close
close

The FCA duo the Rattlers on the events of the Argentina mission


Florida A&M football players Lamar Clark and Nay'Ron Jenkins went on a mission trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The trip gave them a new outlook on life.

play

Impacting lives is something that is close to the hearts of Florida A&M football players Lamar Clark and Nay'Ron Jenkins.

Earlier this month, the Rattler duo took a week-long mission trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina with the Community of Christian Athletes.

During their stay, the FAMU players and their FCA colleagues spread the meaning of Christ and introduced American football to Argentine youth.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but when we got there everyone was very polite and welcoming from the jump,” Clark said. “Everyone was so committed to learning about football and Christ.

“The way we built relationships within that week was truly amazing. The visit there inspired me to bring that desire to learn and grow back into the team and community.”

To make the trip to Buenos Aires a reality, Clark and Jenkins were tasked with raising $2,500 each within a month to cover their travel, food and lodging costs.

FAMU players initially called the fundraising effort “intimidating” and were quickly able to reach the financial threshold, according to an O&G StrikeZone article published by the Tallahassee Democrat and the Rattlers. Former FAMU player Dr. Timothy Childs, linebacker on the Rattlers' 1978 NCAA Division I-AA championship team, and his family made significant donations to both Clark and Jenkins.

“Rattler Nation is one of them. No one else will make it through like she did. So I had no doubts,” Jenkins said, thanking FAMU supporters for helping them raise money for the trip. “They ensure that we don’t have to go without. I thank God for her and the “family” we have.

“I can’t wait to be part of the alumni and be able to give something back to the new generation.”

A FAMU soccer player's trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina offers a new perspective on life

Experiencing different parts of the world can provide a new outlook on life.

Seeing Argentina's haves and have-nots gave FAMU football players a new appreciation for the fortune they enjoy back home.

“It was a culture shock,” Clark said.

“Being from the United States, it's pretty easy to get used to and get comfortable with certain things that others don't. Some toilets didn't even have toilet paper. It's easy to fall into being ungrateful for certain things because you're so used to them being accessible to you.

“It changes your mindset, you feel more grateful and you see how easy it is for you compared to someone else.”

What Jenkins quickly noticed was the kids' desire to teach them American football, a sport he plays at the NCAA Division I level.

Although American football is not popular in Argentina, the trainees treated the contact sport as if they wanted a career in it.

“It was cool to be accepted by them and willing to learn about Christ and American football,” Jenkins said. “They play for fun and love of the game. Many people still text me and ask me various questions about football.

“That motivates me. The game is played to be loved and appreciated. We’re trying to grow the sport.”

FAMU soccer player, FCA hopes to return to Buenos Aires, Argentina

The FCA has already begun discussions about another mission trip to Buenos Aires next year.

Clark and Jenkins plan to be present again. And they will recruit more FAMU football players to accompany them.

“Hopefully we can do it again. We’re trying to set up a trip with more people from our team next year,” Jenkins said.

On a journey that provided FAMU football players with education but also learned many different lessons from many walks of life, Jenkins has one thing he wants to do before returning to Argentina.

Brush up on his Spanish.

“I need to brush up on my Spanish. That’s the main thing because I feel like I’ve been missing that,” Jenkins said. “But just being around different people and building relationships is the cool aspect of knowing the influence you have on them.”

Florida A&M Rattlers 2024 football schedule

  • August 24 vs. Norfolk State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, Atlanta*
  • Aug. 31 vs. South Carolina State
  • September 7th in Miami
  • September 21st in Troy
  • Sept. 28 vs. Alabama A&M
  • October 5th at Alabama State
  • Oct. 19 at Jackson State
  • Oct. 26 vs. Southern
  • November 2 vs. Texas Southern (HOMECOMING)
  • Nov. 9 at Prairie View A&M
  • Nov. 16 vs. Mississippi Valley State
  • November 23rd against Bethune-Cookman, Orlando*

BOLD = SWAC

* = Neutral location

Gerald Thomas, III covers Florida A&M University Athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him by email at gdthomas@tallahassee.com or on the app formerly known as Twitter @3peatgee.

No one covers the Rattlers like the Tallahassee Democrat. Subscribe using the link at the top of the page and never miss a moment.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *