Fourteen Texas Tech student-athletes from several women’s sports visited Haiti recently as part of missionary outreach.
Traditionally, our Texas Tech coverage on Wreck ‘Em Red features sports news, however, the athletes and coaches we cover are humans, first. For Texas Tech student-athletes, the trip profiled in this article will likely impact their lives far beyond their time at Tech, so it’s important to share.
Student-athletes are ambassadors for not only their respective universities, and conferences, but for their countries, as well. While missionary and volunteer outreach isn’t uncommon, it’s not often you hear about groups of female student-athletes partaking in international outreach.
Led by Brandi Cantrell, the Women’s Athletic Chaplain, student-athletes from women’s soccer, basketball, and volleyball, had the opportunity to travel to Haiti as part of a one week missionary trip as part of FCA, the Fellowship for Christian Athletes.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Northern Hemisphere, and since the devastating earthquake, conditions have only worsened. The footage shows unimaginable conditions, and the homes villagers live in looked like they were constructed with recycled materials.
This is why outreach is so vital.
MORE FROM TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS NEWS
6/22 – Texas Tech Football: How Frisco ISD Policy Effects Recruiting
6/21 – Patrick Mahomes: Recruiting Reflection And The Future Of Texas Tech
6/16 – Texas Tech Football: What Big 12 Coaching Moves Mean For Red Raiders
6/14 – How Texas Tech Can Capitalize Off Big 12 Growth, Revenue Distribution
6/8 – Sheryl Swoopes To Be Inducted Into Women’s Basketball Hall Of Fame
Women’s volleyball player Sarah Redding said that part of their work included painting people’s homes, where villagers would select colors. Throughout the trip, Redding and other athletes had the opportunity to bond with villagers, but held special bonds with the children.
“I’m from America… the way I view the world is so different from the way they view it.” Said soccer player Rebekah O’Brien. “But we all came together and played this one sport, and we all knew how to play.” O’Brien was one of eleven soccer players who made the trip, and the video provided by Texas Tech TV shows the children, and student-athletes bonding over the sport.
“This trip to Haiti has truly transformed my life in so many ways,” said soccer player Gabbie Puente.
I spoke with James Kitchen of FCA Nevada to provide readers more clarity on what the organization does.
Q: What is FCA?
A: FCA is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has been in operation for over 60 years. FCA seeks to serve the community for the Gospel through the influence of Athletes and Coaches.
Q: Are trips like these common, and how are they funded?
A: FCA in the States is divided into local regions e.g. The Western Region contains Hawaii, California and Nevada. Each one of these regions is responsible for a super region that is a global area. Through the influence of athletes and coaches regions may take college, highs school or sometimes pro athletes on missions trips to lead camps and clinics to serve and inspire international communities. All areas of FCA are self funded so healthy partnership with local businesses, individuals, churches and corporations are necessary.
FCA is a non profit organization. So a trip such as the one taken by Texas Tech Athletes may have been sponsored by any one of the above or by a combination of them all.
Q: What do you hope people can take away from stories like this, about FCA, and its work?
A: As a State Director for FCA it is my hope that people take away HOPE from such stories. We are unapologetic in that all we do we do so for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet we want people to know that they are loved before they know what we know. FCA believes in serving others and earning the right to share our faith. There is nothing like the medium of sport to bring individuals, families and communities together, and it is through this coming together that it is our HOPE to present the encouragement to coaches and athletes that they are so greatly loved by the God who turns the world each day.
“I am so proud of our student athletes. Their energy, attitude and effort the whole week was beyond expectation,” Cantrell said in the official press release. “I think it speaks to the quality and high character of the student athletes that we have at Tech. They loved and served so well in situations and circumstances that are sometimes difficult, and out of their comfort zones.”