Football and Faith

Jayden Freeman travels to Brazil on a mission trip

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Madison Gilbert

More stories from Madison Gilbert

In the Spotlight
May 29, 2019

Many students choose to spend their summer break at the beach, relaxing indoors, or even working a summer job. Few get to travel overseas, and even fewer get the chance to help teach underprivileged children. This summer, junior Jayden Freeman traveled to Brazil to teach school children from kindergarten to 12th grade how to play football. And more importantly, according to him, he got to teach them about Christianity. “I went there with my church to teach them. It was basically a mission trip, and we taught them about the word of God. I was there around the Fourth of July,” Freeman said.  

The mission workers, Olive Baptist members, taught at a Christian school and interacted with the kids during recess to teach them basic football skills and drills. Afterwards, they sat down to talk about their faith. “We’d have a little blessing and teach them, and other days we’d go into a classroom and teach them about Christian ethics. They understood quite a bit of English, and we also had a translator with us that spoke Portuguese,” Freeman said.   

After a week of staying in Brazil, the children quickly grew fond of Freeman. “My favorite part of the trip was definitely being around the kids; we were like rock stars. When we walked in, there would be swarms of kids around us just asking us questions,” Freeman said. However, just as he taught the children, the trip taught him life lessons to take away from his experience. “We went through some really rough areas, and I realized that we need to be more grateful of what we have,” Freeman said.