Tenerife Spain volleyball update … 1.1.17

Happy New Year from Tenerife! Been a festive few days here on the island. We had clinics in two different locations on the 30th and 31st, with about 40 kids coming to play some volleyball and hone their skills. It is awesome to see how in such a short time relationships are starting to form between the coaches and a lot of the kids. The same is true of the dynamics during games. We had the privilege of playing the “same” team on the 30th and it was great for the guys to be able to talk to some of the players from the other team afterwards. Also fun to see was how, without refs, they called infractions on themselves after we called a few on ourselves. When that is happening on both sides it changes the dynamic of the game and of the relationship. It is the mark of true sportsmanship and a truly friendly match.

After the clinics those two mornings on the 30th we went to two different beaches again and played pickup in extremely heavy winds. The goal was to attract people on the beach into some games and be able to build relationships and share Christ as the opportunities arose.

The afternoon of the 31st was a little bit different. After lunch we headed to the beach. Half the team chose to just hang out on the beach, soak in some rays, and enjoy the water. The other half decided to go on a 25 kilometer bike ride up and down the boardwalk from one town to another. Both groups had a great time although one was a bit more physically spent than the other after their 4-hour stint at the beach.

We got home in time for showers before dinner and a trip back down to the beach. We were going to be handing out tracts and singing praise and worship songs on the beach to ring in the new year. It was great! We got down to the beach around 10:30 pm and the beach was starting to fill up with people from (literally) all over the world. We spent the first 30 minutes handing out tracts and talking to people. Then we parked ourselves on some benches and sang worship songs for another 30 minutes. As we were singing people would crowd around to see what the commotion was. Some even joined in if they knew the songs. We had the opportunity to share Christ with several people who came by. In between songs the local pastor shared a devotional challenge and we ate some snacks.

Around midnight we joined the throngs of people to watch several fireworks displays out over the ocean. It was magnificent! So we ran in the New Year on the beach with fireworks exploding over the water and with a bunch of people from the church. It was awesome! We left the beach around 1:15 am.

We had breakfast at 10 and left at 11 for the north. We arrived in time to meet the ladies’ team for lunch. They arrived on the morning flight and had been up all night, so they were a bit tired; but we enjoyed connecting with them and met with them to go over logistics for this upcoming week as we will be on two ends of the island running 3 clinics simultaneously (should be awesome!).

The guys traveled back to the south (went ended up circumnavigating the island today in the going up and the coming back, so it was great to see the whole island!) and arrived in time for church. Two guys shared testimonies and one team member preached. It is always so amazing to worship with the body of Christ across cultures! God is so good!

After church some of the guys wanted to play basketball, so we went to a local court and half played basketball while the other half played soccer with some local kids. We got home, had dinner and showered before heading downtown for some ice cream. A wonderful way to ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year!

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