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Peruvian Orphans Receive New Gym, Sports Equipment

By Analiz G. Schremmer
Buckner International

Proceeds from a women’s volleyball game between the Dallas Baptist University Patriots and the Peruvian National Youth team gave a group of orphans a chance at a healthier life.

More than 300 Peruvian girls from the Carrera Orphanage are enjoying a new gym packed with workout equipment. They are also benefiting from a weekly aerobics class donated by a local resident.

“The trip was in March 7-14, during their spring break,” said Jay Harley, dean of spiritual life at Dallas Baptist University. “We took the soccer and volleyball teams over there and were able to also take a lot of balls, board games and even a volleyball net which were donated by the members of Connect Church in Arlington, Texas.

“It was a great help because we knew that there was a lot of need—in some orphanages all they had was a single soccer ball for all the kids to play—and thanks to the donation, we were able to use to proceeds from the game to serve a bigger purpose.”

[caption id="attachment_1110" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="The Dallas Baptist University Patriots get hugs from their new Peruvian friends."][/caption]

Harley said that because athletes spend so much time practicing, a lot of them don’t have many opportunities to experience missions.

“It opened their eyes to what other parts of the world are like, to different needs, to how wonderful the people are and they were able to see how God is providing for the needs of orphans in Peru. I’ve heard several girls say, ‘I’ve got to get back there, I’d love to do stuff like this again.’”

Amanda Emmert, a junior volleyball player who participated in the trip said it was very rewarding to see their efforts to bless the orphans have such a strong impact.

“They seemed so happy that it was hard to imagine the incredible hardships they must have endured.”

Leslie Chace, director of ministry development for Central and South America, said the gift will be a huge blessing to the more than 300 girls living in the Hermelinda home.

“To have this opportunity to have a gym where the girls can freely exercise has already begun to be a big source of encouragement and inspiration to the girls,” Chace said. “We are hoping that this physical therapy will not only help them feel better about themselves physically but also mentally and give them a more positive outlook for their future as well as hope to reach their dreams."

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