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Flames Basketball Foreign Tour Blog - Day 6

August 14, 2011  Kaysersberg, France  RSS
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The Flames basketball team attending a church service in Brussels before leaving for France, Sunday.

The Flames basketball team attending a church service in Brussels before leaving for France, Sunday.

Day 6 – Having played four of its six scheduled exhibition games on its foreign tour, the Liberty men's basketball team travelled from Brussels, Belgium to Kaysersberg, France on Sunday.

Before leaving the beautiful city of Brussels, the Flames visited Communaute Chretienne de Stockel, the church of Fred Young (pictured far left in the main photo), who has helped the team along the way during its stay in the city. As mentioned in Day 2 of the blog, Fred runs a sports ministry known as FormaSport. A native of Denver, Colo., Young now resides in Brussels and mentors to the area's up-and-coming hoopsters, sharing the message of Jesus Christ with them.

Young also helps place the youngsters into the United States to play collegiate basketball. Kandi Mucole, who was mentioned in yesterday's entry, is one example of an athlete Young has helped. The Belgian born player was a 2010 graduate at Howard in Washington, D.C.

Today's church service was a unique experience for the Flames, as the messages and hymns were spoken and sang entirely in French. Head Dale Layer also presented a message to the congregation, teaching on the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Layer's message was translated to the Belgian crowd by Young's wife, Janet.

Following the service, the Flames ate lunch at a cafeteria in Brussels, said their goodbyes to Young and his family and boarded the bus for Kaysersberg, France.

Before crossing the border, the Flames stopped in Bastogne, Belgium to visit the memorial dedicated to the famous World War II battle, the Battle of the Bulge.

Beginning on Dec. 16, 1944, the battle was a significant moment in the war, helping turn the tide in favor of the Allies for good. Looking to mount a counter offensive after the D-Day Invasion at Normandy, Hitler's troops looked to take over the city of Bastogne for the purposes of transporting supplies. The German army surrounded the city, creating a "bulge" in the American defenses.

Although the Nazis circled the city, they were unable to gain control of it. General Patton's army came in to relieve the 101st Airborne who were defending the city, helping secure the victory for the Allies.

From the battlegrounds, the Flames loaded the bus again and travelled several more hours until they arrived in Kaysersberg. Shortly arriving at the hotel around 9 p.m., the team walked to a feast about a half mile down the street, enjoying delicious food at various stands and socializing with the local people.

Be sure to check out the upcoming blog entry for more on Kaysersberg.