Haitian American Association of Alabama

Celebration of Excellence

Celebration of Excellence

Mak Pendergrass

Makenzie Pendergrass

Makenzie Pendergrass

Makenzie Pendergrass

Makenzie experienced her first international mission trip in July 2017 when she travelled to Haiti to work as an intern for Sport Disciple. Just months before, Makenzie’s parents were on their way to celebrate their anniversary and during a layover at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they met the founder of Sport Disciple. Mark, Makenzie’s dad, saw the man’s t-shirt with “Sport Disciple” across the front and decided to go introduce himself and ask about his shirt. Because of that conversation, and many others had between Makenzie and Sport Disciple, she decided to embark on a two-week journey to Haiti. During her internship, Makenzie had the opportunity to serve the kids meals, worship with the coaches, sit in on Bible studies, share her knowledge of sport administration with the Sport Disciple founders, and play soccer with the children (her favorite part).

After experiencing the love, joy, and hope of the Haitian people, Makenzie returned to America intending to go back to Haiti the following summer and serve Sport Disciple for a longer period of time. Before her next trip, Makenzie was determined to begin learning Creole because she desired to deepen the relationships she had made in Haiti. In order to accomplish this goal, Makenzie took Creole 101, taught by Madame Barreau (the founder of HAAA), in her last semester at Samford University.

Makenzie had the opportunity to go back to work with Sport Disciple from mid-August to mid-September of 2018. During the month she was there, Makenzie was able to reconnect with coaches, staff, and kids that she had met the year prior. Makenzie was assigned projects that helped Sport Disciple become more organized such as: taking inventory of all the soccer cleats, sorting the jerseys into matching sets, and providing helpful insight for Sport Disciple’s social media platforms. Makenzie was once again able to worship with the coaches, engage in Bible studies, play soccer with the kids (still her favorite part), and deepen the connections and relationships she had made.   

Makenzie has always been passionate about Jesus, people, sports, and missions, and she will continue to go to Haiti to work with Sport Disciple in the future, which gives her a unique way to combine all of her passions for the glory of God.

More about Sport Disciple:

Sport Disciple is located near Titanyen, Haiti (between Port-au-Prince and Cabaret). Sport Disciple is a soccer program for Haitian kids that is dedicated to reaching the nations for Christ through sports. Its mission is to develop an international, multi-sport, Christian discipleship program that raises a new generation of selfless Christian leaders. Sport Disciple began in 2015 and since has grown to over 1,500 kids, over 100 teams (ages 4 to 20), and has served over 7,000 meals per week. Sport Disciple grows kids physically through meals and soccer training as well as spiritually through incorporating Christian fundamentals and leadership development.

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Oliver Barreau