This morning was bittersweet as the team packed up to head to the airport. While we will certainly miss Pastor Jose, Mama Linda, and our other Mozambican friends, we can only thank God for all of the incredible things He has done during our time here!
On our way to the airport, we made a final stop at Zimpeto to meet with another group of Sunshine Iris Soccer Academy players. As we introduced ourselves and shared how we are excited to partner with and support these young men, we couldn’t help but notice the condition of their shoes and clothing. Some were playing in flip-flops or worn out sneakers. Those that did have soccer shoes showed us how they had holes that patched with pieces of cloth and held together with metal wire or thick thread. Their shirts and shorts were equally rugged, and only a few had socks and shin guards. Our hearts went out to them as the Lord stirred in us a desire to do more to help! Pastor Mary Pat again shared with this new group about the Father’s love for them and His desire to raise them up as strong men of God. She painted a larger picture for them, explaining that as they are raised up in soccer to travel throughout Mozambique and beyond, God also wants to use them to draw others to Himself! Pastor Jose came in at the end to encourage them to keep their focus on what God is calling them to – not to be distracted by the things of this world – especially as they prepare for a game tomorrow. We are praying that God’s hand of favor and protection will be on each one of them! And off to the airport we went!