Wednesday, June 21, 2017

You Betta Belize It!! part 1


     The last month has been a whirlwind of packing, planning, and preparations for not only my first international trip, but also my first mission trip. I was presented with an opportunity back in January to join a team from the Christian Sports Medicine Alliance (CSMA) to travel to Belize to share our skills as sports medicine professionals as well as share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I have never been religious or even put much thought into my relationship with God, even though I did consider myself a Christian. My family and I started attending a church again that we really felt comfortable at, and we began to grow as a family in our faith. I began a previously non existent prayer life, and I quickly realized that my prayers were not being answered in the way I imagined.

     I have a degree in sports medicine and currently work as an athletic trainer in the Dallas area. An opportunity was presented to me to share my skills and knowledge in sports medicine through a ministry that utilizes sports medicine professionals to teach valuable skills to far reaching corners of the world where this information is not present but desperately needed. After several weeks of praying to God to use me somehow, I couldn't ignore this obvious call. I quickly reached out the the founder of CSMA, Paul Waller, and expressed my interest in serving in his ministry and to inquire about international mission opportunities. 

     Paul told me that Belize was an option for early June and that he had been there several times before. Belize is a small country in Central America with white sandy beaches, blue water, and a rich history is sports. Paul continued to explain to me that the next team to go into Belize would be meeting with the sports counsel in the capital city of Belmopan and putting on a 5 day sports medicine clinic. Topics would include CPR, first aid, AED training, concussions, and upper and lower extremity injury prevention and care techniques. Essentially what we had was a group of sports professionals that are responsible for various groups of athletes spanning all ages with no knowledge of what to do in emergency situations when an athletes life could potentially be in danger.  

     In an effort to keep this story manageable I am writing it in three pieces. Part two will be about my experiences in the capital city of Belmopan and the teaching and outreach work we did there, and part three will recount the last day of the trip that we spent on the island of Caye Caulker. Thank for reading.