June 18, 2005
Friday evening - posted on Saturday night
Friday's ministry took us north to the town of Corosten, an hour and a half of bumpy bus ride to Grace Baptist Church and Bible College. This was once a Soviet hospital but abandoned and left to collapse and decay before the church expressed interest in it. Waiting for us at the church were 50 youth leaders from across the region who had been on retreat for several days. Our devotional time for the day focused on surrender, individually and, as a team...and that proved to be appropriate for the day. We played volleyball, court soccer, and youth-focused games all day with little apparent time for ministry...until the evening meal time arrived.
Today I learned that playing sports is much more than being competitive...and getting emotional and sometimes angry. Playing sports can be done in a way that honors God, I saw that today in this team from America. I could see this in the faces of these players. I could feel God's presence in our games today. I am so thankful thatGod brought this team here today, it has changed forever the way that I will play sports.
Serge - Youth Minister, Ukraine
Our team was the special guest at a festive banquet. Decorations were hanging around the room and a band played at one end of the room. The dressed up youth ministers were quite the contrast to the Belmont team who cleaned up as best they could following a day of exercise and play. Dan, Brittany, Josh, Jennifer, and John gave their testimonies and then it was time for their leaders to speak. Several spoke of the importance of finding new ways to reach out to youth. Youth do not naturally gravitate toward churches...and the platform of sports is something that meets these young people where they are. It helps to build trust and relationships that can then lead to opportunities for sharing. The Belmont team surrendered their agenda for today and by doing so, found a place in the future ministries of these youth leaders.
Posted by Paul Chenoweth at June 18, 2005 07:15 PM
I,ve enjoyed keeping up with the trip. Sounds like God has been doing great things through the team members.
I,m looking forward to hearing all about if from Justin. God bless all of you and i,m praying for a safe trip home. Loraine Momon, Justin,s GRANDMOTHER
Posted by: Loraine Momon at June 19, 2005 05:34 AM