Sports Perf. - Spain


    Section: Sports Perf.

    I’m not even sure where to begin with this summary because the week in Spain was incredible!!! 

    It was clear from the time we left the USA that Christ was at work in us and through us. One of the most amazing things Christ did this week was to make His plan very clear to all of us. He comprised a team from the USA made up of people that didn’t know each other very well until this week. Our team assisted the Madrid AIA team to kick start a sports ministry in a country where many people don’t understand the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The AIA Madrid Team told us this week that most people in Spain have a “religion” but not a “relationship”. Christ built relationships this week that will last for eternity because we had the opportunity to serve alongside our fellow brothers and sisters from Madrid to accomplish His will. The God we serve is AWESOME! Many Bible verses could be cited to summarize our mission trip. The one that comes to mind is: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me".

    We left the USA on Sunday, but due to time changes arrived in Spain on Monday morning. After landing in Madrid, we checked into the hostel and toured the city. Needless to say, we were a little tired after being awake for approximately 36 hours. We had the opportunity to serve people in Madrid by seeing patients at Joyce’s medical clinic on Tuesday. It was an eye opening experience because it became clear that Spain’s healthcare system is drastically different than the USA’s. In the afternoon, we split up to continue serving people at Joyce’s clinic while another group went to Kenny’s hospital to teach taping and wrapping techniques to medical residents that work with Kenny.

    Wednesday was another great day because we divided up to meet with the AIA team members individually. It provided us an opportunity to learn more about the vision of AIA Madrid along with learning about their walk with Christ. Christ used these meetings to build bonds that will last forever. This was also the first night of the Sports Performance Conference where we had the opportunity to speak.

    On Thursday, our two teams met for a time of fellowship. It became obvious that Christ was in control of this time because every member of each team shared vital information at just the right time during the meeting. That evening we spoke at the second night of the sports performance conference at the medical school.

    Friday was our 10 mile walking/sightseeing adventure with Luis. If you ever go to Madrid let us know and we will hook you up with him. Just make sure you bring the most comfortable shoes you own! The two most memorable sites of the day were the Real Madrid Stadium and the Prada Museum. The tour provided us with an opportunity to continue to bond as a team. It was an entertaining day we will all remember.

    Our team split into two teams on Saturday so we could provide training sessions with Christian soccer teams prior to their matches. We also played beach volleyball. I don’t recall who won the first five games, but I know the guy’s team beat the ladies in the final game of the night. 

    Christ made His presence clear again on Sunday because we awoke to find out that our flight back to the USA was delayed 8 hours. This provided us the opportunity to worship with our brothers and sisters in Spain. It was powerful! Our good-byes were really hard.

    On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank everyone who supported us on this trip through financial support and prayer.  You all played a major role in making this trip such a success. However, the one who deserves all the credit is Christ. He died on the cross so each of us who believe in Him and have a personal relationship, can have eternal life. If you don’t have that relationship, please feel free ask any of us.

    God is not dead! He is alive in Madrid AIA and in all of us.


    The 2015 AIA Spain Sports Performance Tour Team

  • Experiencing the Fine Arts of The Prado

    Section: Sports Perf.

    Sports Performance - Spain

    Hola Amigos!!  Bobbi and Matt here reporting for the day. We decided to tag team this one because we have found out that we are both super sarcastic and it has been amazing!!

    We began the day with team time at Sin Ginas (restaurant) and enjoyed churros with chocolate. While we were doing team time, the people at the surrounding tables started to focus in on our conversation. Our discussion involved Holy Sweat & Wholly Surrender. We discussed how we need to surrender to the spirit of God and spend time in His word. After we surrender everything to God is when Holy Sweat begins. Holy Sweat involves the time and effort that we need to put into spending time with God.  Athletes have to sweat in order to be great, just as we need to spend time in His word if we want to strengthen our relationship with Christ.

    Following team time, the adventure began. We left at 10am for a tour of the Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid) Stadium. We took the metro to the stadium, but that was the last time we ventured on the metro for the day. Luis, an AIA Madrid team member, met us at the stadium. He served as our tour guide for the remainder of the day.  The stadium tour was definitely a highlight of the day. We all came away with a better understanding and appreciation of how important futball (soccer) is to the Spanish culture. We were able to see the field, the locker rooms, and sat on the bench. I (Bobbi) must say that those were the most comfy "bench" seats I have ever experienced. Don't put me in coach! These seats are great!

     After the stadium tour, we walked through the central park, which was a beautiful view.  There was a body of water where people could rent boats.  We sat near the water and noticed there were tons of fish.  The fish appeared to be hungry so Austin decided to share his Cheez-It snacks with them. In return, this provided us with entertainment and an opportunity to rest our legs at about the 5-mile walking point of our sight seeing tour.  It was incredible to see the fishes rise to the surface of the water and make a rather strange noise to fight over the food.

     We then proceeded to the World Renowned Prado Museum. Prior to getting into the museum at 6:00 PM, we were able to sit in the shade and have some additional team time. Stories were spoken and tears were shared. Upon entrance into the museum, it became very evident who enjoys looking at artwork and who doesn't. Those of us who don't enjoy the fine arts began to find other ways to entertain ourselves. This is where Matt and I discovered our common ground of sarcasm. I could tell that Matt was not interested, so I approached him and we both knew what the other was thinking. We appreciated the artwork, but wanted out of there as soon as possible. Some of us realized that art museums are probably not where we will be spending the majority of our time in the future. However, it provided some great entertainment for the day while others were able to appreciate the fine arts more.  Due to the limited time, we had to leave to continue shopping for souvenirs.

     On the way back to our hostel, we came across a statue that reminded us of Air Bud. At this point in the walking tour of the day, laughter was being used to decrease the pain we were experiencing in our feet at the 8-mile mark of the walking sightseeing tour. We arrived back in Sol and purchased a few souvenirs.  After everything was purchased, we dropped off the items at the hostel and headed to dinner at approximately 10:30pm. We were able to experience some more Spanish food today by eating at two different restaurants for lunch and dinner. The lunch was a HIT for the majority of us today. We were able to experience Spanish steak and an INCREDIBLE dessert.

     On our way back from dinner, we reached our 10-mile walking mark for the day according to Mackenzie's watch.  This equaled about 20,000 steps.  Lastly, Matt was able to treat Luis for plantar fasciitis.  Overall, this was a great day experiencing the sights of Madrid and spending quality time with our team and tour guide Luis.  With that...I leave you with this...


  • Soccer, Sweat, and Sand

    Section: Sports Perf.

    Sports Performance - Spain

    This is Mackenzie reporting for the team tonight! Today was a jam-packed day of sports. The team split up into two groups. Matt, Amanda, and I went with Joyce to a soccer field. Amanda and Matt worked with two of the church league soccer teams. Amanda led the teams through a dynamic warm up and Matt evaluated an injury of one of the soccer players. I went with the church running club. We ran about 2 miles and did circuit training. After our run and workout, the group talked about the sports ministry. My favorite conversation from today was with Elisabet. She explained to me how she talks to non-Christians about Christ. Elisabet says that her body is a temple for Christ and that's why she runs and exercises for Christ, not to look good. I was really impacted on how bold the running club is and how they are on fire for Christ!

    Austin, Bobbi, Tanner, and Lisa went with Luis, Abe, and Amy to another soccer complex. Austin led four church league soccer teams through a dynamic warm-up. Bobbi and Lisa evaluated some injured players. After the warm-up and the evaluations, the teams played in a soccer match. Tanner gave his testimony and Lisa talked to everyone about AIA and building the sports ministry in Madrid.

    For lunch, we went to a Spanish version of Chipotle!! And it was awesome! Don't get me wrong, we love the traditional Spanish food, but we were happy to get a little taste of American food!

    I think my favorite part of the day was our friendly volleyball match with our new Spanish friends! We played 5 sets and my team won the match!! Then we played boys vs. girls and let's just say that match didn't go as planned...

    This experience has been amazing! The people I have met on this trip and those on my team have changed my life! God is doing amazing things here in Madrid and I am so blessed to be a part of it! Tomorrow is going to be a long day of traveling and a long night of packing!


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