Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank you!!


2011 Paraguay Volleyball Team

Nicole, Dawn, Kendra, Courtney, Anysia

I’m back! I just want to say this trip wouldn't have been possible without all your prayer and financial support! I really feel privileged that you are a part of my support team. Thank you so much.

villageI knew when I went that the team would be playing volleyball and that volleyball would be the ticket to get into schools. It turned out to be that and much more. They estimated that we were able to directly minister to over 4400 kids in the 2 weeks that we were there! We teamed up with Sue Givens, a missionary at a Christian school in Asuncion. Her intern, Perla, and several drama teams from the school joined us for every presentation. There was much more hands on ministry than I’d expected (which I was glad about)! At each presentation the drama team led in singing, performed a skit, shared a devotional and then 2 or 3 girls from the team shared their testimonies. I was surprised that we were able to openly and clearly share our testimonies. Besides the singing, drama and testimonies, we spent quite a bit of time in coaching and teaching the kids volleyball skills.

For the presentation at the Indian village we had to carry in the posts to set up the net. They were anchored with concrete blocks and tied off to cars on either side to provide tension for the net.

defuseWe gave presentations to public schools, Christian schools and in an Indian village out in the country. Since volleyball is the 2nd most popular sport, everyone was hungry to hear us out and learn what we were teaching. We were able to worship with several different Paraguayan churches…several small ones and one that is the largest in the country and seats 10,000 people.

We spent time at an orphanage and fell in love with the kids. We painted the building, loved on the kids and raised enough money for 15 new beds, mattresses and pillows. One little boy hugged his pillow with glee as he told us that this was his very first pillow.

Kids at the orphanage after they got their new mattresses

painting at the orphanage croppedBelieve it or not, I prayed that God would teach me patience and humility on this trip. And guess what? Coaching a bunch of non-English speaking kids is very humbling and tests your patience for sure.

I saw many different kinds of ministries in action: sport ministry, ministry in public and private schools, an orphanage ministry, church planting, a medical/clinic ministry and a sustainable peanut farm ministry. Talking to a missionary nurse sparked an interest to get some basic medical knowledge before going to the mission field. I'm excited to see what God will do in that area.

Painting at the orphanage

Dawn & some of the christian high school girls croppedMy biggest low point would be having really bad stage fright when I gave my testimony. I would forget my points and start shaking but I hope God used it to bring someone to Him. My highpoint would definitely be the worship at the churches we went to. It was awesome. But it is hard to pick one high point out of so many.

Another high point for me was playing soccer with the college and career group at Sue’s church the very last night. I want to play more soccer now! I enjoyed getting to know the Paraguayan culture and food, but I enjoyed being involved in ministry even more.

Girls from a Christian high school 

dramateam croppedI praise God that the trip went great, but especially that God used the team to touch lives. Thank you again for being a big part in making it happen!

With love & appreciation,




The drama teams from the Christian school we teamed up with

P.S. I really covet your prayers... I still haven’t been able to find a job! And I’m very concerned about my financial situation for my upcoming junior year at Trinity. I strongly feel God’s call on my life to serve as a missionary and want to finish my studies here. If you wish to help, you can contact me at

Day 15 - Final entry from Dawn’s Paraguay trip

On Monday, May 30, our last few hours in Paraguay were spent in the airport. However, we weren’t in the airport for too long. Without us knowing, our departure time had been changed. We were checking bags and getting tickets and were being rushed but we didn’t know why. Our original departure time was 6:55am but the new time was 6:10. At 6am, we were going through customs, and after, we went through security rather quickly- the quickest any of us have ever gone through security. We made it on the plane and didn’t leave until around 6:25am to head to Peru. In the Peru airport, we enjoyed free samples of chocolate covered candies as we had done on our journey to Paraguay and ate some of the banana bread muffins Anysia and Kendra made on Sunday night. Also, Kendra, Anysia, and Courtney made a quick stop to the perfume shop and sprayed themselves with a fragrance before arriving at our gate.

When we got to our gate, we had to go through security since we were about to enter the US. It marked the first time for most of us to be frisked head to toe!  Then, we were finally on our way home… or at least to Miami. We experienced some turbulence which consequently affected the movies we were watching or trying to watch on the plane. We arrived in Miami around 5:30pm and had to wait a bit to collect all of our luggage. We loaded up the cars and then went back into the airport for some food at Chili’s**. Then, we finally were on the road home to meet anxiously awaiting family!

The trip was so great and several of the girls are excited for next year and are already talking about how to make next year’s trip better! We couldn’t have done it without Sue and her school and everyone else that helped us!

**Bonus note….When Dawn called from the Miami airport, I realized that Dan had just landed there at the Miami airport too.  He was with a Haitian Sister Church pastor and his wife.  They had just come in from Lafayette, Louisiana where Dan had been translating for them for the past week.  They were able to connect at the Chili’s there at the airport and have a quick meal together before the team had to get in the van to come home.  Dan had to spend the night with the pastor to make sure he got on the plane the next day before he could come home.  We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried!  It was fun for them to meet for supper, a special surprise for Dawn.