The morning started out pretty much the same as Monday, with some of the team at the park and some at the school. At the school, we had 3rd and 5th graders. Again, the kids were eager to learn about disc golf. We also had one of our team give a short talk on determination. After our time at the school, we headed over to the park only to find out that permission had not yet been granted so we waited…and prayed. In the meantime, basket-making was well underway. When the hole placement was finally approved, the guys headed out with shovels, hole diggers, and pick axes… only to find out the ground was too hard to go deeper than 10 inches in most places and they actually hit concrete or gravel because the site is a former concrete “factory.” So the guys quickly came up with Plan B and made some adjustments to the bottom of the basket posts so they would still be stable in shallower holes. We had to leave before completing the project because we had a clinic scheduled at another park. Upon our arrival there, at a sports complex, Jim was approached by the sports director who told him of their desire to put in baskets/courses at other parks around the city. The clinic we held in the park was attended by the pastor’s family and a few people from other mission agencies. They were all very enthusiastic and we had a great time. We were all exhausted and hungry after a long day and went back to AMCA for a late supper, team time, and bed. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the week holds!
Today was our first work day! We all went to an elementary school after breakfast, and then some of the team went to Parque La Libertad to lay out the course and get final permission. After arriving at the park, they found out that the people in charge had Monday off, so they went ahead with course design and prayed it would be approved. At the school, we introduced disc golf to 2nd and 3rd graders and did some other games with them, as well as a short lesson on obedience. We had almost 90 minutes with each grade and it was a challenge to keep them busy for that long. They seemed to enjoy learning a new sport, with a few of them showing exceptional ability. After lunch at AMCA, we headed over to the park to wait for the lumber. Two hours and several phone calls later it finally was (mostly) delivered. The guys went right to work on the baskets and made good progress. We headed back to AMCA for supper and team time, and we were ready to call it another day.
Everyone woke up feeling much better than the night before, including a couple who were struggling a little with some health issues. Nattie walked us to the neighborhood bakery for a great breakfast before church. Our morning worship at CED was a moving experience for us all. We were blessed that they had an interpreter for us. The message was about Zechariah being led by the Spirit and not getting stuck in a routine or tradition.
After church we went to the mall for lunch where some of the people from church went too. After changing our money we did some shopping for souvenirs at a different location (market), then went to buy supplies for baskets. Some of us hung out at the shopping center and ate ice cream while waiting, and waiting some more. It took longer because the measurements for lumber are different than in the U.S and they didn’t have everything we needed so had to adjust. We went back to AMCA for supper, had team time with Craig leading devotions which was an intro to the 10 commandments, then testimonies from Bret and Brandon. After that we put a plan into place for the next day and headed to bed excited about getting to work!
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We are excited to share that we have arrived in Costa Rica! Our travel day went well, all things considered. After a 5-hour flight beginning at 8 a.m. we arrived safely in Costa Rica. We then had to wait in line nearly 5 hours to get through customs. We all agreed that it gave us a good introduction into the culture where people are not in much of a hurry. It tested our patience but we made the best of our time getting to know each other as well as other travelers.
After a relatively short bus ride we arrived at AMCA house. Because of our late arrival, we got settled in, ate supper, had team time with Jim leading devotions about Moses having helpers to hold up his arms. Two of the team members shared their testimonies, and then we were ready to call it a day. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for this coming week!
Lack of internet and an abundance of things to do have kept us from writing another update, so we will do our best to recap the past couple days. Make sure to check out the Eagles Wings Disc Golf Facebook and Instagram accounts for pictures, videos, and more updates.
Friday we finished up a few last minute projects on the course and had a more laid back morning where people could play. We also had players join us from Chicago, England, and Mozambique who arrived for the tournament. The feedback on the course was all positive, and it was a great feeling as a team to see the excitement about the new holes that had been installed.
In the afternoon we met as a team with the PTR Zambia staff to prepare for the kid’s tournament planned for the normal after school hours. When we left the office we were greeted by about 15 kids who had arrived early in anticipation of the event. One of our team members shared part of his story with the kids to kick us off, and by the time we started, we had more than 40 kids. 40 soon turned into close to 50 as the event went on. Elem, the lead local staff member, took the lead on the organization and communication, and it went really well! All of us were impressed by the shots and scores we witnessed, and after the tournament, we gathered to award some very excited boys and girls their prizes. We also let 14 of the young boys know they qualified for the Zambia Open on Saturday!
After wrapping up we had dinner and prepared for the first ever glow tournament in Zambia, and maybe even all of Africa. One of the team members took the initiative to sanction the event with the PDGA which added to the fun. 31 people came out for the night, and we paired up team members and people who traveled for the event with local players to form teams. We just played 9 holes, but it was a blast. The stars were incredible, and the discs looked like shooting stars flying through the sky. Music was playing, and people were yelling throughout the night. It was a great way to prepare for Saturday, and we have heard that there are already plans in the works for another glow round next week!
Saturday was an incredible day. The team got up early to prepare for the tournament which was a great group effort between the team, the PTR Zambia staff, and members of the community. We had 52 players come out, and the day could not have gone better. We had 6 countries represented amongst the players, and many community members came out to volunteer. A few of the highlights from the day included a 1000 rated round, an ace (hole in one), and one of the young boys finishing with one of the best scores of the day.
Here is what one of the members of the community had to say about the day:
“Thank you to everyone from Eagles Wings Disc Golf who put their hearts, hands, and pocketbooks to work to make a difference in so many children’s (and adults) lives here in Macha! The two tournaments and the on-going interaction with the children were amazing and priceless!”
As a team, it was so rewarding to be part of the day after a week of working very hard side by side with the local crew. While we were all sad to leave after the event, it is exciting to know that there is genuine excitement from many about the course and the sport, and we know that some great ministry will be taking place on those holes. We are also thankful that we get to leave our intern, Esther, in Macha for the next 3 months to help Elem and his staff offer even more unique and fun opportunities for the community to gather.
We are happy to report that the course is finished (at least as finished as we are going to make it.) After three days of working very hard as a team, we were able to enjoy the course. We started the day off with a team tags round, and we were all pleasantly surprised by how well the course played. The friendly competition was a lot of fun, and we are all looking forward to the coming days!
After the tags round we did a few touch up projects on the course before piling in, and on, a vehicle to head to one of the PTR Zambia staff’s house. We were greeted with a handmade welcome sign and had the opportunity to eat a wonderful Zambian meal that included goat, beef, vegetables and more. As a team, we really enjoyed the experience and were very grateful for the hospitality we were shown.
After lunch, we returned to spend some more time to teach disc golf to both the staff and the kids. It has been great to watch the improvement that is happening, and we are getting many questions about technique and discs as people prepare for the tournament. Following the teaching, the team walked to the local water tower where we climbed up and were able to take in a beautiful view of Macha.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to spending some more time on the course and holding both a kids tournament and the first glow tournament. Make sure to check out the Eagles Wings Disc Golf Facebook and Instagram accounts for pictures, videos, and more updates.
Another full, but wonderful day here in Macha. Today was quite hot, and we worked hard out on the course all day so this will be a bit of a shorter update! Make sure to check out the Eagles Wings Disc Golf Facebook and Instagram accounts for pictures, videos, and more updates.
Today we worked on the course accomplishing a number of very necessary tasks. We had one crew start working on the tee pads which came out great. They were able to do about half of the pads, and will attempt to finish things up tomorrow. Another crew finished painting the new baskets and we were able to install 4 of them today. The local Zambian staff cleared stumps all day, while additional team members cleared brush and cleaned up fairways. Things are coming together and we are all eager to see the finished product.
We had another opportunity to do training with the staff which was great. They are improving and there is a lot of enthusiasm. Their energy and excitement carries over to the kids as we spent the entire afternoon in small groups. One team member partnered with a local staff member to teach and train the kids. (In some cases small groups turned into a group of 20.) There is a lot of buzz and excitement for the tournament on Saturday, and we are looking forward to this as a team.
Tomorrow we will have some unique opportunities in the evening with some of the staff, and we look forward to sharing testimonies together. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer and for the many people who assisted with the finances that allowed each of us to come and join in the amazing work God is doing in Macha!
Our first full day was certainly action packed and a lot of fun. You couldn’t tell the team was jet lagged as a few of the team members were up at 6am to test the course. By 8:30 everyone was ready to go and we got to work on the course. As a team we walked all 18 holes taking turns throwing shots, and discussing where to put tee pads, baskets, and if we should take out a certain branch or leave it. By the end of that walk we had a great game plan. Part of the team worked on baskets with a local welder, and the rest of the team did various jobs on the course as we work towards our goal of a completed course by Wednesday.
In the afternoon, the team worked on several different fronts. Part of the team continued to work on baskets, others continued on the course, while a small group did disc golf training with the staff. The training with the staff was a highly valuable. It was clear that the staff is improving in their skill, and it is clear they want to be resources for the kids who have developed a passion for it. This is something we hope to fit in to the schedule each day, and will be picked up by Esther as she works through her internship for the next couple of months.
The afternoon may have been the highlight of the day. While there was still plenty of work to be done, the team came together to work with the kids that come each day to the after-school program. The local staff hid the soccer balls and disc golf was the only option. We started with about 25 kids, and as the afternoon progressed kids trickled in and we ended up with more than 50. Today we took the advanced players to the course and did an introductory clinic for those who are newer to the game. By the end, everyone had migrated to the course and discs were flying all over the place.
It felt like we packed at least three days into this one day, but as we met together as a team there were many highlights shared. Tomorrow we will again be working on the course, teaching, and hope to begin installing baskets on the new nine! Thank you to those of you who are praying for the team and the staff here.
After a very long 36 hours of traveling, the team arrived safely in Macha. After dropping bags in the dorms the team was eager to get out and check out the course before dinner. There has been a lot buzz about disc golf lately, so the team was greeted on the course by a large group of local players. Everyone decided to play the course as a big group of 25 plus people, which was definitely a lot of fun. It was a great introduction for the team, and we all look forward to the week ahead.
Tomorrow the team will jump right in with a full day. Our goal is to complete the course and install baskets by Wednesday, which means a lot of work will need to go into the new section of the course. In the morning the team will walk through the course making final decisions on tee and basket placements, while the local crew works on clearing and removing stumps. We also will be working on finalizing the additional nine baskets we will be using for the course.
On top of working on the course, our goal is to continue to teach. Our major focus will be working with the staff to not only help them grow in their ability to play but also to grow in their ability to teach. The staff at Push The Rock Zambia is a great group, and one that is very respected in the community. We know that if we can share our passion and enthusiasm for the sport with them it will go a long way. Of course, we will also have the opportunity to work with the kids in the afternoon which is sure to be a highlight.
For those of you who are at home praying for this trip, we want to say thank you! Please pray that the team would recover well from the travel and that all the members would approach the week with open and willing hearts to take on the things that God lays out before us this week.