Sand, sun and sleep are typical descriptors for spring break in the Bahamas—but for gymnasts from Union College, memories of the island nation are filled with a packed schedule, sore muscles, and spiritual fulfillment. From March 12-19, twenty-seven Union representatives spent their spring break performing gymnastic routines and travelling throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
The gymnasts stayed busy performing seven times in four days and sleeping in local Seventh-day Adventist churches where the students took turns cooking and cleaning. The team borrowed the only set of gymnastics mats on the island for their performances. Shows included a performance at a tent meeting, and a show at Bahamas Academy where nearly 500 people attended.
Seth Perkins, Gymnaires coach and associate professor of health and human performance, said that the team witnessed 30 individuals come to Christ during the tent meeting they participated in. Perkins also said they got to see seven people baptized in the Atlantic Ocean. Looking back, these spiritual victories were signposts to the experience the Gymnaires experienced themselves.
“I expected it to be a good experience for our students and a good opportunity to represent Union College, but it turned out to be more than that,” Perkins said. “It was an opportunity for the team to bond socially as well as spiritually. I think our team’s mission—to represent Christ, Union, the team, then ourselves—has always been something we’ve talked about. After this trip, I think it’s something the team really believes in, and that makes me proud.”