By Jesse Ruiz '19
Eastern Nazarene College has always said that it gives students "the best in education and the best in Christian Faith". This summer was no exception for the student-athletes of ENC. Once the spring semester ended, students began to prepare to bring their faith out into the world. Eastern Nazarene organizes three distinct groups of students every summer and sends them out to different retreats, camps, and churches, stretching from Maine to Maryland.
Matt Tyree, a senior on the men's volleyball team, as well as a member of the NECC All-Sportsmanship Team, said, "not only do we represent our school, but also Christ," which shows how much this campus and athletic programs emphasizes Christ.
Teams "Sojourner" and "Hallowed Be" toured all around the region. Kyera Bryant, a captain of the women's soccer team, and the group Hallowed Be commented, "by speaking about ENC so much, I fell in deeper love with this place I call my home. I felt honored and proud to be representing my school and would do it over again if I had the opportunity." Bryant added, "the experiences that I have learned through summer ministry transformed my heart in a way that prepared me to serve as the Student Body President. I spent the whole summer in mission by emptying myself, over and over again to countless teens who were in need of Jesus. As a leader, it is easy for the spotlight to be on yourself and it is even easier for that spotlight to turn into pride. But if there is one thing that I have learned from Summer Ministry, it is that God wants to use me on this campus to love and pour into people for His glory and for His Kingdom."
The team "Vessels" opted to take a detour from the normal route and decided to leave the country. Since the summer ministry teams tend to visit each member's hometown, women's track and field's Moesha Daniel lead her team that included Tyree and women's cross country's Jael Bourque on an adventure to Trinidad & Tobago. Daniel took the group to her home in Chaguanas and picked up her steel drums to add an international flavor to the band. "At first, it was a bit weird and nerve wrecking bringing my friends home to a culture that was very different from what they were used to," Daniel stated. "When we got there though, I was really amazed to see them feel at home and be welcomed by my community. I strongly believe that they were a blessing to everyone they came into contact with as they showed Jesus in another wonderful way."
The Wollaston Church of the Nazarene's youth group also took a mission's trip outside of the country this summer, venturing to Comayagua, Honduras. The travel party included three incoming freshmen; Rebecca Thorne, Stephanie MacFarland, and Samantha Caldwell, as well as Eastern Nazarene Athletic Director Dr. Brad Zarges. MacFarland, who joined women's soccer this fall, said, "seeing the love that Hondurans showed when they have nothing is incredible. The country is beautiful in how they live and care for each other." Women's volleyball's Thorne stated, "going to places that I didn't even know were livable conditions and trying to build relationships with children who do not speak your language, tested my comfort zone and my reaction to the unfamiliar. Going to a campus that is pretty unfamiliar to me and being on a team that was new to me, wasn't as hard as I thought it would be after something like my trip to Honduras."
This summer showed that not only do these student-athletes exemplify Christ on the court, field, or diamond, but off of it as well.
We look forward to what these student athletes will bring to our campus as a whole, and not just during games.