Portugal Mission Trip – Intro

International Sports Federation has been around for 25 years. Their mission is simple. To change the world through sports. To learn more about them and the work they do around the world, here is a link to their website – ISF. John Kelso, a friend of mine since middle school and his wife Cathy are the Directors of Sports Projects for the organization.

John tried to recruit me over two years ago to join an ISF mission team that was going to be teaching American Football in Portugal. The ultimate purpose for any of these trips is to simply share the gospel message of Christ’s love for all people. Unfortunately, schedule wise, I was not able to attend the inaugural trip to Portugal. Earlier this spring, John once again hit me up about traveling to Lisbon, Portugal and being one of the coaches to conduct a week long camp teaching the great game of football to the Portuguese youth.

After spending some considerable time in prayer, it was clear to me that God was definitely calling me to go to Portugal. In the months leading up to the trip I had some deadlines looming at work that I knew would be perilously close to interfering with my being able to attend. On a couple of occasions I was contemplating backing out of the trip but each time, I just knew I was suppose to make this journey and so, I held fast to keeping my commitment to going.

In preparation of the trip I did some studying on the history of Portugal and its people but not nearly as much as I would have liked. Teaching and coaching football I knew would be the easy part but as is true with any mission trip, there is always the unknowns in how exactly the week would play out. For that, I was nervously excited about what potentially lay ahead.

So as Thursday approached, the day before my departure, I was working frantically to make sure that all potential issues at work were either addressed or planned for. The awesome team of people I have at work made it possible for me to leave without having to worry about any details of work while I was away. So a special thanks to Becky, Carlos, Angie, Amy and Carol!

We left on our journey Friday around lunch time with our first stop in NY City. This turned out to be an early highlight for me as I get to spend some precious time with my daughter Andrea during my layover there. It was so much fun being able to catch up with her and share a late afternoon lunch. It was the perfect lead-in to starting the journey to Portugal.

Tomorrow, I will highlight the first couple of days of the trip and begin introducing you to some more amazing people. Until then, take care and God bless.

Peace and thanks for reading,


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