Friday, March 9, 2018

Sports Chaplaincy Training in Honduras

I just returned from five days of training sports chaplains in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Central America. I went in support of the FCA Texas Region International Coordinator – Eric Anderson of Houston, Texas. I have been traveling to Honduras since 1992 and the nation has a large piece of my heart. We have been serving the sporting community in Honduras since 1999 and we are now seeing the fruition of a number of trips, the development of relationships, materials, and investment of soul. A few photos are attached.

Below is a simple summary of the week’s activities. We did six hours of formal training with a set of three young chaplains who are already serving very effectively. In addition, we were able to go with them to meet the teams they are serving and to model a couple of models for ministry they can employ. I hope this record of activity is inspirational to you.

Sunday -
I left home at 1:45 am to drive to the airport. I flew into Tegucigalpa from St. Louis, Missouri through Houston, Texas, arriving just after noon. I was picked up at the airport and then we went to lunch with our friends, Pastor Tito and Zulema Penalba.

Monday –
We had a meeting with Congressman Wilmer Velazquez (former high profile futbol player), community leaders, local church leaders, Tito and others at two different gang controlled area sports courts. The aim is to partner with all these groups to hold FCA Power Camps in these two barrios and the International School. The plan will need to be further developed for excellent delivery of the camps, but all the pieces are now in place.

We did 2+ hours of sports chaplaincy training with Tito, Maynor, Rony, and Francisco.

We observed Maynor’s futbol academy, serving 60+ children from a very poor community at no cost to them.

We hosted an FCA presentation at the Holiday Inn Express with around 35 church and sports leaders, plus the lady to oversees all NGOs in Honduras. Eric Anderson presented an FCA overview and I walked them through the 360 Sports Matrix to highlight the need for ministry in sport.

Tuesday –
We did 2+ hours of sports chaplaincy training.

I delivered 3 sports chapel talks with three different futbol clubs, of three different age levels, that are served by Maynor, Rony, or Francisco. It was good to model this form of ministry for our team. One of those talks was with the UPN first division team at their training ground.

While at UPN (a teacher’s college), I did a 360 Sports Matrix presentation with around 30 coaches and educators.

Wednesday –
I did a 360 Sports Matrix at Unitec, a technical college, with around 20 student-athletes and coaches.

We went up to El Picacho to give Eric an overlook of the whole city from the statue of the ascending Christ.

We had a conversation with the headmaster of the International School re: FCA, sports chaplaincy, camps, and partnership. This was very well received.

I did a talk at the school with a number of student leaders re: Romans 12:1-2. Afterwards we had lunch. I lead a minute discussion with all the International School’s student-athletes, our team serving as group leaders, about life in sport as informed by I Corinthians 9:24-27. It was good to model another model for ministry with groups for our team.

I did a talk with a 2nd division team, Gimnastico, served by Francisco, at their training ground. I talked from James 1:12 and then discussed the talk development process with the team.

We returned to the hotel and completed the sports chaplaincy training.

Four of us went to the national stadium and prayed with the UPN 1st division team in their locker room prior to their game vs. the 1st place and undefeated Motagua team. We watched about 15 minutes of the game and then returned to the hotel.

Tito led the first ever FCA Honduras board meeting and Eric did a brief FCA Leadership Board training. After the meeting, Eric gave some encouragement to the team and said his goodbyes.

Finally, Eric, Tito, and I went to dinner, and I got to bed around 11:00 pm.

Thursday –
I spent most of the morning preparing to travel and reflecting on the week’s activities. I did some correspondence via email and sent a brief summary to my friend and colleague, Jim Roquemore – FCA’s Global Region Coordinator for Latin America. I sent the same notes to my mentor and others who were supporting our work in prayer. Late in the morning two of the chaplains arrived and Tito arrived at the hotel and then we left for the airport. We gathered again in the airport departure lounge until it was time for me to leave. We spent these last moments embracing each other and heartily slapping backs. This is an outstanding team of young chaplains, two of the three having been professional futbol players. They are uniquely gifted for service as sports chaplains and the training they received will only make them better.

It was a privilege to serve our Honduran teammates as they lead and serve the men and women of sport in this beautiful, hungry nation.

1 comment:

Matthew Foutch said...

Great summary. Thanks for sharing. God bless you!