A few weeks ago I wrote “Be United” and Sunday morning while I was watching MRC’s soccer team playing against the AMSA Rangers, I was thinking about Nelson Mandela’s word. Our participants were playing with their hearts and minds and there was only one voice and language on the soccer field –“Be one”.
Meg Goodman our wonderful Executive Director, was sitting next to me and she looked at the field and she said “This is what I love about MRC, our participants from different countries (Iraq, Congo, Sudan and Honduras) playing and enjoying the game at Dell Jewish Community Center”. I told her I was thinking about the same, and I looked at the field and there was a diversity that no one would ever imagine to see together. Only one word through the soccer field yelling “amigo, friend, rafiki pass the soccer ball”.
While Meg and I were talking about what an amazing opportunity had been presented to MRC, thanks to Alex and Tom Linehan who helped organized the game to raise funds for MRC’s Soccer program, the players were scoring goals and dreams. Some of them were wearing shoes or soccer gear that the other team had lent them for the game. Meg had told me that one of our participants was going to playing with sandals because this is all he had . However, this was not a practice like the one they have every Wednesday, this was a game with an AMSA team and soccer gear is recommended for the safety of the players. Only one wish— raise enough funds to purchase soccer shoes, shin guards, socks, and other equipment or find someone who can make an in-kind donation to MRC.
The final score 3 – 2. MRC’s soccer team had won their first “official” game. At the end all the players gathered together for picture time, something to remember, a big smile and their hearts racing because our dream has been progressively coming true. While I was taking the pictures I saw a group of dragon flies near the soccer field. In some cultures people associate the dragonfly with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm. Only one thought, prosperity for our participants and their new lives in Austin; harmony in the soccer field, no fights, no walls, no limits and a good luck charm. MRC’s team won!
Yubelly Perez, MRC Board Member