By Mya Hudgins, Assistant Faith Editor
With Lawrence as a senior and a leader on the cross-country team, she learned many lessons on this trip which she believes will help her as she leads out to exemplify Christ.
“This trip has helped me understand that loving people is the first thing I should do as a leader,” Lawrence said. “Seeking God’s help for that will help reveal to me the ways that I need to be there for others, lift them up, and point them in the right direction.”
Freshman cross-country runner Michaela Phipps, plans on pursuing missions in the future as it has always been her passion. On this trip, the Lord showed her the beauty of ministry.
“God taught me the beauty in cross-culture worship and ministry,” Phipps said. “We had the privilege of going to a church that people of multiple cultures attended, and it offered me Word of God in multiple languages throughout the service. Throughout serving with the people of Mindo, we were able to witness how God could break down language barriers through the expression of love in actions.”
As this trip taught the team members about winning people to Christ on the mission field, coach Kennedy hopes it will also remind the girls what winning is all about during the cross-country season this fall.
“[This trip] showed a way for those girls to act out what we want our team to be about,” Kennedy said. “We talk a lot about winning; wanting to do everything possible to help our team win and we work hard to win at a high level. If we are only doing all that for the purpose of winning, then it is pretty shallow because really running will be over. Some might remember this team for a couple of years, but eventually it will be gone. What gives winning depth is the opportunity it gives for people to notice us, and then for us to witness to them.”
Berkley Price, a freshman cross-country runner, was encouraged by the joy she saw in the kids she ministered to this summer.
“Something that stuck out to me was how much joy the kids had,” Price said. “They did not have much, but they did have joy. That really inspired me to find the joy in my life.”
Coach Kennedy compares some of his proudest moments in past cross-country seasons to the respected moment he felt on the mission field with the members, who gave up a week in their summer to serve the Lord.
“I have had many proud moments with the two seniors that went and I will have proud moments with the two freshmen, as I will be with them for four years,” Kennedy said.
“With the seniors, there has been a lot of heartwarming moments for me,” Kennedy said.
“I remember the first time both of them broke eighteen minutes, when Kaylee won the NCCAA National Championship out here, and when Sydney had a big personal record at Azusa, California. But none of those moments compare to the amount of pride I felt for them when I looked across a soccer pitch and saw them in a huddle praying with little Ecuadorian children. I got the opportunity to be proud of them in a different and greater way.”