The Duncan Banner

February 18, 2011

Tennis and Christ

Mission team raising money for trip to Guatemala City

Joshua Kellogg
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Sports have the potential to bring people together, through friendly competition or teamwork. That is what the mission team from First Baptist Church hopes will happen when they travel to Guatemala City over Spring Break.

They will be hosting a pancake fundraiser Sunday morning at 8 a.m. in the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church. Pancakes and bacon will be served and donations will be accepted for the meal.

The team of 11 missionaries will be engaging a different demographic of people than what most mission trips have done in the past. Student Pastor John Parker said the missionary team will be working with high school and university students in the upper class of Guatemala City.

They hope to engage the locals with exhibition tennis and basketball matches and other sports the residents of Guatemala City might enjoy. The possibilities of sports, Parker said, can engage the students in ways that vacation bible school and other missionary styles are unable to.

“Whenever you think of Latin, Central and South American, you think of folks doing great work with high risk and high need poverty levels,” Parker said. “But Christ died for everyone, even for those that have the means and are financially well off.”

Parker said First Baptist Church has developed a relationship over the last two years with the missionaries at International Mission Board and previously partnered up together to send two teams to Guatemala.

IMB was looking at other opportunities to reach other demographic groups like businessmen and university students when the idea for this trip was born.

The mission team started planning for this trip in October of 2010, soliciting funds within the church and now, looking to the community for help for their trip.

“We love community support, we want the community to know, Christians in Duncan are going through out the world,” Parker said. “I would love that support for prayer and financial support for them.”

Among the 11 people on the missionary team, five of them are comprised of the Scott family. Parents Paul and Susan Scott will be traveling along with their children Braden, Brooklyn and Britton. Brooklyn and Britton Scott are on the Varsity Basketball and Tennis teams at Duncan High School.

“My kids and my wife, we have a heart for helping,” Paul Scott said. “My family all play tennis and basketball, we hope to reach out to those playing with us. It’s a chance to share Christ with other people, build a relationship with those people there.”

Scott hopes that partnering up with the upper class in Guatemala City and sharing the Christian values would help benefit all the people of Guatemala.

For Diana Carr, a tennis instructor that runs Tennis Connections, she believes the trip will provide an opportunity for them to help open doors for local ministries and to build bridges to share the gospel.

“That’s the real reason we are traveling there, to develop relationships, share the gospel and praying. We’ll be able to be really involved there,” Carr said. “They have a different culture in Guatemala City, where the classes don’t necessarily mix very often. We hope to take the things we do and share them with people in influential positions, so they can take what they hear and affect other people where they live.”