Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trip Home!

Well, we are getting ready to head out to the airport to begin our journey home. We will be departing Santiago around 2:50pm and will arrive in Miami, FL around 5:00pm. We then have about a two hour lay over and take our last trip home. We will be arriving in LA around 9:50pm and then will head down to SDCC. Please keep us in your prayers today!

It has been an amazing trip with lots of memories that we will never forget! Thank you all for your continued prayers throughout this week, they were definately felt.

Coach Fisk

One God, One Father Of All

"Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any
fellowship of the spirit, if any affection and mercy, fufill my joy by being
like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others." ~ Philippians 2:1-4

We didn't think it would be this hard to leave. The connections and relationships that we made with these girls in just one week are beyond what we though would be possible. The vulnerability these girls showed on the first day took us by surprise. We came on this trip expecting to touch their lives somehow, but what we didn't expect was that they would impact our lives as much as they did.
It was so hard to say goodbye, but we can leave with the joy of knowing that this won't be the last time we'll see these girls. We pray that they will continue growing in their faith, and rise above the standards their culture has set for them.
Its been an amazing week and we can speak for the entire team when we say that our outlook on life will never be the same. We thank God for this increbible opportunity, and we pray that we never forget our time in the Dominican Republic.

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptisim; one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." ~Ephesians 4:4-6

Love, Lo and Terra

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Last day of adventures in the DR

Hey everyone we are going to try and keep this short and sweet. Today was EPIC! We got the treat of sleeping in until 730 this morning then prepared ourselves for a day on the water. When we say water we mean RAPIDS, white water rapids! Our stomachs were in knots on the way but once we were in our boats nothing could stop us and there was no turning back. Our guide, Guerro, made the trip fun even though he had to save us a few times. The landscape was unlike anything we could ever see in the states with 30 foot cliffs on each side of the river. We took advantage of these cliffs and couragously jumped from the top. After all the excitement we returned to our villas to get ready for a night on the town. We visited each souvenior shop in search of the perfect gifts for our friends and family. It finally hit us that the end of this trip will be bitter sweet because we are going back to our real families and have to leave behind the new family we developed over the course of the week. Each of our girls, Esther and Rafe, from the Varsity Revolution team made a lasting impression on us and we are so grateful for their open hearts and willingness to embrace us on and off the court. This missions trip was in our opinion an absolute success and we never could have imagined the ways God would work through us.

With love,
Aja' Walker and Lauren Howard

Round 2: Success

Yesterday morning we went with the varisty girls over to La Vega to rematch the local teams. It was great and fun competition and although our Varisty buddies lost in two games against the team they played, we were successful and clenched the win. The dynamic on the court was amazing, and the flow of the game was something to be excited about for the season. The connections were there, along with the passion for the game.
Afterwards we headed down to the river with the girls and shared lunches. We took turns jumping into the river from various rocks and heights. The water was so refreshing and was a great experience for all of us as that was the last time we would see the buddies we had for the week. My buddy, Leslie, told me that she was inspired by the way we play volleyball as a team. She said it was never just a one person show, but that the whole team worked together well.
For dinner we went to a location by a different river and the scenery was beautiful. And of course we ate ALOT. Upon arriving back at base we were able to watch a recap video of the week and see the work that God had been doing in not only our area but in the other sites as well. Each of the Varsity girls had written us a letter on the back of our team pictures. Although some of us had to get a translator to tell us what they said, the sincerity behind each message really touched our hearts and our tear ducts.
Today is the last full day we have here in the Dominican and may be our biggest adventure together yet. We will be taking off from base in just a couple minutes to experience the river swells and go rafting. It will be an experience to remember.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our team/ Dinner in the community

Today we led team building drills for the girls and we also did them and learned many things about our own team. We learned that we all have different strengths and we had to listen to each others ideas in order to complete the drill. It was encouraging to see that the younger girls didn't want to give up in any of the tasks. We were able to set an example by not getting frustrated with each other. Later that day we went to Keysie's (one of the girls on the varsity team) house for dinner in the community. Even though there wasn't much room, they still enjoyed having us over. We had amazing rice, fried chicken, salad, potato salad, and fried plantunes(french fries). It was weird not being able to help with serving or doing any dishes. We've been blessed more than they know.
-Mo and Phil(Lauren)
P.s. The hurricane is gone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Into the City

As we exited the can onto the streets of innercity Jarabacoa, they were paved with cracked tiles, dirt, and remenants of the people that had travled them before us. Sounds of motorcycles and honking horns, kids playing in the streets, and the occasional barking of dogs filled the air; sounds of life here in Jarabacoa. The air was clouded with a heavy, mixed combination of humidity, and smells..mainly fresh fruit and burning trash.
Our first stop was to drop off one of the girls we work with at her home. Nana, around 12 years old, happily lead us through the streets to where she lived. As we passed through tight dirt alleyways, littered in trash, we finally reached her home.
Quietly we approached a small structure, hidden by other small shack-like structures, from the main road. We realized we had reached our destination. As Nana entered, she smiled as she invited all 21 of us girls inside. With content, she pulled back curtains that divided a standard-US-bedroom-sized room...which revealed a kitchen, and three cots. Through the middle of the concrete room was a string, used for drying clothes.
With a heard filled with joy and greatfulness, Nana opened up her home to us. I could not help but fight to hold back my emotions; not only did the conditions break my heart, but even more so the complete love and content that was pouring into us through Nana's welcome.
As we traveled around the city to drop off more girls, the reactions of the families were the same. All greeted with a kiss and a hug, we were accepted happily and thankfully into their homes...they all offered what they had to us. Today I am filled with a overwelming feeling of thankfulness for the blessings God has given us. Surrounded by people that love me, and the comfort of having somewhere to sleep, food on the table, and my loving God are more than enough to quiet my heart. Looking forward to meeting more families and experiencing the mercy and grace of God as the week goes on.
-Kaitlen Laine

P.S. The storm passed, it barely rained last night and we are safe and sound!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Breaktaking and Aww are my words to describe Tuesday of this week. Yesterday we coached our varsity girls, jumping in and out of the shade. At the end, two of us shared our testimonies with the girls (which I pray God used). It would have been a good day to end there yet God had more planned for us. As a whole the ministry site gathered together for worship "Meet at the Cross". Where many nailed burdens and sin upon which were ready to remove with Christ's strength. It honestly was one of the most intimate times I've had with the Lord. He moved throughout our team and hearts were changed. Praise God for His Love and bringing us here. <3