Our team played four games in five days and so we were exhausted by the time everything was over. We first played Mexico, and then the next day we played against Uruguay. On our off day, my team and I flew over to Rio De Janeiro and spent a whole day exploring this incredibly beautiful city. We went up a big mountain on a cable train to visit Christ the Redeemer – pictures do not do this justice, it was so big and detailed, we could even see the holes in his hands from the nails! We were extremely high up and it felt like we were in the clouds because a fog surrounded the entire statue viewing area. Despite the fog, the views were still breathtaking as we looked down onto the entirety of Rio. Most of our time was spent taking a ton of pictures of each other imitating the statue with our arms out and hands spread wide. As powerful and incredible it was to see this world-wide known statue of Jesus, I would have to say that something during this trip was even more powerful.
After every game my team and I got to meet in a big circle with the other team we just finished playing and share the gospel with them. Each message was shaped around a bible verse, and we gave each of them a bracelet with that bible verse on it so they could remember and carry it back into their own lives! Most of the girls did not speak English, so we would try and find one who could and use them as a translator. Even though it was hard to speak with them at times, God guided our conversations in such a powerful way – there were multiple times during prayers together when someone would get emotional because our message hit home. I was asked to lead one of the messages and talked with Uruguay about the Bible verse of 2 Timothy 1:7 –> “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” It was one of the first times where I found more confidence in my own voice to publicly talk about my faith. One of the girls was so moved by the message that she broke down and started crying because she had lost her father a couple of months prior to this. We were able to comfort her and tell her that he is in a better place watching over her always. The power of praying with other people is an incredible experience, and I hope that God can continue to use me in this way!
Written by: Megan Gustafson
3 Simple Joys
- Peanut butter, also Starbucks!
- Writing, “but I do love to nap so maybe that one instead”
1 Favorite Passage
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- Bonus: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24