Team Majokei by Chris

In the fall of 2013, back in Allen Park, Michigan, our oldest daughter Katelyn had the opportunity to take part in a great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related activity.  Katelyn was part of a Lego Robotics team and was able to compete with her team.  She took part in this for a couple of years.  Her team was called Elemental Bricks and here is a picture of her during a competition with their robot: 

Katelyn competed in Lego Robotics back in 2013

Katelyn and our whole family enjoyed participating with the other families involved.  When we became full-time foreign missionaries, we assumed that none of our other kids would have the opportunity to compete in Lego Robotics.  So, were we ever surprised when our oldest son, Jack, came home from school one day to say that there is a robotics team at school and he was interested in participating.  We encouraged him to join a team and so he did.  The team started out only meeting once in a while but the meetings started to get a lot more focused and serious as the competition date in San Jose crept closer and closer.  Jack (his legal name is John but we call him Jack) joined up with two of his friends, Keiner and Maria José hence the strange name for the team which is the beginning of each of their names, Majokei.  As the date of the competition approached, we had the chance to spend more time with the other families.  God is full of surprises and he not only surprised us with Jack being able to participate but also gave our family these other two families as friends.  We were able to share meals together and make plans for travel to the competition together.  During all of this time, we had many chances to share testimonies with each of the family members.  We never really understand how God is working but we know that He is working in all of this.  

Team Majokei at their school working out the kinks in their robot

We traveled to the competition together and stayed overnight in the same location.  This gave us all the opportunity to have dinner and breakfast together and was a blessed time of sharing.  The competition was this past Saturday, September 10th and they had the afternoon on Friday to adjust their robot to the competition table and the lighting environment.  The competition used light sensors on the robots to detect the colors of different blocks and if your sensors aren't adjusted the robot will say that a red block is blue or a blue block is black.

Parents had to watch on a projection screen from another room.  Jack is in the bottom right corner.

Each team gets three chances to run the course on the competition table and the team with the best score of the three runs wins.  They have time in between the runs to try to make the robot perform better.  Team Majokei's first run was 53 out of 155 total points but they received a 15-point penalty so they had a 38....not a great first run.  Nevertheless, the team stayed cool, calm, and collected and were able to make improvements to their robot and scored a 95 on their second run.  Their third run went a bit haywire so it was not any better so the 95 was the best that they had.  At the end of the afternoon was the award ceremony.  Team Majokei was competing as one of 26 teams from around Costa Rica in their age group.  Jack's team score of 95 won them a second-place finish.  The first-place team scored around 130 points and they are guaranteed a spot at the world robotics competition that will be held this November in Dortmund, Germany.  Team Majokei is waiting to hear if there is space for the second-place team to go as well.  Jack's team was very happy with their second-place finish.

Team Majokei accepting their second-place trophy and medals.

We give thanks to God for His Divine Providence for our family and for blessing Jack with the opportunity to participate in Lego Robotics.  We are very proud of Jack and his teammates for the great dedication they had to their team and to each other.  Over the years of being in the mission field, I have come to see how God brings the mission to us no matter where we are.  Please pray that we are able to be docile to His Holy Will for each of us!

In the love of Jesus,

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