NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Four student-athletes representing the Lipscomb volleyball team Caitlin Dotson, Claire Peterson, Stephanie Rex and Katie Rose left early Tuesday morning as a part of a mission trip to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.
The 15-member mission team is being led by Dr. Phil Kinzer, a Lipscomb professor. Also on the leadership part of the team, is Anna Bowers, who has competed at Lipscomb in both basketball and track and field.
Dotson first heard about the trip in one of Dr. Kinzer’s Bible classes. Dr. Kinzer is also a big fan of the volleyball team and that also drew the interest of the four.
“I think it is going to be really great to expand my horizons,” said Dotson who has always had a goal to go on a mission trip. “I’ve never been out of the country.
“We are going to be working with people in need. I think it is going to be so fulfilling to go and help any way we can. We are going to learn more about ourselves than anything else.”
The mission team will use a preachers’ training school as its base in Cap-Haitien. Team members plan to make an impact in the area through small group Bible studies. They will also be interacting with the children in Cap-Haitien. Peterson is especially looking forward to spending time with the children.
“I decided to go to Haiti because I want to bring joy to a child’s life even if it is for only one day,” Peterson said. “I also want to see first-hand how Haitians live and put into perspective regarding my own life.
“I expect to gain a whole new appreciation for the blessings in my life. I hope to make many friends and build great relationships with these people.”
This is the first foreign mission trip for all four. Only Peterson, who went on a mission trip to Hancock County in eastern Tennessee in 2008, has been on any kind of mission trip.
Balancing the demands of volleyball and school have been challenges for these players through much of their lives. They expect to be equally challenged in dealing with the poverty of Haiti.
“I think I will be challenged with my faith in a place like Haiti,” Rex said. “I also think the language barrier may be a challenge as well as having to see people in the bad or sad situations that they may be in.
“I expect to take away a better understanding of myself, the world around me and my view of God.”
Rose agrees with Rex that the situation in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, will provide a new perspective.
“I know that I am going to want to help every single person, but that is impossible,” Rose said. “I have wanted to go on mission trips in the past, but this is the first time my schedule has allowed it. My main reason for going to Haiti is to become more aware of the world around me.”
Rose graduated Saturday and plans to teach. She thinks that the experiences on the trip will make her a better teacher.
“If I want to be an effective teacher, and educate my students about the world, then I have to first experience it,” Rose said. “I have also felt a very strong spiritual pull towards the trip and know that this is God’s plan for me and my future.
“I hope to walk away with a new perspective on my life. As I begin a new chapter of my life I want my eyes to be opened to what really matters. This mission trip could not come at a better time, right as I’m leaving college, but beginning my future.”
The group will return May 18.
“They say you never feel more alive than when on a mission trip,” Rose said. “And I hope for the same feeling.”
The volleyball team plans to go on a mission trip to Brazil next year.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.