Soccer in the Village

(This was originally written just a few weeks after the trip, but was never published.) Recently, as in about four years ago, I (Eila) went on a sports evangelism trip with my soccer team. This was not an everyday opportunity considering that middle-schoolers don’t usually end up on the higher level team that gets to go and it only happens with the girls’ team every other year. To say the least, I was very excited to have this chance. I saw it as a way to improve spiritually and also in my communication skills.

The plan was to arrive at a village not far off from the town where we’d be staying and immediately get out of the van and play a soccer game. After being cooped up for at least four hours, none of us were really in the best shape, but we managed to beat the other girls 3-0. It was a fun game played on a field surrounded by a gorgeous bamboo forest. After that game, we drove into the town of Lolodorf and situated ourselves at the small house we were staying at.

The next day was devoted to hosting a tournament for the legion of girls at the Lolodorf soccer club. We set up activities to help them warm up and learn important soccer skills. The 13 of us there were split into groups of 3 or 4 to govern the activities and coach one of 4 teams of girls. we coached and advised our team as best as we could, with some groups only have limited French, to compete in a tournament against the other teams. In the ridiculous heat and sunshine, the day seemed much longer than it really was, but everyone had a ton of fun. In the end the team I was coaching scored zero goals and won zero games, but had some of the best passes and teamwork I’d seen from any of the others. They were worn out and beat up by the end but still enjoyed the celebration of the winning team.

The drama evangelism team was supposed to join us and perform a few skits for the competitors but arrived too late to do so. At the end of the tournament, the MVP was chosen from the winning team.

Welcome home hugs!