Student Perspective

Union University’s Men’s Soccer Team Visit Brazil on Mission Trip

by Benjamin Skye | July 20, 2011 | Student Perspective 0 Comments

From May 22 – 31 this year, the Union University Men’ Soccer Team organized a mission trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Union soccer player Diego Santos (in the red jersey) poses for a photo with some students from a deaf institute in Rio de Janeiro.

Union soccer player Diego Santos (in the red jersey) poses for a photo with some students from a deaf institute in Rio de Janeiro.

During the week-long visit, the young men from Union partnered with a local congregation,  Igreja Batista de Laranjeiras (Baptist Church of the Orange Trees), to minister to the impoverished and share the gospel.

According to the team’s head coach Clovis Simas, the purpose of this trip was to “partner with the church in its ministry” whilst having the opportunity to “serve, to see the situation in Brazil and also to play some games with them.”

While they were there, the team visited a local prison, a deaf institute on top of playing soccer games against local youth teams and teams from poorer communities known as “favelas”. For these student athletes, the mission was an eye-opening experience. Many team members on this trip had the opportunity to reflect on how blessed they were compared to these communities in Brazil who had so little. The mission trip also provided an avenue for these young men to put their faith into action. Every team member had the opportunity to preach, and share the gospel with their new friends in Brazil.

Overall, the trip was a blessing to both the Brazilian communities in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the students themselves. For the “favelas”, Union University donated brand new soccer uniforms and cleats (shoes). As for the team members from Union University, head coach Simas believed that the team had grown closer to each other from this experience.

This mission trip speaks volumes about the type of education offered by Union University. Through this we witness how the Union University soccer team became more than just a team of college athletes when they went out of their way to reach out to the impoverished community in Brazil. After all, a good education is not merely confined to the cultivation of intellect, but also the development of good character and a sense of compassion for other people as well.

You can read more about the Union University soccer team’s mission trip by clicking on the link below:

“Soccer team partners with Brazilian church on mission trip to Rio”

Union University is private, liberal arts university located in Jackson, Tenessee and has a approximately 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students  from 45 states and 30 countries. Founded in 1823, Union is the oldest institution affiliated with Southern Baptist life.

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