If there’s one thing Hondurans like, it’s soccer. If there’s ever a moment of free time and a little space, you’ll see them playing – even if it’s a wadded-up piece of paper in the hallway at school.
In August, a work team from Minnesota came down and installed lights on our soccer field and then we invited our regional churches to come play. It was a huge success and we had at least five teams including our work team and a team from our neighborhood.
After the event, we had a pastor mention that he also had a youth soccer team and invited us to come and play against him. We agreed. The only problem was that we didn’t have a team, so we started inviting members from our Club Aslan to come join us.
We had no idea how many kids would show up, if any. I was really hoping for enough to go that we could at least play, even if we had to borrow a few players from the opposing team to fill the field. We stopped to pick up the kids from one of our club locations and there was only one player. After waiting around for another 15 minutes to see if anyone else would show up, we gave up and went on to the second location. As we approached the school, we saw a big group of kids and a huge relief swept over us.
So, we piled the kids into the back of the pickups and headed off on the curvy mountain roads. This is when I started to realize that these kids were not used to be driven around. They walk everywhere they go and many of them got car sick along the way. When we finally arrived, I looked at the sides of my pickup and felt a little queasy at the sight.
As we made it over to the field, I gave our newly formed team a little pep-talk on playing a good, honest game, watch their language, cheer for our team and not put down the other team. Our coach, Alejandro, also reinforced this.
With little hope of winning, we sent them out on to the field to play against the first team under the sweltering sun. After a few minutes, it was clear who the victors were going to be, and we finished the game 10-0. With our team, Club Aslan winning! The second game was a little more evenly matched and we won 4-2. I was so amazed at how they came together and played well.
After the games, the local church ladies served a little lunch to the teams while the pastor gave a devotional. This was a great opportunity for our members to hear the Word of God and many of them devoured it up. But they were a little reluctant to eat their lunch right before heading back on the mountain roads.