Habibi (My Darling)

 

Greetings from another awesome day at Wadi Sports Camp! This is John and Shelby taking over the blog tonight. It started out as a pretty slow day and we were all pretty tired. But, as soon as majors started, both of us were extremely excited to get to work.

Shelby here, I am the aerobics and dance major here at camp! I have a background in dance and am a personal trainer, so I came in with a pretty well thought out plan of what I wanted to do with the girls this week. But as soon as the major started yesterday, I realized I was going to have to switch everything up a lot. Today, we started with a jazz class, which they found very challenging. I didn’t know what to expect or what level they would be at so I taught what I thought was a beginner class but what ended up being too hard for them since they had a very limited experience with jazz. I left the class still really tired and unsure of what I was going to do next with them. In the afternoon though, we did hip hop and they actually loved it. They picked up the choreography really quickly and seemed to have a lot of fun with it. So after the second major period of the day I was really excited for the next time we do hip hop in a few days. Throughout the rest of the day my job was to go around and take pictures of the different sports going on and just hanging out and getting to know the campers and counselors better.

Hello all! This is John, I am the “American Football” coach here at Wadi. I learned very early I had to specify the “American” part. Camp has already been an incredible experience, but today was especially awesome. Today, Grady and I finally got to work with the campers on football! The campers are super enthusiastic about the sport, and they all ask us if we can play tackle football like we do in America. While they love the sport, they’re also not particularly accustomed to the discipline involved with the sport. During our morning major practice, one of the campers ran up to the team 10 minutes late. After giving Grady and I a couple of excuses, we noticed the shirt he had on…it said “Always Fashionably Late.” After exchanging a few chuckles, and hearing more elaborate details to his story, Grady took a couple of laps with him while I got back to the team. The best part of the day, though, was right after majors. Several of us were “drafted” to play on the teams of several of the campers. I played as an Omega on cabin 4. My shining highlight during these 4 games came during my fourth and final game. We were playing basketball and it was all tied 2-2 with 2 minutes to play. After stealing the ball, I had a wide open lane for an easy layup. As soon as I planted my foot to jump off the ground though, my foot flew out in front of me, and the ball made it about halfway to the hoop as I proceeded to land on the ground, flat on my back. The last thing I remember was all of my fellow Omegas yelling “Go coach! Go Coach!”, and the first thing I remember after turning over onto my stomach was the sight of Alfonso (who happened to be officiating my game) bent over, laughing at me. Needless to say, that moment, combined with all of the other moments I had getting to compete with them in different sports, made my day and is something I will cherish for years to come!

Overall, we had a great day! Getting to interact with the campers, and getting to know them better was such a blessing. Everyone here is so awesome and super welcoming to us. We are super excited to see what tomorrow brings us, but for now we are really tired so we are going to bed! Goodnight!

 

 

Yalla (Let’s Go)

 

Today was our first day with fresh campers here at Wadi Sports Camp. We said good bye to the friends we made from the first two days here, and welcomed a whole new group. The welcome ceremony was exciting as this session was christened in a brand new worship hall. The outside and inside walls and roof show wood, and the steps leading up to the building are granite. Its really nice. During this time our team was introduced and each name was followed by a roar. We really felt welcomed and loved. Each day at camp is filled with so much emotion.

My first major of the camp came and went. I do my best to control my excitement. I am coaching baseball which I love so much. I want so much for the campers and can be critical of myself. Its hard to decide what information to share in such a short period of time. In our first day we played catch first from a knee, then standing. My Co-coach and I (Cate) share some tips and laugh along with the kids as they play. The camp has laid some grass and so now baseball has its own space which is really cool. Its really an honor and privilege to share something I love with a culture that has such little exposure to it.

This is my second year at camp. Even though its hectic at times and we are tired a lot, there is peace here. God has blessed this place and these people. We are able to create friendships and share thoughts. We are building each other up. There is so much growth in this place it is quite amazing. We as Americans are sharing and loving these people, and are receiving the same thing in return. Praise God! – Scott Callen

This day has flown by-we started our major off by meeting our campers and playing bob-the-weasle and the screaming game(where basically whoever can scream the longest and the loudest wins) it was a great ice-breaker and really loosened everyone up.  We then went through some tennis fundamentals and did some drills.  We have two Egyptian counselors coaching with us and it has been so sweet to get to know them and work alongside them.  They have such a heart for these kids and an excitement for playing these games.  We ended the major by playing kings and queens and passing out candy. It was pretty great.

I loved getting to meet Kiko-she is the camp photographer and is so excited to be here! Her joy is contagious and she has gone out of her way to make me feel welcomed.  She loves to play the sports with us and is so kind to everyone she encounters.  She has a joy that is so evident to everyone she meets.

We had a lot of fun as a team today and really bonded over signs and some card games. This is such a kind group of people and and everyone is so excited to be here.  I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work alongside these other coaches and build lasting relationships with them.  These are fast friends with big hearts.  #cleareyesfullhearts  We are praying big prayers to have bold conversations with these campers and to able to build lasting friendships. God is working in really sweet ways in our hearts.  Red River Ministries is thankful for your prayers, support, and going on this journey with us.  We are here with our palms up excited to see what the rest of this week holds.

All our Love,

Meagan and Scott

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Another Day In Paradise

Hello all,

Alfonso here writing from the most incredible place on Earth, Wadi Sports Camp. I’ve come to love this wonderful oasis in Egypt where God shows us that we must love one another to really love Him. This is my third year serving with Red River Ministries and it has completely changed my life. I love all the campers and staff at Wadi, and it’s an honor and a blessing to serve them.

For the past two days our team has been training with campers from a younger camp called W2. We were able to spend two full days with campers coaching and officiating their sport majors and championship matches. The theme for training was to familiarize ourselves with camp and help form our expectations for coaching W3 campers. I will be coaching Dodgeball/Team sports with Melissa, whom you will hear from later this upcoming week. For all our past readers, you all know that Dodgeball is really popular at Wadi. So popular that the campers play it daily against each other in cabin competitions and Alpha/Omega challenges. For those of you that don’t know, the camp is divided into two groups, known as Alpha and Omega, within each cabin. Through camp, they compete in different challenges where they earn points to see who the ultimate champion is. At the recent Dodgeball World Cup, Egypt fielded a team and most of them learned/practiced Dodgeball at Wadi Sports Camp. Possibly because it was widely spread through social media that Egypt participated in the World Cup, they decided to introduce dodgeball as a major. I’m excited to meet all my campers tomorrow and can’t wait to share this journey with you all.

My love for officiating sports was put to the test on our very first day here. Geoff told us we would just watch the first day and on the second day we would participate in majors and sessions. In majors, we coach a sport and in sessions we officiate different sports. “Championship Day” during camp is the day were the best Alpha and Omega campers compete against each other in dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, soccer and other sports according to what majors campers participated in. During the basketball championship game, I was asked by the staff to officiate the girls championship match. Of course, I said yes and immediately ran to my room to locate my whistle. It was super official as I wore a green soccer officials shirt and I was asked to wear a Go Pro camera, just to make sure I didn’t miss a call. I walked out of the tunnel at the soccer stadium to the song of the UEFA Champions League along with my two assistant officials and the players. I can’t put it in words how excited I get being a part of these campers’ experience. The game went on without a hitch, and everyone seemed pleased with my officiating. The main event of the night was the boys championship match where dinner was served at the stadium. Usually I don’t eat the dinner at Wadi, but I could not resist the smell and had a pita type thing with meat. As soon as I finished my meal, I was asked to officiate the boys game as well. I jumped up and said yes. The game was also a success, and it was one of the highlights I’ll cherish forever.

On our second day, we attended majors, but dodgeball had a pool day so, as you can guess, I went to soccer. They played one last match as a group and I officiated them. During the afternoon, the campers had Pool time and the Man and Women of Wadi competition. I’ll let one of the other team members describe the competition later this week. For the afternoon major, we were given the choice of which sport to attend. And yes, I went to soccer where we played a staff versus campers game. I started as the goal keeper and didn’t give up a goal!!! Then I played midfield for the second half and, believe it or not, I scored a goal!!!!!! I don’t play much soccer, but it is my favorite sport to play/watch. To wrap up the day, we attended Warball, which is a huge dodgeball game, and I’ll let one of my other team members describe it later this week as well. In the short time we have spent with these W2 campers, the whole team has established relationships, and we are going to miss them. We will spend breakfast with them and will be able to say goodbye.

To finish off the post I want to share scripture that I read today.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” 1 John 3:18

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

Sincerely,

Alfonso Garza, Jr.

Edited by Hayden Rich

p.s.

I have not tried the bidet…..yet……

Red River Ministries Goes To Egypt 2016

Marhaban (Greetings)!! We want to begin this intro blog post by extending a welcome to the faithful readers of the last two years as well as the new readers who hopped on board with us this year. If anyone was curious, our 2015 blog reached a view count of over 1700 from over 800 visitors from 17 different countries! So, this is just a clear reminder to us as a team to sincerely express our gratitude and appreciation towards you because without your excitement, support, love, and prayers for us none of this mission would be possible. This trip includes a Red Rivers Ministries Team consisting of sixteen people. Throughout this blog, you will hear from each one of these team members as they share their story, perspective, and individual experience at Wadi Sports Camp. Our purpose and mission for this trip is to share God’s story and love for each one of us through relational ministry. We are committed to showing leadership in sports, love in every relational encounter, and service in every opportunity we get at Wadi Sports Camp.

Our trip began in Dallas, where the sixteen excited and slightly nervous Americans met at the airport. After checking what felt like hundreds of bags and getting through security, we departed on a 15 hour flight to Dubai. Next, we waited three hours before boarding a 4 hour flight to Cairo, Egypt. While all our bags, belongings, and team members made it safely to our destination, the turbulence gave Fons’ the “rumbly tummy” for a couple hours… Once through customs, our team was greeted by our Egyptian friends Shady and Mariz, who led us safely through the crazy Cairo traffic to the Flamenco Hotel Zamelek, which is located on an island in the Nile River. After dropping our bags off at the hotel, our team tradition is to slowly accustom our weak American digestive system to the Egyptian food by eating at Chili’s on the Nile. Once this was accomplished, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

Our first full day in Egypt began with a casual trip to one of the ancient wonders of the world- The Pyramids at Giza. This trip consisted of sightseeing, selfies, sweat, sunscreen, water, and many Egyptian vendors attempting to sell us “free” gifts. Thousands of pictures later, we saddled up on camels and were led around the pyramids. The next stop on our trip was the cave church of the Zabbaleen in southeastern Cairo. This church is a Monastery of Saint Simon and is a natural cave in the Mokattam mountain, which is located in an area known as “garbage city” due to the large population of garbage collectors (Zabbaleen) that live there. If you are interested in learning more about this beautiful church, click here. Due to the blazing hot sun and miles of walking (and a bit of riding) through Egypt, a hunger overwhelmed our stomachs. Luckily, Shady and Mariz knew of the perfect Egyptian restaurant for us to stop at, called Abou el Sid. This restaurant whipped us up some genuine Egyptian food consisting of Teheina (a hummus-like dip for bread), and Sharkaseya (a tasty mixture of gravy, chicken, and rice). From here, we perused through a couple local shops and headed to get our supplies at Carrefour (Walmart).  Finally, our exhausted group of travelers got its first taste of the famous Wadi Sports Camp around 9 pm local time. Geoff led us through a short info and prayer meeting on the roof of the camp hotel. While our campers will not arrive until Monday, we will be helping out with the current session starting tomorrow. We hope you enjoy, laugh at, and pray for our team while you follow us through this blog. We could not be more excited to serve in Egypt and witness the ever-present power and love of God in this very country. Again, we want to say thank you for all your support, both financially and spiritually. For more information concerning Red River Ministries or the Wadi Sports Camp, click on the names. You can follow us on instagram @RRMgoestoEgypt. Shokran (Thank you) and God bless!

Sincerely,

The Red River Ministries Team

RRM Team 2016