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will SOAR on wings like Eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

With just a matter of days remaining till our departure for Brazil, I know that each member is tired and weary but excited. The girls are just completing their finals and it has been just non-stop for the rest of us. I will be honest and say to you that I am exhausted and ready for a break. When we do get tired and just want to rest that is when we are heavily attacked. We are bombarded by many things that will bring us down and take us away from our walk with the Lord. It is so easy for us to just take it easy, not do anything, and just let things happen. However, when we do, we tend to stumble and fall and wander what is going on in our lives, why is it so messed up. Well my friends, when we have hope in the Lord, He will renew our strength. The Lord’s strength will get us ready for what is ahead. We will be so strong the moment we land in Brazil, people will know, will feel the Strength of the Lord and we will SOAR like EAGLES. Each step we take for the Lord, we will be attacked. I am not afraid, it says in Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

I ask that you will pray for each person on this trip. Pray that our hearts will be open, our minds are clear, our concerns taken away, our fears will be no more, our words are God’s and our eyes open to the Lord.

Ladies and Gentlemen you are God’s Prayer Warriors. I want to thank you for being apart of this special trip. You have truly made this trip even more special and meaningful through what you have done for us. I pray that you will feel and witness everything we do for God. May God Bless each of you!!

In Christ,


April 25, 2007


deane3.jpgI am thrilled that our team has the privilege and opportunity to go to Brazil in a couple of weeks. After many, many months of thinking and praying about this trip, it’s almost hard to believe the reality of the trip is upon us.

It is an honor to be used by God as a vessel, and I am looking forward to seeing God work in the lives of the many people we meet there as well as those of us on the trip.

Please pray for us as we are on this trip. Please pray specifically that:

1. We will use God’s strength and wisdom, and not our own
2. We will be sensitive to His leading and respond accordingly, whether in sharing, playing, or just in our time together as a team
3. We will remain safe and healthy throughout the trip
4. Lives will be changed

Thank you for praying!

April 23, 2007

Word from Our Leader, BW

BettyTime is fast approaching when we leave for Rio – May 14. Passports and visa applications are in the mail. Final preparations are being made. I love this time each year when things come together for the sports evangelism mission trip. Deadlines for classes, papers due, tests – and then final exams – we’ll be on our way before we know it!

It is reassuring to read the blogs of these volleyball players and sense their excitement for the journey that is before them. What an incredible group of young Christian women and coaches who have said “yes” to the call for ministry! I can’t wait to experience this with them.

This will be trip #5 to Rio for me. Each trip and ministry has been different and unique. This is the first trip to use volleyball as the platform for sharing Christ. We will play local club teams, work with the local churches, play and work with children and youth in schools and communities, and spend one day with the Brazilian Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team at the Brazilian Olympic facility! Wherever we are and whatever we do, following our play and interaction, we will have an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ and how to have a relationship with Him!

Continue reading "Word from Our Leader, BW" ...

April 19, 2007


CatWords can’t really describe how excited I am about the Brazil mission trip our team is going to be taking in May. I have never been on a mission trip, nor have I ever been to South America, so the combination is mind-boggling!

I can’t wait to reach out to all of the young children in Rio and hopefully touch their lives in some way. I know that this trip is going to be an eye-opener, so I need to have great strength throughout the visit. We have such a great group of girls on our volleyball team who have such great hearts and spirits that I know this trip is going to be so much fun and a memory I will have in my heart forever.

Continue reading "Cat" ...


EmilyThrough this trip I hope to gain wisdom about the Brazilian culture through missionary work. I hope to be able to make as much of an impact on the people that I meet as I am sure they will on me.

I hope to be able to share my experience and where I find religion and God in my daily life. I pray that God will give us direction in how our experience can be the most effective and fulfilling and that we can be open and willing to new and different experiences. I hope that along with the missionary work we do, we can also learn how they compete through volleyball. I pray that my eyes may be opened to anything that God should reveal to me through this amazing experience.


April 18, 2007


_jenny.jpgHey!!! My name is Jennifer. As the trip to Brazil quickly arrives, I am anxiously awaiting the amazing opportunity that we have been given. Competing in volleyball and doing missions work sounds very exciting.

The group going has become more than just a team, we are like a family and there is no other group that I would rather experience this with. Having been on a few mission trips, I have come to absolutely love it. The trip to Brazil is rather unique because of the mission work combined with volleyball play. Being able to compete against a team and follow the game with the sharing of God’s amazing love is something that not many people get to do. This is an amazing opportunity and I truly believe that great things are going to come from this trip. Sharing God’s word with others is the best gift that you can give someone. We are able to do this and play a game of which we all love.



BrittanyHi, my name is Brittany. The mission trip to Brazil has been the main focus of my thoughts this spring semester! I feel like, in college, my main concern as a student is me. During my faith journey, I have actually found that the times when I care for and serve others is when I am the happiest and most peaceful. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to do this in Brazil.

I mostly look forward to this trip because for 2 weeks my teammates and I will be able to leave our cell phones, our instant messaging, and our fast paced culture behind. We will be putting everything we have into selflessly loving the people of Brazil. I can’t wait for the kids from underprivileged backgrounds to throw their hands around my neck and to have a mob of them hanging all over me. I am excited to learn a little bit of their language and try to speak with them, and to experience their culture, which will be totally different than anything I’ve seen before. Putting ourselves in the midst of that kind of poverty will also put problems from our own lives into perspective.
I know that these girls will all experience something that changes their lives forever, and that is both scary and exciting. I hope that God will change me too, and help me to put even more trust in Him as I grow in my faith!



ColleenHello, my name is Colleen. I am so excited to be given the opportunity to go on this mission trip to Brazil in May with my teammates and experience things that I have only dreamed about.

I have always wanted to be able to reach out to those people who haven’t been blessed with half of the things that we are lucky enough to have been born into here in the United States. We are sharing a new idea of Christianity with these people, but I expect that they, in turn, will be showing us things and teaching us lessons that we would have never been able to see and understand if this trip had not been made possible by Betty and the other contributors. I am truly grateful to everyone who has helped to make this possible. We are truly blessed.



JayeHey everyone! My name is Jaye. It is difficult for me to put into words just how excited I am for our upcoming trip to Brazil. I am looking forward to many new opportunities.

Trying new food, meeting new people, and seeing new places, I can't wait to begin this eye opening experience. I know that I will come back to the states as a new person, at least that's my hope. I am so glad and blessed to have the opportunity to go on a trip like this. It is a once in a life time experience. All of my trust is in the Lord, and I am excited to see how the Lord will use me to reach the people of Rio.


April 10, 2007

Preparation for Brazil

Belmont Volleyball MissionIn May, Belmont University Athletic Department will send its Volleyball team on its first ever Mission Trip. The Mission Trip will be led by Betty Wiseman who has been taking Belmont sport's teams to foreign countries since 1995. This year, Betty will take the volleyball team to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Team Members are Colleen, Jaye, Emily, Cat, Jenny, Cary, Brittany, Deane, Josie, and Tony.

The focus of the mission trip will be based on the Bible verse, John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

To think God sent His Son to die for us, in order to bring us closer to Him, is amazing. Just imagine what that love is like. Each of us would give our life up to save someone very special to us. So, why don’t we share that love of Christ to people we do not know. This is the sole purpose of this mission trip, to share God’s Love and show how to have a true meaningful relationship with Christ. We know Christ wants to have that special relationship with us.

I want to ask each person who reads this message to pray for each member of this team and each person we come in contact with so that their hearts will be open to God’s Love. Not only will we share our relationship with Christ to others, pray that we ourselves will experience what Christ wants for us.

This is the beginning of a Journal that will take you through and experience every moment with us. We will update this journal everyday we are in Brazil. In the meantime, each member will share with you some special words from their hearts to you.

Belmont University

Rio Journal 2007 Belmont University's volleyball team along with coaches and staff travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete internationally and to share their faith with the people they encounter. Be a part of that experience. Pray for the team and share your comments during their trip. If you would like to receive email updates when new stories are added, please use the simple Subscribe Now function below.

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