NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Belmont women's basketball team resumes its commitment to service this summer when it heads to the South American country of Brazil next month. The team, who has partnered with Brentwood Baptist Church for the endeavor, will spend 10 days sight-seeing, playing basketball and serving the local community. The trip will run from August 3-12.
Several members of the women's basketball program have participated in Sports Evangelism trips but it has not been since 2004 that the entire team has traveled abroad.
On the Mission Field
The trip continues in the long Sports Evangelism tradition established by program founder and athletics administrator emeritus Betty Wiseman. Brentwood Baptist missionary Sharon Fairchild will also be accompanying the group.
"The excitement is building as we are days away from departure to Rio. I feel honored that Coach Newbauer invited me, over a year ago, to be a part of putting this trip together and to facilitate the ministry," Wiseman said. "Anyone who knows me can imagine how excited I am to be a part of this journey. The money has been raised, tickets and visas purchased, passports are in order, spiritual preparations are on-going, and last minute details are being worked out.
"I am grateful to my church, Brentwood Baptist, and retired missionary, Sharon Fairchild, for partnering with us in this venture. I have worked with Sharon numerous times in Rio and can't wait for the team to experience missions under her leadership," Wiseman continued. "Our meetings with the team members have been encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting as we have gotten a glimpse of who Christ is in each of their lives. I have no doubt that it is by God's design that this trip is taking place. I feel blessed to be a part of this experience with Coach Cam, his staff, and players. I am confident it will be life-changing for all participants.
"Thank you to all who are supporting us financially and through your prayers."
On the Court
The Bruins will hit the hardwood three times in Brazil during the trip.
How You Can Help
The women's basketball team has a group of dedicated prayer partners who have been praying for members individually. You can join in a prayer circle covering the group and their travels. There will be a list of daily prayer targets and scriptures for length of the trip.
How You Can Keep up with The Team
Friends of the team and fans of the program can visit the team's official trip blog at http://blogs.belmont.edu/bruinsonmission/. It will be updated frequently with photos, videos and blogs from the group. The team will be using the hashtags #itsBRUINtimeRio and #BelmontWBBRio on social media. The group will be sharing on the @BelmontWBB Instagram and Twitter accounts as well.
From a basketball standpoint, the Rio trip will allow the eight returning letterwinners, including rising upperclassmen Natalie Cohlmeyer, Madison Blevins, Frankie Joubran, Meredith Roman, and Lauren Thompson, Sierra Jones and Sally McCabe to continue to gel with the six new players.
"Our program is anxiously awaiting our trip to Brazil the first week of August," said Head Coach Cameron Newbauer. "We are looking forward to having an opportunity to serve others, spread the gospel, and play some basketball. We are very fortunate to be a part of a university that encourages mission trips and to be able to provide an experience such as this for our student athletes.
"We talk about growth opportunities and getting outside of our comfort zones in order to become our best selves. We believe this trip will impact our lives as individuals and as a collective program."
Rio de Janeiro will be the center of attention in the sports world over the next few years. From August 5-21, 2016, Rio de Janeiro will serve as the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics. After a two-year bid process, Rio was selected over other finalist cities; Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid. The Estádio do Maracanã will serve as the site of Opening and Closing Ceremonies.