Trinity Christian Athletics
Kristen Keller, Director of Athletic Communications
PALOS HEIGHTS – Helping other people was something that was always around in the life of Trinity men’s soccer player Marcos Shimizu. He grew up in a world where missionary work was a norm, and he felt that it was his time to do the same.
Back in March, the College went on a mission trip to West Virginia, where they helped rejuvenate the area that was hit by a flood in 2016. Twenty Trinity students traveled to help rebuild this area of the country after this devastating loss, including Shimizu.
“From the first time I saw the email from Professor Nicole Saint-Victor, I knew I wanted to do something,” Shimizu said. “I am in a phase of my life where God is being so good to me, so it’s time for me to use this privilege to help others.”
The group drove eight hours to West Virginia, working for seven days in this area. Their volunteer efforts were combined with professionals who were in the business for 25 years as they worked from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day to build homes within the community.
During their time on the trip, they didn’t just paint walls and construct buildings, but they heard stories from people who lived in the area and worked at the local Ronald McDonald House, helping to give food and clothes to those in need.
“This work requires resilience and constantly asking the Lord to give you the strength to keep going,” Shimizu said. “Once you see your friends and teammates doing all of this physical work, it helps, especially when everyone is working as a unit.”
Although this group gave a lot to this community, they learned a lot about themselves. Each night, they would participate in devotions, cook dinner, help with laundry and do other tasks to benefit the group. They began this trip not really knowing one another, but left with 19 new friends.
“While working with everyone, I got to know them more and share special moments with each person,” Shimizu said. “It’s impossible not to create a natural friendship with everyone.”
This was Shimizu’s first mission trip without his family, but he’s no stranger to this kind of work. His dad, a pastor, and his mom, a school nutritionist, are both missionaries in Brazil, and they travel around the world to help areas in need ever since he was young.
When the opportunity came to go on a mission trip on his own, he knew that’s what he was meant to do. His parents were proud to hear about the work he was doing. And now, he hopes he has the chance to partake in another mission trip in the future.
“I was always involved in mission trips, but this is the first one I went on without my parents,” Shimizu said. “They are so proud of me for doing this, and I am excited to go on more in the future.”