Throughout the years of PACA going to sports tournaments or games, whether it was at Rancho Ranieri, Paiol, NR or another school, we always have a greater purpose than just playing sports. We are going for a chance to represent God’s Kingdom.
At this year’s Big 8 Tournament, eight schools and over 450 varsity student athletes were present at this semester’s soccer and basketball tournament. PACA took close to 60 athletes this year to play against ASA, Chapel, EAB, EAC, EARJ, Graded and OLM. The Big 8 is a week-long tournament with 2 games played every day. The first 3 days were dedicated to soccer. The last 3 days were dedicated to basketball and cheerleading.
Considering the size of our student body, we are blessed by God to have such dedicated athletes and coaches who trained hard and represented the name “Warrior” with pride. PACA placed 3rd in overall competition with 1st Place in Girls’ Basketball, 3rd Place in Boys’ Basketball, 3rd Place in Boys’ Soccer and 7th Place in Girls’ Soccer.
Our athletes and coaches show great school spirit at each game by cheering each team (PACAlândia! PACAlândia!). We share meals together and even have study hall together. We encourage our students through devotions and singing together. I encouraged our students to glorify God by playing with excellence, giving their best within the rules, respecting the referees and treating each other with respect and honor.
I believe this helps us fulfill our mission of “impacting their world through Christ.” It is encouraging to see our students connecting with their peers from other schools and building relationships. Several times, many coaches approached me to say how special our students are and how they clearly represent the Christian values the school stands for. My prayer is that these interactions can be seeds planted for God’s Kingdom and someday lead to deeper conversations about faith in Jesus.
You should see how beautiful is the location of the Big 8 Tournament. The beautiful camp of Nosso Recanto (NR) is located in the southern mountainous region of Minas Gerais, close to Campos de Jordão. NR is nestled in this lusciously green valley surrounded by forest-covered mountains with crystal clear spring water flowing through the grounds. I even challenged the students to see God’s glory manifested in His creation.
We are grateful to God for this year’s results. We are grateful to Him for the athletes and families He has brought to our school. We are grateful for the opportunity to play sports for a whole week in a beautiful location. Keep us in your prayers. Pray on our behalf that we not lose sight of the opportunity to “love our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. And to love our neighbor as yourself.”
Renato Sousa – Class of 1999
Athletic Director & Boys’ Soccer Coach & Elementary PE Teacher