By Brian Langley, SF Peru
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Carolina (name changed), I’m 8 years old, and I play on the Fire Eagles church soccer team. I live in Lima, Peru.
When did you join the Fire Eagles soccer team?
I joined in November of 2015.
Why did you want to join the team?
I wanted to learn how to play soccer because at school, the boys say that girls cannot play! I always enjoyed watching my friends play and score goals but I could only watch from the sidelines. I always wanted to join in on the field. In fact, when my Phys. Ed teacher at my school would call us girls to play soccer, I was the only one who would respond positively.
For this reason, I kept asking my Mom to find me a soccer school. She ended up finding a team called the “Fire Eagles” on Facebook, which is a team that offers more than soccer-they share God’s word. I really liked that because it helps me know more about God.
What is your favorite part of the Fire Eagles team?
I really like training with Paris Segura, because at the end of our training sessions he says, “Everything that we learn during practice is useful during actual soccer games” which helped me score a goal when we played against the Magdalena municipal team.
What is the most important thing you have learned in training with the Fire Eagles?
I have learned the importance of self control, obedience, sincerity, integrity, and working together. Paris says these are all part of our “Fire Eagles culture”.
What would you like to see happen with the Fire Eagles in the future?
I want to go to an international soccer tournament and score lots of goals and have a great time with the team. And I want lots of boys and girls to come to believe in God, to “preach through soccer.”
Why did you decide to go on a missions trip to Colca Canyon with your church?
Because that has been my dream since I was 4 years old. We would always read about the Bible stories and missionary journeys of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Ananias and the other disciples. It also helped me when we watched the video “Paul the missionary” that taught me to share God’s word with other people.
What did you learn about God during the trip?
That we need to have a good testimony and that we don’t need to be ashamed to preach to others, because the Bible says in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creatures”.
What was the most surprising part of the trip? And the most difficult?
The most surprising part of the trip was seeing the poor families who didn’t even have a church building where they can worship. But they all get dressed up and worship God with their whole heart. The most difficult part was climbing up the hill in Arequipa to go share the gospel, where there was a church and a lot of children waiting.
What impact did this missionary trip have on your life?
I learned that we should share with others about God because Jesus is going to return and no one knows when, and what matters to God is that, “the whole world repent of their sins and worships God.” And the sacrifice we make is worth it, even though I really miss my mom.
Do you have a story you want to share about the Fire Eagles or from your trip?
Yes, I made my first goal. I was close to the net and the goalie dove to the side. The ball game to my feet, and as I saw the goalie on the ground I kicked the ball really hard and it went into the net. I ran around the field with my finger in the air dedicating my goal to the Lord because our team serves God.
And I gave my first testimony while in Arequipa. David, the leader of the trip, asked me to share. I told how I came to know the Lord, when my mom gave me a Bible, and I learned that the most important thing is not how tall someone is, or their skin color, or if you’re a boy or girl, but obeying God’s commands.