The Women’s Basketball team traveled to Guatemala May 6-14, 2012, to work with the El Faro Mission. It was the first international service trip for the Lady Crusaders. The team completed service projects in two villages and hosted basketball camps and clinics in local villages. They also played two exhibitions games against a high school team from Puerto Barrios, a local town just across the bay from the El Faro Mission.
The team also hosted an event called “Ministry City,” which was part Vacation Bible School and part English class. The participants were all students taking English classes at the El Faro Mission. They enjoyed themed activities designed to teach them English and biblical principles. The students were able to “shop” in eight different shops for trinkets and goodies to take home after spending all day in class.
This was the ninth Evangel TEAM trip since the program was started in 2007. TEAM stands for The Evangel Athletics Ministry. It is a program designed to allow Evangel athletes the opportunity to blend their passions for sports with their passion for serving others. Two TEAM trips are being planned for the 2012-13 school year. Read a full feature story on the trip.
Dr. David Stair and trip camera man, Brent Bolinger enjoy a moment at breakfast before a day filled with exciting ministry activities.
Coach Leon and Dawn Neal take a moment to pose together before leaving for Puerto Barrios where the team will play two exhibition games.
Team doctor, Jess Lyon, and his daughter, Olivia, take a minute to relax in a hammock on the docks at the El Faro Mission. The trip was filled with medical ministry opportunities for Dr. Jess Lyon and Evangel University Athletic Trainer, Sarah Walters.
Jessica Pickett and Emily Aikens spend time with a young man currently staying at the Puerto Barrios Children’s Hospital. The team brought a special gift to each child, a bi-lingual book of children’s Bible stories.
Athletic Ministry Coordinator, Chad Gehring, signs a note of greeting for the social worker who oversees the well-being of the children in the hospital.
Jordan Graham poses with a young girl who was so happy to receive the book of Bible stories. The book was the only possession that each child had who was staying at the hospital.
Hali Gehring looks on as an interpreter tells our group about the sickness that has this little baby feeling so sick. The visit to the children’s hospital was particularly difficult for our entire team.
Ashlee Luko, Kara Blankenship, and Jessica Pickett pose with T-shirts given to them by the basketball team in Puerto Barrios. These gifts serve as special reminders to the friendship shared by the teams during the trip.
Emily Akins prepares to pass the ball during a game against the local team in Puerto Barrios.
The team poses for a photo after one of the games. This trip was the first international trip for the Evangel University Women’s Basketball program, making it a historic moment for our athletic department.
Emily Akins helps string a new net onto a basketball rim. The team helped raise money to have the new basketball and soccer goal installed on the concrete pad for the local children of this community.
The teams hosts a basketball clinic for the children of this village. They take the time to teach the children how to dribble, pass, and shoot.
The young girl practices the finer points of dribbling during the basketball clinic.
The children listed intently to the instructions being given for the final day of “Ministry City”. In just a few moments, the children will be given their “funny money” and be given the opportunity to shop ‘til they drop!
Peter, Meagan, and Montse (El Faro’s English teacher) look on and enjoy the fun of such a dynamic event designed just for their student’s.
Athletic trainer, Sarah Walters, uses her store as a dentist office and gives away toothbrushes and toothpaste after teaching about the benefits of daily brushing.
I told you the money was funny!
Both teams pose for a photo on the steps leading to the dock at El Faro. The team in wearing the pink shirts (a gift from the EU women’s basketball team) is the team from Puerto Barrios, and the Evangel team is in white shirts (a gift from the P.B. basketball team).
Ashlee Luko, Kara Blankenship, and Sierra McSpadden walk off the court for a quick breather and water break.
Assistant Volleyball Coach, Mallory Lawson rebounds the ball and puts it back up for a quick two points. This was Lawson’s second trip with TEAM to Guatemala.
Jes Rumfelt shoots a contested inside jumper to help Evangel’s scoring efforts.
A player from Puerto Barrios lets fly a free throw while players from both teams look on.
The Evangel University Crusaders break it down after an exciting game where friendship with the other team was more important that competition.
Jessica Pickett hugs a player just moments after the game ended as a sign of love and friendship with everyone we had met during out time in Guatemala.
Coach Leon Neal poses with two players from Puerto Barrios. The competition was so friendly that after the game everyone took pictures together, exchanged emails, and added each other to Facebook so they could all stay in touch.
Sierra McSpadden, Ashli Luko, Jes Rumfelt, and Amanda Landolt enjoy a morning worship service at a charismatic church in Antiqua, Guatemala.
The team poses for a photo opportunity outside of some ancient church ruins in the historic city of Antiqua, Guatemala.
The team takes fun moment to practice “the creep” during their celebration day in the historic city of Antigua.
Mallory Lawson and athletic trainer, Sarah Walters wait patiently in the airport for the next leg of the flight to Guatemala.
Sunrises and sunsets at the El Faro Mission in Izabal, Guatemala set the stage for God’s beautiful handiwork over a beautiful landscape.
The team poses for a photo opportunity outside their hotel in Honduras. It’s the beginning of the trip and everyone is all smiles!
The team poses for a group shot on the dock at El Faro. The days ahead will some very exciting and challenging ones for the women’s basketball team.
Amanda Landolt cheers her team on during the basketball camp at the El Faro Mission.
Jessica Pickett instructions her team moments before they take the court for their game at the basketball camp held at the El Faro Mission in Guatemala.
Emily Aikens speaks to the campers about hard work and self-discipline in the closing minutes of the basketball camp.
Coach Dawn Neal works to get her “Ministry City” bracelet store set up for the children who are participating in the fun filled ministry event.
Jordan Graham and Sierra McSpadden teach the children words in English that are relevant to the theme of their store, a candy shop.
Athletic Director, Dr. David Stair works with as the “Ministry City” banker to hand out the “funny money” that the children will get to spend for working and learning in the city.
Coach Dawn Neal and Mallory Lawson take a break for a minute before the next round of children come their way.
More than 100 children were ministered to over several days during the basketball clinics and “Ministry City” activities at the El Faro Mission.
Mealtimes were always a special time as the team enjoyed the food and fellowship, along with a few minutes to rest their tired feet from a hard day’s work.
Ashlee Luko and Jes Rumfelt pose for a the famous “Luko Thumbs Up” pose that Ashlee is known for.
Members of the basketball team take a minute for a friendly visit with local school children during their visit to the village of Las Pavas, located near El Faro.
Before the team left the village the team put on a brief exhibition basketball game for the local school children.
Kara Blankenship and Jessica Pickett move the tape that helped the team paint straight and narrow lines on the basketball court.
The teams work together to strip the basketball court with new lines so the children can play organized games of basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
Amanda Landolt was often the favorite of the local children because of her outgoing personality and engaging smile.
After a long day of ministry work in local villages the team still has enough energy to “strike a pose” for the camera.
A highlight of the trip was moments each night when the team shared time in praise and worship of the Lord. Tonight the mood was set with a bonfire on the beach, allowing all of us to marvel at God’s creative handiwork in nature.
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