Soccer player Delaney King was asked to keep a short journal on her journey to the Dominican Republic. She asked fellow U13 girls players to help her answer some of the questions. Here is what Delaney and her teammates wrote.
Day 1 question: What do you hope this trip will be like?
“I hope this trip will bring me closer to God and help me spread his word. I also want to become more grateful for everything I have.” –Delaney King
2.) Describe what you did today. How did it bring you closer to God?
“Today we went to the GO Ministries clinic. After that, we went to the school. Next we visited the seminary and learned about the kind of church we want to build. Fourthly, we saw the land GO just bought to transform into a new facility. Finally, we visited “The Hole.” It had mountains of trash and was the place where everyone dumped their garbage. This brought me closer to God because even in the bad conditions, he will still take care of you.” Delaney King. (Note, “The Hole” was at one time the city’s garbage dump. People go there and salvage what they can to make shelter for themselves and their families. Periodically, heavy rains come and wipe out this makeshift village. Residents are forced to rebuild. GO Ministries built a church there which provides a feeding center and activities for the children living in “The Hole.”)
3.) Describe your surroundings. Where do you eat? Sleep? Play?
“Lots of trees and mountains surround me. There is a paved area where kids can play volleyball and basketball. We eat in an open room with plastic picnic tables and chairs. There also are tile floors and a stage with the drums, piano and mic. We sleep in a large room with triple-decker bunks. We play outside with kids of all ages on the different terrains.” Delaney King
4.) How does Mahomet compare to the community in which you are staying/working? What is similar and what is different?
Quick to judge
People love you from the start
Drugs and alcohol
People are caring
Some food “
“There are many similarities and differences from Mahomet to the Dominican
Kids are lonely most of the time
It is dry
Thoughtful and loving kids
The weather is different
We speak English
Parents are involved in our lives”
Areas to play sports
Everyone is close to each other
5.) How are you similar to the Dominican people you are meeting?
“Some ways I am similar to the Dominican people are:
They enjoy playing cards (specifically Uno)
They LOVE any kid of candy they can get their hands on.
Some know the whip and ney-ney (ha ha)”
“We both like to play sports. We also both like to feel comforted and loved.” Delaney King
6.) Describe one local person you met, child or adult.
“One person I met, her name was Georgina, has really made me feel special. She literally will follow me everywhere she can. She really likes volleyball and we are always playing it together. She always wants my water, but I can’t give it to her. I’m really going to miss her.” Veronica Hoffman
“I met a girl named Angelina and she is so fun to hang out with. She knows some English because she goes to English school. I later found out her mother died of a sickness. She is 12 years old. She calls me and my friend ‘crazy’ as our name because she thinks we are insane, but she has fun when she is with us.” Klein Powell
“I met a person named Madeline. She would always want to be picked up while playing soccer and would steal the ball from her own team.” Delaney King
7.) What would you say to someone who is considering going on a trip like yours?
“I would say “go for it.” Follow what Jesus is telling you and definitely pray along the way. It will not be easy and you will be hot and tired, but the humility you gain is worth it.” Delaney King
“I would say to go out and give it your all and work as hard as you can to serve God and others. It will be very different, but a very good experience. You will have a blast, but make sure you listen to the important things anyone has to say. HAVE FUN!” Elizabeth Sims
8.) You’re back home. Read your day one answer and tell me how the trip compared to your expectations.
“Everything definitely exceeded my expectations. I have really gained humility from this opportunity and thank God for it every day. Because of this trip, I have many more questions for God and what his next step for me is.” Delaney King.
Kristen Claybrooke traveled to the Dominican Republic with her Daughter, Maddi, who will be an 8th grader at Mahomet Seymour Junior High this fall. She describes each days’ activities.
Day 1: Got settled at the church where we stayed in Hato. We got to meet a lot of the kids in the community that came to the church that afternoon to greet us, and we spent time preparing for the soccer camp (blowing up lots and lots of soccer balls!).
Day 2: We spent the day checking out various places GO Ministries has a hand in outreach throughout the area, including touring a medical center, school, seminary, and leadership development center. Once back in Hato, our kids worked on a mural at the soccer fields to welcome the kids to soccer camp the next day.
Day 3: First day of soccer camp! For the kids that didn’t want to participate in camp or were too little, several of us played with those kids at the church (bubbles, coloring, jump rope, stickers, etc.). That evening, we went into Santiago to a local store to shop around a bit.
Day 4: Second day of soccer camp! Played with the kids in the evening.
Day 5: Last day of soccer camp! Three older boys committed to Christ at the end of camp, which was very special. That night we traveled into Santiago to get ice cream.
Day 6: We attended church in Hato, which was very interesting to listen to the full sermon in Spanish. After church, we traveled to a resort in Puerto Plata for the night. There we were able to spend time together and reflect on the week.
Day 7: We returned to Santiago from Puerto Plata and attended a worship service at the center church in Santiago. It was a combined service with three other mission teams.
Day 8: Travel day back to the States.