Many Howard Payne University students spend their summers working at camps. This summer Jessi Galindo, an HPU athletic training major from Del Rio, followed in the footsteps of her peers. However, Galindo’s camp was in Malaysia.
The camps at which Galindo volunteered were offered through the Christian Sports Medicine Alliance (CSMA) through a partnership with the International Sports Federation. Galindo served as an athletic trainer and volunteered at camps in four Malaysian cities.
A goal of the camps was to teach fundamental basketball skills to students from elementary through high school. Additionally, Galindo functioned as an athletic trainer, taping ankles, helping players stretch and attending to other minor scrapes and bruises. CSMA’s other main goal with the camps was for the volunteers to build relationships and share the Gospel with students.
“We held basketball camps in the morning and in the afternoons we played pick-up games against colleges and other teams,” Galindo said. “After the games we would go out to eat with the teams and talk to them.”
Galindo spoke about one student with whom she grew close while she was there. One night at dinner she simply asked him, “What do you believe?”
He replied “When you do bad, you have to do good to make up for it. Otherwise you won’t go to heaven.”
Then it was Galindo’s turn and she began to tell him what she believed. Galindo quoted Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Then she asked him if he had ever heard of Jesus. He had not.
Reflecting back on the conversation Galindo said, “It was so peculiar to me that he was 19 and didn’t know who Jesus was. It really made me think about how many people have probably never heard about Christ. If there was no one to tell this teenager, then it was likely his parents and grandparents didn’t know about God either.”
Through her experiences this summer, Galindo was greatly encouraged because God showed her that He is the one who leads her steps. Not only was she able to encourage the students, but she was encouraged by the relationships she built with them. “He puts the right people in your life to encourage you and push you along, because He knows exactly what you need,” she said.