El Calor traveled to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua this weekend, a 9 hour bus trip from San Pedro. Both the 4th division team and the 3rd division pro team were victorious. The game started out badly for the 3rd division team: the opposing team scored at the 9 minute mark, 2 players were penalized and one thrown out at the 35th minute of the first half, and the refereeing was biased toward the home team. However, the team pulled together and in spite of playing the majority of the game one man short, won 7-2. For those soccer fans who read the blog, you will know that players have their individual celebratory rituals after scoring. However, they have to be careful because they can be penalized or thrown out if the referee deems their actions excessive or taunting toward the other team. Several of the boys on the team wear tshirts underneath their jerseys with messages such as, "I belong to Jesus", or "Property of Jesus". After scoring the 6th El Calor goal, one of the boys who lives here on the property and who was wearing one of these shirts, asked the referee if he could lift up his jersey and show the message on his shirt underneath, as a testimony. The same referee, who had previously penalized El Calor and thrown out their lead scorer, replied, "I believe in Jesus - go ahead and show the message. I won't penalize you." After the game the team returned rapidly to the dressing room because they were afraid the crowd of several hundred people would turn violent. As they were changing they heard fists pounding on the dressing room door and ran to block the door against intruders. Instead, they were greeted by supporters of the other team who wanted to take pictures with our players because they admired how well the team had played!
El Calor will be traveling again to Chihuahua this coming Saturday. Please continue to pray for their safety, success, and for more opportunities to share the Gospel.