This past week was pretty amazing. Life in Lincoln keeps getting better and better. I met up individually with a few girls that play on different teams. I had a great time getting to know them and learning about their life. Building friendship is only possible with trust and without trust, you really don't have any foundation for growth and developing in any area of your life.
Every year before school starts we have Fall Outreach. This is a time for our missionary team to meet and greet the students at Big Red Welcome, which is a place where all campus organizations give out their information and free stuff! This also helps us let the students know that we are available on campus and can help them with anything that they need. A lot of students filled out cards that told us of their interest in bible study. This is very helpful because after receiving that information, we log it in to our system and start reaching out to the students. Some students only signed the information cards because they had a chance to win a $200 Gift card to Bestbuy, but that's ok we contacted them anyway. :)
We also had an event for the students called FOCUS Live. It was a spin off of Saturday night live that our team put together. We had a few funny skits and an athlete and missionary give their testimonies! The testimonies were amazing and inspired many students to keep God as a priority this year, if He isn't already. After that we were serving free ice cream and had a social to get to know more students.
My life as a FOCUS missionary is a little different than all of my teammates. I am specifically reaching out to the female athletes on the sports teams. I spend time getting to know all students and hanging out at the Newman Center (Student Parish on campus), but I spend more of my time on the athletic side of campus meeting and talking with the athletes.
Last week, I was able to go to swim, volleyball, and gymnastics practice. While at practice, I prayed for the girls, coaches, and staff as they practiced their sport. I watched the beautiful skills and talents that God has blessed them with and prayed for their development as a complete person and athlete. It is very beautiful to watch each sport and see how each athlete practices their gift/talent/skill. They do it so well and it is inspiring to me even on the sideline! God should receive glory through our sport because all of our gifts and talents are from Him. Along with God receiving the glory, athletes have the opportunity to be be sanctified through their sport. There are so many life lessons that can be learned and tough challenges that athletes face, but with the right perspective and focus on Christ, we can be grow in holiness and in virtue.
For the sake of not sharing specific details of teams and names of athletes, I will probably post more pictures in this blog. Please believe me when I say that their are a lot of amazing and cool things happening on campus. God is truly blessing my time here and I wake up every day looking forward to it! I love my life in Lincoln and I love that I have all of you to share it with. Please keep me and the athletes in your prayers.
I leave you with the words of Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Rio and some cool pictures from the week. Here is a quote related to sports from one of his talks in Rio:
"A field is a training ground. Jesus asks us to follow him for life, he asks us to be his disciples, to “play on his team”. I think that most of you love sports! Here in Brazil, as in other countries, football is a national passion. Now, what do players do when they are asked to join a team? They have to train, and to train a lot! The same is true of our lives as the Lord’s disciples. Saint Paul tells us: “athletes deny themselves all sorts of things; they do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable” (1 Cor 9:25). Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life. But he asks us to train, “to get in shape”, so that we can face every situation in life undaunted, bearing witness to our faith. How do we get in shape? By talking with him: by prayer, which is our daily conversation with God, who always listens to us. By the sacraments, which make his life grow within us and conform us to Christ. By loving one another, learning to listen, to understand, to forgive, to be accepting and to help others, everybody, with no one excluded or ostracized. Dear young people, be true “athletes of Christ”!"
At FOCUS Live. There was standing room only! There are over 400 students in bible study!
Having a great time at FOCUS Live and enjoying the fellowship and community we have!
After the Big Red Welcome. Time to plug in the information from earlier that day
At the Newman Center inside the church. So beautiful and peaceful!
1st Sunday Mass on campus. It was at the Student Union because our old Newman Center is being rebuilt! We will have Mass at the Union all year. This is a picture of the Waffle Man! We had free waffles for the students after Mass.
Me and Father Seiker at the Red and White Volleyball scrimmage.
At the Devaney where the volleyball team plays. It seats 8,000 and is sold out EVERY game.
After being on the go every day from morning until late at night, we had a day of rest. Father Seiker (who I met at the volleyball game) invited me and some missionaries out on his boat to go wakeboarding, skiing, and tubing. In the picture: Matt (my teammate), me, and his brother.
I had so much fun!
Father Seiker showing off on ONE ski! :)