Seminars and Soccer Matches
Last month a small but mighty team of six Men of Mariners traveled to Haiti on a Faith Adventure where they focused on serving and equipping the people of Haiti. The team dedicated most of their time to hosting seminars on addiction, clarifying triggers, causes of addictive behaviors, the recovery process and how the Christian church can lovingly respond and support those walking out of brokenness and into their God-given identities. Though a taboo topic at least, countless Haitian men and women, pastors and leaders, translators and towns people eagerly engaged in a conversation that we believe is just the beginning.
After 4 days of heavy content where the team saw God move in people in unique and unexpected ways, the team took a welcomed break from the seminars to visit and bless two sites in Charlotte (one planned as a school, the other as a sustainability project). The team’s final serving day was capped with the construction of two soccer goals at the Glory Glory Center which came as a surprise gift to the kids and to the men themselves. Read below for an account of the team’s final day at the Glory Glory Center and how God impacted them through the kids who are and will be the future of Haiti.
We took a brief trip to Charlotte, where we visited two sites that Pastor Samuel plans to use, one for a school and other for self-sustainability. Samuel has always considered the children to be the future of Haiti and our team had the honor of blessing the ground we stood on and asking God to use the soil to bear much fruit. We discovered today that several children have aspirations for medicine, nursing and engineering, and the school will prepare them well for these aspirations. The second site will house pigs and chickens that will be raised and sold at market to sustain the Glory Glory Center and the children living there, as well as providing an opportunity for some to create a micro business selling the livestock at a profit.
In Haiti, the three most popular sports are soccer, soccer and soccer. We arrived at the Glory Glory Center about an hour before the children got off school, allowing us time to plan and begin the fabrication of two soccer goals. Midway through the fabrication we were greeted by the kids who were clearly excited to complete the construction project so we could get down to business – a boys vs. men match.
The men pulled in front with two quick goals from Elysee (one of our dedicated interpreters), but the boys took advantage of the heat and its effect on several men who weren’t used to playing for an extended period of time in high heat and humidity (not to mention that they were also aging gracefully). Rivaldo, a 17 year old with lighting quick foot work, tied it up on two consecutive laser like shots from midfield. When all was said and done, the men rallied and scored several more goals in the waning minutes to secure the victory. We can see these games being a routine sight for years to come. The Men of Mariners may have given a gift today but the children gave back so much more to us – the gift of a life-long relationship filled with love and joy. Until we meet again – keep playing and God bless you.
-Sean Stier, Faith Adventure Co-Leader and Haiti MInistry Core Team Leader (Finance)