BY ANDY DEVIVO | March 11, 2014
When I first started playing Ultimate Frisbee my freshman year of college, I never thought that six years later the sport would be so connected to my faith. And yet, as I write this blog post, I realize that some of the moments where I most found God in this past year in Chile were on the Ultimate Frisbee field.
About a month ago, I was asked by a Jesuit to recall a moment in the past year where I saw God working. I thought immediately to the Ultimate Frisbee workshops that I run on Saturday mornings at the school where I teach English. One of the most regular participants of my workshop is an eighth grader named Diego. When Diego first started coming he could not throw the disc very far or very straight. However, he was not dismayed. Despite the cold of the Chilean winter and the rain that turned the field into a mud pit, Diego continued to show up to practice.
One morning, towards the end of the second semester, I was running a drill with my students. I was participating in this particular drill and it was Diego’s turn to throw the Frisbee to me. I started running down the field and Diego let the Frisbee loose. As I looked back and saw it coming I could see the excited look on his face as he knew it was a good throw. I caught the Frisbee and jogged back to him to congratulate him, but he was already moving onto the next part of the drill. He was not satisfied with just one good throw, he wanted to do more. He wanted to continue to get better.
So where was God? I do not think that Diego’s throw was the result of divine intervention because it was one of many excellent throws he has continued to have since that day. However, I do see God in Diego in other ways. I see God in his persistence and his desire to make himself better. I see God in all the participants of my Ultimate Frisbee workshop who trusted their new foreign teacher enough to wake up early on a Saturday morning and come learn a sport they had never of. And I see God in giving me the tools necessary to teach and motivate the youth of Chile to love a sport I have a great passion for.
Six years ago when I began to learn the basics of Ultimate Frisbee I never thought that in my life I would be teaching the sport to young Chileans. However, that is what my faith in God has allowed me to do. This entire year has been full of experiences that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a part of. And yet, here I am, trusting in God and learning so much more about myself and about God’s people.
Andy DeVivo graduated from the College of the Holy Cross is May 2012, majoring in Spanish. He is currently serving his second year as a Jesuit Volunteer in Santiago, Chile. He works at the Instituto Padre Hurtado teaching English to 5th through 8th graders, catequesis, and helping to coach various sports. He enjoys cooking and playing Ultimate Frisbee in his free time.