One of the biggest struggles that these girls face is what I think most teenage girls struggle with: boys. Thus we teamed up with 3 other ministry sites within SI as well as the youth ministry from the church a put on a 3 day purity retreat! And it was awesome!!! Here's what Chelsie (our new volleyball site leader) wrote about the weekend.
The Purity Retreat was great! Youth from the Students International volleyball, baseball and social work sites were involved. A HUGE thanks to those who prayed specifically for this weekend. God showed up big time in the lives of the students. They were very willing to listen, learn and grow from what they heard in the teachings. The main topics of the weekend were sexual purity and the importance of marriage. Many activities were planned, some just for fun (you'll see that in the video) and others that were very meaningful. There were many teaching sessions, a time where students could write down questions to be answered by a panel of adults, small group sessions and to end the weekend was "La Boda". "The wedding" was very special; instead of just imagining their wedding day they were able to walk through what it could be like. The ceremony was followed by an opportunity to commit to purity. It was a beautiful thing! A weekend filled with forgiveness, redemption, commitments and healing could only come from the work of a Mighty God! Take 5 minutes and follow the link below to a video that highlights the events of the weekend!!
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Check out this video to see what VC Revolution is all about! Loading it to my blog takes way to long here in the DR so you can just click the link and watch it on youtube!
Friday, April 5, 2013
It’s hard for me to believe that I have now been here for almost 4 years. I am excited to see how God continues to use VC Revolution here in Jarabacoa. We are training new coaches to accommodate for all the new girls wanting to be involved. We have two big new projects that we are working on that we need your help with. As we graduate 4 of our seniors from our varsity team, we are also starting a scholarship program to help them attend college. As our site expands, we also need monthly supporters to help keep the site running efficiently.
#1: Sponsorship for Graduating Seniors
Many of the girls in our program have been trained and discipled and will be graduating in June. Mabelis, Caroly, Dianny and Loreidy have all been a part of varsity and would like to attend college next fall. Mabelis and Loreidy would like to study psychology and Caroly and Dianny-Dentistry. They do not have nearly enough resources to pay for college. Most of these girls will be the first in their family to go on to college (or even to finish high school!) In return for their scholarships, they will join us as volunteer staff and help coach teams within VC Revolution or serve at other ministry sites We are excited about this scholarship program because it allows these girls, who have been be apart of our program, to continue serving alongside SI as well as continue their education. In order to pay for tuition, transportation and books, it costs $100 per month for these girls to attend college.
Mabelis, Loreidy, Caroly and Dianny
Would you consider being a monthly supporter with your donation of $100 per month? Or you can also be a half-scholarship supporter of $50 a month. You can also give a one time donation. Anything would be a huge blessing to these girls. Please consider helping to sponsor one of these girls and give them a chance of a future that they could have not otherwise afforded. If you would consider playing a HUGE role in providing these girls with a future, you can donate online at https://www.stint.com/donate.php. Under “Ministry Site/Special Fund” scroll down to “Dominican Republic/Girls Volleyball Site- Scholarship Account” and follow the easy steps from there.
2: Site Support Needed
As more girls want to be a part of VC Revolution, we need help financially to run these teams efficiently. First of all, we want to be able to pay our coaches fairly. In addition, in order to host tournaments, we need to provide food and refs for the games. Hosting tournaments is a great thing because we are able share the gospel with the teams that come. Students International was able to provide enough money to run the site for the past 4 years. However, in order to allow more girls into our site and provide coaches for all the team, we will need your help. Our goal would be to raise $600 a month for total of $5400 to complete the rest of the year. This money will go directly to the program to cover Dominican coaches salaries, travel expenses, equipment and uniforms.
For the year of 2013, we need a total of $5400 If you would be willing to give a one time donation or consider being a monthly supporter of our site, we would so appreciate it! If you are interested in giving to our program you can give a tax-deductible donation online at https://www.stint.com/donate.php. Under “Ministry Site/Special Fund” scroll down to “Dominican Republic/Girls Volleyball Site- General” and follow the easy steps from there.
*For more information on other ways to donate, feel free to visit the website at http://www.stint.com/about/donate and it can explain other options.
In February, we welcomed Chelsie Blackburn to our full-time missionary staff. She will be spending the first couple months taking Spanish classes and then joining me in May. Our goal would be that she can really invest in the newer players and continue and disciple them as they go through our program.
Chelse is the one on the right. :)
This was a big 3v3 tournament that we played in last week!
Here's a video that we just made giving a better idea of what VC Revolution is all about!
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
In my last post, I discussed the top 12 things I’ll miss this Christmas. I must say that it left me feeling really sad! So, in efforts to lift my spirits a bit and let you know some of the great things I’ll get to partake in this Christmas season, I decided to write a new blog: The Top 12 Things of my Dominican Christmas
1. Dominican Food- Eating lots and lots of Dominican food. One of the popular things Dominicans doing during Christmas is cook a pig! We had some on Christmas day. So good!
2. Pijamada “Pijama Party”- Since all my roomates are gone, we decided to take advantage of the empty house and have a pijama party. We have been studying the book of John and so to finish up our study, we watched the Passion of Christ. I must say, this was the first pijama party that I’ve had… probably since college. Possibly my last. Haha.
3. Volleyball- There will be lots of volleyball happening this Christmas break. Not sure I really need to explain this one.
4. Spending Time with Breddy’s Family- I have been dating a great Christian guy for the past few months. He loves the Lord and loves sports too! So we really enjoy doing the same activities together. Here, Dominicans aren’t huge on gifts for Christmas. They mainly have big dinners and spend time together as a family. Because his parents work a lot, I haven’t had a lot of time to get to know them. Here is a picture with Breddy and two of his cousins at one of the family get-togethers.
5. Conga (basically softball without a umpire to call balls and strikes. Pitcher keeps pitching until you hit it or swing 3x and strike out) - This has been a new activity that Breddy has introduced me too. We play softball basically on the side of a gradual mountain. Not sure I can explain it. The bases are closer together because you have to run up-hill. Also, balls don’t go as far because, yes, you are hitting up-hill. Super fun. Lots of kids play and even some other women! Probably one of my favorite new Christmas activities.
6. No Planes- I really hate flying. I feel like 90% of the time I fly, something goes wrong. Ask me sometime, I have at least 5 horror stories. So I’m happy to just be the chofer and take people to/from the airport.
7. Going to the Beach- Not so bad spending Christmas break in 80 degree weather!
8. Dancing- I’m not the greatest dancer. There is just something that doesn’t allow me to move my hips like latinos do! I think I have an extra bone or something that just makes it impossible for me! However, from merengue to bachata, dancing is a big part of Dominican culture. So, we’ve been trying to work on my dancing skills. Check out a video of Breddy dancing with his cousin. Someday…. I might dance like that!
9. Motorcycle trip to the Presa- Last Saturday, some of the varsity girls (and their drivers) and I took a motorcycle trip to the Presa. The Presa is a beautiful man-made dam that has the best fish and tostones on the island! Well, I don’t know if it’s the best, but it sure has a great view. Check out a highlight video of our trip.
*To see a video with some clips of us riding on the motorcycles*
10. Girl Time- Its just been great to get some hang-out time with my varsity girls. Whether we are playing volleyball, riding motorcycles, or making dinner together, its just nice to hang out with them and continue to build those relationships.
11. Rest- It has been a great time of just reading, relaxing and getting lots of rest.
12. Skyping with my family on Christmas Morning- Even though I am further away this Christmas, some traditions still continued this year. Christmas morning, Breddy and I skyped into Christmas at home. Breddy read a Christmas story and I translated it for my family. Then we got to hear my dad read something. It was a special time to all be “together”. We even got a “Family Picture”.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support in this past year. In January, we start up strong with two American teams coming down. Also in February, another American girl will be joining me on staff at the sports site. It will be great to have her so that we can start more teams and be able to reach more girls! Continue to be in prayer for the girls of the site. Many of them are hitting that key age where they decide to follow God or choose their own way. Thank you for your prayers. I pray that God continues to bless you in this new year of 2013!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
As I sit listening to Christmas music, my heart is filled with mixed emotions. Christmas day is coming close and for the first time in 26 years, I won’t be spending this one with my family. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling over the past 6 months and I just felt like I wanted to take a break and stay “home” this year. The DR has become my new home and I am truly excited to spend time with my girls and my Dominican community here. I’ll leave details of my Dominican Christmas for a later post because today's blog is tribute to my AMERICAN family. So, with no further ado, the top 12 things I will miss this Christmas of 2012.
1. Opening stockings with my siblings (getting the my yearly dosage of socks and underwear)
2. Eating a great big Christmas day breakfast (which is always topped off with candy that we got in our stockings)
3. Listening to dad read the Christmas story in the living room
4. Watching tv with my sister for hours while mom, dad and Josh golf (because mom isn’t a fan of us watching tv all day). So the second they leave, Heather and I become couch potatoes.
5. We normally spend Christmas in the pan-handle of Florida in a condo. Normally weather is in the 60’s- lower 70s. Every day, dad tries to convince us it is hot outside. So, in efforts to catch some rays, Heather and I always try to lay-out. Our efforts normally end with us getting wrapped up in our towel because it’s too cold to actually lay-out. But at least our faces get some vitamin D.6. Seeing family. Most years we see our Florida Gator family. This pic is from one year that even the Wyoming Gates family came down to Florida to join us.
7. Acting like I don’t really like playing games (but I really do) so that my mom feels extra special when I do decide to play. I really do love playing games with my mom and siblings (ticket-to-ride and a monopoly card game have been recent favorites)
8. Any day that I beat Josh in a game J
9. Sharing a room with my favorite sister
10. Playing “up the river, down the river” with the whole family. Especially if the Woodard family is there, our family has such a great time!
11. Going to the movie theatre and eating LOTS of popcorn
12. Just being with my family. I love you Dad, Mom, Heather and Josh! I miss you guys already!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
“Coach, can you put one of those songs on that we sang at your church?” Stephanie asked. Even though the trip to the states was four months ago, there are still many things that have stayed with our girls (in addition to belting the songs they learned at church). Since they were stretched out of their comfort zone, their self-confidence has grown, making them better leaders here. Before the trip, two girls consistently went to church. Now, eight of them have been attending regularly. In addition, on Friday mornings at 6:30 am, we do a breakfast prayer meeting and 10 of them have been coming. Last week at bible study, Esther, in tears, asked if I would be willing to go with her when she breaks the news to her devout catholic parents that she wants to become a Christian. These may seem like little things, but they have been big steps for these girls.
We just had our Christmas party with our varsity and JV teams. Check out one of our competitions. Kinda the same idea with marshmallows in the game "Chubby Bunny", yet we did it with Jalepenos. Hehe.
Each team had to dress up for their dance competition. Check out the varsity team!
Some of our JV girls before their dance!
The "Nana" after the cake eating competition!
Overall, a super fun day with the girls. For the first time in 3 years, I'll be spending Christmas here this year. I will definitely miss my family, but I really wanted to have a restful time where I wasn't traveling. Plus, I really want to see what a Dominican Christmas is like!
In other VC Revolution News...
In February of 2013, another American woman will be joining me on staff, which I am super excited for! She played volleyball in college and has the same passion for working with young girls. This will allow us to start even more teams and be able to disciple more girls at a more intimate level. Four of our varsity girls will be graduating high school this year and will no longer be able to play with the varsity team. We hope that some of them will continue to stayed involved in our VC Revolution volleyball program as coaches, but we want to push them out of the nest so that they can pursue a college education. We’ve also been brainstorming ideas to figure out how these girls can financially support themselves to go to college. Please pray for these girls that they will all be able continue to take the next step and go to college.