Italy 2017 | Update 1 | June 26

Every year offers a unique dynamic and this year was no different. First, the team size dropped from 16 to 5 (3 guys and 2 girls) and 3 of the team members had already spent about a week already in Italy. Therefore, the remaining 2 team members meet in Emmaus, PA for training and would meet up with the team on Saturday. As Saturday approached, the 3 members already in Italy commuted via train from Mestre to Faenza in which the other two members and host missionary awaited their arrival. The team spent the day grocery shopping, preparing for camp, and also doing introductory training in preparation for the camp week ahead. Sunday provided a great opportunity for the team to worship with locals in Ravenna (a city about 45 minutes away). The church service was in Italian but many of the members were able to follow along with help of the missionary and knowledge of several worship songs. After church, the team was invited for lunch by two families within the church. The families prepared a four-course Sicilian meal. The team really enjoyed the meal and the opportunity to fellowship with the families. Lunch concluded with trick shots made by several of the team members. The team rushed back to Faenza to watch a city-wide medieval parade. The parade was the opening ceremony to Faenza’s horse racing finals. Following the parade, the team headed back to the house for supper and finished the night getting gelato.
As Monday arrived, the team was excited about doing basketball camps in Forli in the morning and in Faenza in the evening. The team’s morning was an early one as they ride in two cars from Faenza into Forli. Along the way, the team picks up a young boy who is attending both camps. In Forli, the team is introduced to all of the kids and staff, including some from the U.S. and Canada, at the summer camp. Approximately 32 of the kids from the entire summer camp participated in the basketball. The day was spent running drills, skill challenges, and games. Two of the team members shared their testimony to the entire camp. Despite the young ages of the kids, many of them were very attentive and even asked questions later in the day about the coaches’ testimony. After the clinic portion concluded, the team ate lunch with the summer camp kids and staff. The staff thanked the team for their willingness to be a part of the camp this year and couldn’t wait to see us tomorrow. The team headed back to Faenza after lunch in which they decompress and discussed 1 John 1:1-4 while dinner was being made. Following Team Time (1 John 1:1-4) and dinner, the team went to the local park as this would serve as the location for the evening clinic. Given that this was the first year Push The Rock was in Faenza, the clinic featured 5 kids who were very excited to learn the game basketball over a 2 hour period. One coach even got to share his testimony during the clinic. After a successful day, the team finished up with another trip to get gelato.

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