The end has come to another amazing trip. We went to our last school yesterday and it was a bittersweet moment. We connected with many children, yet it was almost the end to our work. Those schools are in dire need of help and the only way I can see that this can be accomplished is through Jesus. I believe that a majority of those kids that we talked to at school had heard of Jesus, but many of them were not aware that Jesus is the only way to heaven. They just needed someone to tell them how to have a relationship with Jesus. I think all of my teammates did an exceptional job of relaying this message to the children and everyone else in our presence.
Upon reflection, I would have to say that my favorite part of this trip was the interaction with the children. Children need loving and we used the power of touch to connect with them. I could see the need and want of love in those children’s eyes and it was a joy to give them this love through hugs, kisses, high fives, and smiles. Working with these children reinforced my passion to work with young kids when I finish school. Helping others is such an awesome act and is so fulfilling. That is exactly what we did here in Rio; we helped people of Rio reach Christ and understand his power.
Mission trips are so always so amazing because it consists of people helping people. In addition to this, I learned much about my teammates and myself during our journey. The other girls on the trip have been my teammates in Nashville, Brooke and Cooler man for 4 years. There is a different connection that we could make on this trip than we could ever have made on the court at Belmont. We have gone through many struggles together and have had times in school when we thought we could not make it and sometimes wished our time away. This trip helped me realize that we went through this struggle for a reason; God has/had a plan for all of our lives and we were led to Belmont not to play basketball, but to impact the lives of people who were not yet connected with Jesus. It is such an amazing feeling to know that God has a reason for everything that happens in our life and that he is in total control. There is a peace about this type of feeling, and I love that part of his plan for me was to use me to bring others around the world to Jesus.
The connections I have made on this trip will never leave me; whether it is with my teammates, the missionaries, or children of Brazil. This particular group will never have another chance to all be together again in this type of atmosphere and I will always remember it as one of the best times of my life. I have really enjoyed seeing my teammates outside of the Belmont environment. Some of my teammates I did not know very well before the trip, but have gotten to know them more on this trip. It is awesome to see all of them grow spiritually and it makes me realize how much I will miss Belmont and the connections it provided me.
I want to take this time to thank Betty Wiseman for all she has done. She has given me two opportunities to go on mission trips with Belmont and they have been awesome. Not only has she given me these opportunities for sports evangelism, but also she has helped me through my worst times and to grow spiritually. She is an amazing woman and has made a huge impact in my life. Betty Wiseman was one of the main reasons I came to Belmont and has helped me wrap up my college career in a positive way. Thanks also to Tony who made this blog possible. He always knew how to make the mood a fun one and I enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him outside of the athletic office hallways. It’s been an amazing journey and I am lucky to have been a part of it!