Tenerife Welch Team update #1 March 31, 2017

Greetings from Tenerife.  The team arrived safely and we are settled in for a great week of ministry.  Shortly after arriving at the “bomberos” (fire/police station- where we are staying), we ate lunch, had a team meeting, and then rested.  Then we headed off to a beautiful workout facility for some circuit training.  Nothing like circuit training to get you moving after 2 days of travel!  Back at the Bomberos, we ate arepas (typical Venezuelan corn meal pancake with ham and cheese) and hung out.

Tomorrow is our free day.  The team will head out for a Masca hike (you can google Masca Tenerife to get an idea of the views they will experience).  Tomorrow night we will play our first game at 7:30pm.  We are excited to finally be together and do ministry as a team.

Thank you for praying.

Kim Schlonecker for the team.

March Missions Update

This was a busy month for us! We had three teams visit our Costa Rica location and much was accompliished! All three of the teams were able to hold sports clinics for school aged children across San Jose. There were amazing experiences as they interacted with the locals and built relationships in the community.

The groups were able to visit a few grade schools where they taught the kids about disc golf, basketball, and soccer. They got great feedback from the kids about the activities and were able to share some thoughts about sportsmanship and testimonies. Because of these events, our staff in Costa Rica has been able to establish relationships with the schools which they are hoping to turn into weekly sports clubs.

Besides holding clinics for school aged children, the groups were able to visit 2 separate prisons where one group even held a soccer match against the inmates. This is particularly special because the inmates usually have limited physical exercise and they seemed to really enjoy the activities that the groups brought to them.

Another notable thing that was accomplished during the visits, was that one of the groups was able to install a 9 hole disc golf course in San Jose. They also held a course kick off where over a hundred kids showed up and participated in. The city is hoping to expand the course in the future.

Overall, God has done some incredible things in Costa Rica. Thank you to everyone who supported and prayed for the teams.

 

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Costa Rica-Disc Golf Trip Update 3/19/17

Yesterday was full of adventures for the team! As the week wound down and the course successfully launched, we were able to have a little fun before we headed home. Early Saturday morning, we made the three-hour trek to take a canopy tour and soak in the hot springs in La Fortuna.

The canopy tour was incredible! We ate a delicious breakfast at the canopy cafe and then readied ourselves to fly high above the trees. Altogether, there were 12 zip lines, one rope swing, and the final cable stretching a half a mile across with the rider facing down. They call it, “The Superman.” If you’ve ever wanted to know what flying feels like, we know a good place in Costa Rica!

The rest of the day was spent at Baldi Resort and Spa in La Fortuna. We ate lunch with an incredible view of the active volcano and then spent a few glorious hours soaking up the sun & Vulcan spring water. There are many pools at Baldi, the top-most ones being heated by the volcano. The lower you go in the resort, the cooler the waters. It was a relaxing way to wrap up the week.

The team is now on the way home. We’ve got a seven-hour layover in El Salvador. So far this morning, we’ve taken the time to pray together, recap and share some of the incredible lessons that we’ve learned this week. Please continue to pray for us as we spend our final hours together as a team and take the last leg of our journey home.

Costa Rica – Disc Golf Trip Update 3/17/17

Short update tonight as we had a busy day and evening.  In partnership with Students International we did an event at the course to officially introduce it to the community.  We had about 165 people there with a big majority of them being kids.  165 people over 9 holes is not an easy thing to facilitate, but the team worked very well with our friends from SI, and we ran a great event.  Everyone had a blast and it was a great way to end the week.  After the kids left we had lunch and played a round with some of the SI and Push The Rock staff.  We hoped to show them how fun disc golf can be, and to teach the game more in depth so they could teach others to play.  It was a blessed time and we now pray the course will be used to further God’s Kingdom.

In the evening we stopped at a market to do some shopping, and had a great dinner together.  It was a nice end to an extremely busy and productive week.  We had a great time together this evening studying, sharing and worshiping.  Now we head to bed to prepare for an early morning where we will leave at 6:00 am.  Tomorrow we will be going on a canopy zipline tour, followed by a visit to the hot springs in Baldi.  We will share more about that tomorrow!  Check out pictures from our big course event here:

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Costa Rica WSCA Update 3/17/17

This morning we had the chance to go into San Jose to shop at the market and see more of the city! We spent a lot of time going up and down the lines of shops in the market and picking out some souvenirs from Costa Rica. Everyone in the market wants you to come into their shops to look – “looking is free!” We ate lunch at a local Costa Rican restaurant right across from the market before we headed to our last time of ministry.

We headed to Zurqui, the juvenile prison, to spend a few hours there. We had a handful of boys from the prison come down to the gym to play soccer with us for a couple hours. David is in this prison every Friday. We opened the time with a word of prayer. David asked if any of the guys from the prison would like to pray, and one volunteered. This was exciting for them because it was the first time that one of the guys had offered to pray.

We went on to play many games of soccer. We split up the entire group into three teams and had some good games! We enjoyed our time with them, and we finished the time with Kyle sharing his testimony. The guys were very respectful and receptive!

We are excited to see more of Costa Rica tomorrow as we end our trip with a canopy tour and time at the hot springs. Costa Rica is beautiful and we are excited to see more of God’s creation.

Costa Rica – Disc Golf Trip Update 3/16/17

This morning the team woke up early and after a quick breakfast started the journey to La Reforma, a large prison outside of San Jose.  We did two different clinics for groups of 15 boys at a time.  While we were in a soccer field surrounded by barbed wire, and armed guards the clinic went great.  Our team did an excellent job teaching and interacting with the boys.  It was really cool to see their smiles when they made a good throw or hit a putt.  One of the team members gave a passionate testimony at the end making sure they knew we cared deeply for them.  One of the boys shared with us, through a translator, how much he appreciate us taking the time to come.  Again the Push The Rock Costa Rica staff was surprised that they did not ask to play soccer, and that some even asked if they could play again in the future!

In the afternoon we all went to the course to complete our work there.  The baskets were completed which was a great answer to prayer!  All the tee markers and tee signs were installed and the course looks great.  We did not have all the tools we hoped for, so there is still things we would like to see get done, BUT there is a beautiful course in the ground.  We had a few baskets in the ground as we worked and park-goers kept stopping to ask what they were, and curious kids would go up and play with the chains.  We have spent a lot of time praying for the course and hope that you will do the same.  Our pray is that it would become a great tool for ministry in this community, and would allow our missionaries here to share the love of Christ in this unique way.

One of the greatest things about the trip has been our “team times” together.  Each night we get together to talk about the day, study 1 John, pray and worship together.  It is really clear that God brought this group of people together for this purpose as the personalities, and skill sets have worked together perfectly.  Almost all of the team members are thinking through what ministry looks like for them in their personal lives and it is really exciting to think about the potential this group has to share Christ in the disc golf community.

Tomorrow is a big day.  We will be doing a course opening event where we will be teaching and playing the course with the community.  Many people have been invited so we are hoping for a large turnout.  We look forward to sharing more with you about this tomorrow!

For pictures and videos check out our facebook page here:

 

Costa Rica WSCA Update 3/16/17

This morning we headed out bright and early for Linda Vista, a Christian school here in San Jose. This was another school that Push The Rock Costa Rica has never been in, and we were able to pave the way for a weekly program there. We had three groups come through. After our first group, we were invited to join the school for chapel time. That was personally one of my favorite experiences at the schools we’ve been at.

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When worship started the students all got up, pulled our team out into the middle of the floor and we danced through a song with them. The second song they sang was just a beautiful time of worship, with their hands in their air, praising the Lord. There was a short message, and we learned a verse with the kids. Some of our WSCA students were pulled up front to help the students at Linda Vista learn motions to help them remember the verse. After chapel, we had two more groups come through for basketball clinics!

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After lunch, we headed back to Los Guido, the school we were at yesterday afternoon, to work with the sports club that David works with on a weekly basis. This ended up being our biggest group of the week, with about 50 kids in the gym area. We split the kids up and did a lot of large group games. The kids in the sports club had a blast!

We are excited for one last day of ministry tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers from home, and look for another update tomorrow!

Costa Rica – Disc Golf Trip Update 3/15/17

Today was another day that had the team split up between course building and running clinics.  We switched up roles so that everyone could have the full experience.  In the morning we spent about an hour and a half with 35 kids teaching them in a soccer field by their school.  It was a beautiful setting seeing the mountains in the background surrounding the field.  We again partnered with Students International who sent a number of their staff.  Translators did an excellent job, and our staff continues to pick up phrases that allow us to be more effective in our training.  We did have one disc casualty when one of the local helpers launched a disc over the fence, across a busy road and on top of a sea of roofs.  Pretty sure we will never see that one again, but the excitement that shot created was worth it!

The team spent a lot of time painting tee signs, tee markers, digging holes and pouring concrete in the morning.  It was grueling work in the hot sun, but the team worked very well together and got a lot done.  The course is taking shape, and we can’t wait to get the baskets in the ground.  It is a lot of fun working together to design a course, and using the input of many to create something that we hope will have a great impact in the area.

At lunch we switched crews and did another clinic.  This clinic was in a small courtyard in the middle of a school.  Not an ideal setting for disc golf, but we taught A LOT of putting and did as many putting games as we could think of.  The kids were again very enthusiastic and enjoyed competing against each other and the coaches.  Many of the kids told us they plan to join us on Friday when we open the course, and we are looking forward to a large group coming out.  The course crew did some more work, and we feel good about ending the course tomorrow afternoon and hopefully installing the baskets.  Again we ask that you pray with us that everything would come together!

Tomorrow morning we will have a cool opportunity to teach disc golf in a prison.  This will be a first for Eagles Wings disc golf anywhere, so we are excited to make history here in Costa Rica!  After that we will be back to working on the course and hope to sneak in a round at the end of the day!

Check us out on facebook for pictures and video!

 

Costa Rica WSCA Update 3/15/17

Another day in the books! This morning, our group was split between 2 different ministries. Kyle took two guys and went to La Reforma, a prison that Push The Rock Costa Rica is in regularly. They got to run a basketball clinic, play with the inmates and Kyle was able to share his testimony. They reported that the guys they worked with were very respectful and very attentive when they shared!

While they were at the prison, the rest of the group had the opportunity to do a service project for the morning. We went with the Eagles Wings Disc Golf ministry (a branch ministry of Push The Rock) and were able to help them with the disc golf course they are building in Costa Rica. Some of us painted signs, some painted bricks, some dug holes and some went through the course, helping to clear pathways between holes. It was fun to get to know the other team that is staying in the house with us, and to be able to assist them in their ministry here!

This afternoon, our team met back up at Los Guidos, a school here in Costa Rica. We had three groups of kids come through for more basketball clinics! We shared sportsmanship thoughts, testimonies, and played lots of basketball. These kids were all 2nd and 3rd graders. We ended the day with lots of piggie-back rides and running around!

Tonight, we will gather for dinner and team time. We will also have another rec time tonight! On Monday we had the opportunity to get in a local gym and played 5v5 basketball for the hour. Tonight, we will play soccer! We’re excited to visit a new school tomorrow morning and get back to Los Guidos tomorrow afternoon. Look for another update tomorrow!