"my favorite memories"

By Sarah Balkcom

Sarah Balkcom next to soccer team member

I am a sophomore at Asbury University and spent half of my summer in Medellin, Colombia, sharing the Good News through soccer. I am fortunate to play soccer at the collegiate level so when the opportunity presented itself as a platform to impact lives, I was eager to go to Colombia.

I have been told many times that fear is the same as not trusting the Lord. However, I feared not being able to raise the funds needed to go. So, when I trusted the Lord, the best way I knew how, prayed for his blessing, and help, within months, I had more than enough money. This was truly the Lord’s trip, not my own.

I was fortunate to have one of my teammates and good friend join me on this adventure. We were both eager and excited to fly down and get started. Our soccer team had taken a mission trip to Medellin last year, and I had witnessed that this method of outreach not only worked but thrived.

We worked with five different teams. Once the kids and coaches realized we were going to stay awhile, they opened up to us and invited us into their homes and lives. It was humbling to have the players, coaches, and parents share their stories with us. Many have just begun or are close to beginning their walk with the Lord, while others are mature in their faith. Either way, it was incredible to see how the Lord reaches across all tongues, countries, and boundaries to share His love and mercy with us.

Asbury University student Sarah Balkcom gathered summer memories working with a soccer sports ministry in Medellin, Colombia.
Asbury University student Sarah Balkcom gathered summer memories working with a soccer sports ministry in Medellin, Colombia.

One of my favorite memories from the trip was being able to purchase cleats for a little boy. His shoes were so small that his toes stuck out the ends. Julio loves soccer, and I am convinced he will be the next Messi. The look on his face when we gave him the shoes was priceless. It was such a humbling feeling to see him walk onto the field with confidence. I often forget that little things that I take for granted, like shoes that fit, mean the world to others.

Another one of my favorite memories was doing custodial work with some of the coaches at the stadium. I can now gratefully call them my friends.

I have been back in the States for a couple months, and I still talk to almost all the friends I have made on a regular basis. We pray for each other and encourage each other to be the hands and feet of Jesus in whatever way we can. This has been the best summer of my life all because I trusted in the Lord and listened to God’s call to go and be a light for Christ.

Start Your Journey

A variety of opportunities are available to serve the Lord through involvement with Men for Missions.