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Serving God, serving others:
Lady Bears soccer ministers at Young Life Camp

by Hayle Swinson and Meagan Price

(On the cover: Morning sunlight illuminates Joely Cook as she sets tables for breakfast. Photo/Hayle Swinson.)

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews)--The Truett McConnell women's soccer team spent a weekend serving others, April 19-21. From prepping to cooking to cleaning up after meals -- and that includes washing dishes -- the Lady Bears ministered at a Young Life Camp, helpingBethany Murphy"Serving the campers was really hard, and by the end of the weekend I was extremely exhausted. It was a good kind of exhaustion because we got to serve the Lord by serving others," said Bethany Murphy (L).
Photo/Hayle Swinson
to feed more than 320 campers.

"By the end of the weekend I was extremely tired, but serving others and seeing the Lord get the ultimate glory was worth it," said Bethany Murphy.

Throughout the course of the weekend, the student-athletes prayed for strength and energy as they served from 5 a.m. through the evening hours. God continued to sustain as the Lady Bears had adopted a thematic Bible verse for the weekend's ministry:

"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" 1 Peter 4.8-10.

"It wasn't about us," said Shelby Standfield. "It was about
helping these Young Life campers and making their day better."Carrie Cann Aoife OGormanCarrie Cann is followed by Aoife O'Gorman. Both helped serve thousands of meals at a Young Life Camp.
Photo/Hayle Swinson

Emily Bechke said she enjoyed the applause of appreciative campers. "It was the best feeling in the world to know that they really appreciated what we were doing, and to know that we made a difference."

Bechke said one must be "selfless" to accomplish "really hard work. Even though you are really tired, and your feet and back are hurting, so is everyone else's. You just have to suck it up and help out everyone else because they worked just as hard as you did. And to get everything else done, you had to be selfless and help them."

"I'll apply this experience in my life by appreciating the work of others a lot more," Bechke said, adding that teamwork skills will help in her future career.

"We had great teamwork helping each other,"
Tania Perez, said.SHELBYMEAGANBROOKEShelby Standfield, Meagan Taylor, and Brooke Reid
(L to R) assist campers and each other as they wash dishes after a meal they helped prepare and serve.
Photo/Hayle Swinson
"We were so eager to help each other."

"The way people were clapping for us on the last day – that showed how much they appreciated us helping. I didn't know that simply serving would be such a huge deal. But it was not for us; it was for God," Perez added.

"This weekend really taught me that I need to do more things for people without anything in exchange for it. Knowing that they we are helping people is much better than getting something in return," she said.

Joy Smith said she enjoyed "being able to get away as a team and show Christ's love by serving others. It was great to able to put myself last and focus on the needs of the ones being served."


Hayle Swinson is women's assisant soccer coach. Meagan Price is women's assistant basketball coach.

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