Lipscomb women's basketball junior guard Danay Fothergill reports in on the fourth full day of the team's mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
Today was our fourth full day in the Dominican and our third day of work. We started off the day with some fantastic pancakes (Dominican style of course). Around 9 ish (ish is a term that is used in the Dominican culture, meaning you go with the flow and 9 could really mean 10) we headed out to the work site in the community.
We worked the whole morning on digging misplaced dirt on the designated area of the court. This meant a lot of shoving and wheel barrel trips to finally get the dirt where it needed to go. Today was one of the hotter days of the trip so that made for some tough labor. But besides that it was one of the most blessed days of the trip as well.
Once we finished (for the most part) digging dirt, it was time for lunch. Fried chicken was on the menu for lunch. It wasn’t bad. After lunch we had a much needed siesta time. Everyday we have 13 girls lying on the couches, in the floor, and in chairs getting as much rest as possible before we start the afternoon shift.
Once siesta time was over, the crew headed back to the work site. The work for the rest of the day consisted of moving and packing the new dirt that was placed on the soon to be court. To make the court level we had to set dirt higher on one end. Unfortunately, at the end of the day we are a little bit behind schedule.
On a brighter side, God intervened and really used us to share about him today. A group of girls headed down to the baseball field to play with some of the children in the community. During the middle of recreation, Alex (Banks) called a group together. Shannon (O'Brien) really encouraged a few of us to share why we are here and why we are doing what we are doing.
With the help of a translator, Alex had the opportunity to share with the kids about how we are using a sport to share God’s love. The group talked about playing for Christ and how we use our sport to give God the glory. We were really intentional about encouraging the kids to put that into perspective as they play their sport. A lot of the kids are so active and they really connected with what we were telling them. The looks on their faces made it seem like something connected. At the end of the conversation, a man of the community (Muscles) decided to pray for the group. It was really touching to here the sincerity in his voice, even our translator was crying because she was so moved.
This was a really special time for us. We knew from the start that there was a reason God placed us with these special people in this community. This time was such a blessing because it clicked not only for the kids but it clicked for us as well. We realized the importance of sharing the gospel and using our sport to connect to so many.
The next adventure on the agenda was showers (I’m sure you’ll here many stories about this later) and then we headed to dinner. Tonight was an American dinner. We had hot dogs and home made macaroni and cheese. Yum!
Every night this week we have had Girl Talk after dinner. Tonight was the last night of Girl Talk and it sure was a special night. We had the opportunity to share the gospel and ask the girls to make a commitment to our Savior. Many of the girls professed this decision and accepted the invite to follow Christ. It was a blessing to see the joy on the girls faces as this happened.
The night ended with worship and sharing of how God is working in our lives. We each have an opportunity either in the morning or at night share. It is amazing to see how God is working through this team. I had the opportunity to share last night. I would like to give you all a quick summary of what I shared that God is doing in my life:
At the beginning of the trip Coach Brown each gave us a book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. I began reading on the plane. This quote stood out to me, “The right place often seems like the wrong place and the right time often seems like the wrong time.” I can relate to this in many ways. Before this trip I had my mind in other places. I wasn’t ready mentally or spiritually.
A lot of that I think had to do with not knowing what was to come. But to say the least I just wasn’t ready and I kept praying for God to help me focus and get in tune for the week to come. Then I came across this. What I thought was the wrong time was actually the perfect time. God purposefully planned the events up to this trip to make the time here in the D.R. even more special and intentional to bring Him glory.
That is exactly what God was/is doing. This quote also relates to the decision I made about a year ago to transfer to Lipscomb. Sometimes I look at my time at Western Kentucky before Lipscomb as a bad thing, but in all reality God placed me there for a reason that ended up leading me to the best place for me. God’s timing is always perfect. Another aspect that God is really teaching me is my perspective on servant hood. Before this trip I thought mission trips were a time to share my testimony or to get children to come to Christ. No doubt it is both of those things, but its more than that.
The perspective I have now on this trip is to serve this community and to do that I am going to work my butt off in moving dirt and setting concrete, or whatever my job may be. We each are called to different types of servant hood. Many of the girls needed to be playing with the children and some of us needed to stick to the labor. God really is working through each of us. Everyone (kids, parents, babies) is coming to the work site in the community to help. Working hard is contagious and it’s cool to know that all the glory is given to God. The joy in the children’s faces when you drive up to the site is a feeling that just can’t be explained. God is awesome and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience service for Christ this week.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth!”
- Danay Fothergill