Here are a few thoughts to wrap up our time in Grand Cayman.
God’s provision for our group has been awesome to see. He is surely good.
The Lord has a unique and wonderful way of placing people in our lives at various times in various ways. I have been excited to reconnect here with two men I played against when I was at Covenant. Lee Ramoon and Neil Murray, both former King College players, are doing a tremendous job using soccer as a platform to help kids on Grand Cayman. These men have invested much of their lives teaching youth players through soccer. After both starring for the Cayman National Team they have tremendous credibility to use this beautiful game to affect the lives of countless children.
The youth camp the Covenant boys worked this week was hosted by CIFA (Cayman Island Football Association), which is headed by Lee. The opportunity to teach soccer and present Christ in this way has been great for the boys.
God has also placed Dennis Smith (Smithy) our bus driver front and center in all of our lives. Smithy a man, who has boundless energy, never is without a smile and seems to know everyone, has greatly enhanced our experience on the island. Laughter exudes daily from our bus all driven by Smithy. We pray that God uses the words and actions of the boys to work in Smithy’s heart.
Finally it has been my privilege to lead this group of young men on this brief journey. They are uniquely gifted as soccer players, but more so as men of God who truly care for each other and each one they have met. To watch their joy and passion teaching the kids about a game they love, but more importantly about their Lord and Savior, has been truly inspiring. We have asked the Lord to “use us, use us up” and I believe from the smiles and the lengthy naps he has.
Psalms 19: 1
“The Heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament sheweth His handiwork.”
This we were able to experience daily on this beautiful island with these beautiful people.
Players are cooling their jets this afternoon after a light training session in preparation for our 6:30 match against the George Town Soccer Club. Photos to follow this evening.
There was an afternoon of snorkeling today for some, but extended naps for most. Cayman time much different than time at home. Four (4) days in Cayman feels like seven (7) on the mountain. Good news, even those players of Albinoinian descent have kept the sun at bay- most likely inadvertent fortuitousness, than foresight.
On Sunday we will be attending the 11:00 AM service at Boatswain Bay PCA. We have no additional activities planned for Sunday.
Much more to follow with the “service” portion of the trip beginning Monday morning.
I captured this shot on the beach contiguous to the hotel. Stare at it long enough and you will see what I saw. The water is approximately 3 feet deep where this photo was taken and it looks as if a translucent face is looking back at me as I look into the water.
Many years ago Bill Shankly of Liverpool said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
The lads from the mountain clearly resemble that thought, but not as Coach Shankly intended. Watching them train, play and engage with each is an honor to watch. They know that they have been called to play, and play they have, and continue to play they will. To modify a well recognized quote, …you can see “when they play they feel His pleasure”
Over and out from the Scots Cayman Headquarters on 7 Mile Beach.
2-2 is more than a tie when you come back from a 2-0 deficit away from home against the U-20 Cayman National team.
What was best about their maiden match? Without question you could see the sheer enjoyment on their faces. There was no place they wanted to be other than playing the Caymanians this evening.
Tomorrow is a training day with an important opportunity to enjoy the beach before the up coming Saturday match and the beginning of our soccer camps on Monday.
Much to be thankful for as we close out day two and welcome in day three.
Kitch had a delayed arrival today and while eating lunch at the airport waiting for his flight I had a lunch mate, though she will probably be another guests entree tonight. The Caymanian Health Department operates from a different script than ours.
Team meeting scheduled for 6:00 and then to the bus we go and off to field for 7:30 match against the Cayman U-20 National Team.
Game photos will be posted later tonight.
All good from the Cayman front!
Cayman Dehydration Photo from Fully Baked First Day
First day of travel over – fairly uneventful, other than boarding and deboarding two planes in Atlanta before getting a third plane that could get us to the Caymans without mechanical problems and could meet the minimum takeoff requirements of weight to lift coefficient ratios. I am not sure if Bill Nye could have understood the pilot’s explanation as to why the second plane would not be our chosen aircraft. But finally, the third aircraft was to be ours. Missing lunch, but filling our carry-on bags with Delta provided bags of Oreos, pretzels and other nutritious snack food, took the sting off a travel day that started for most around 4:30 am.
Once we had wheels up in Atlanta the flight was uneventful. We landed to a sun soaked afternoon with a temperature and humidity index that would rival the fiery furnaces of old. Let’s just say our sweat was sweating.
First training session was great, though it had to be shortened due to heat and long travel day. We closed the first day with dinner at Coconut Joe’s. I am not sure if the food was as great as we thought it was or if we were simply famished. I say a little of both.
We closed the day with Coach Boz sharing insights from Paul Tripp’s book, “New Morning Mercies”. While rules of the trip dictate lights out by 11:00, most had already been turned off and players have turned in.
It is going to be a big day tomorrow with early morning training session and much anticipated game with the U-20 Cayman National Team.
More to follow tomorrow regarding our adventures in the Caymans.
We have come from the Mountain and we are here to serve. Keep us in your prayers.