SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras—The Dallas Baptist University Patriot athletic department worked in partnership with Buckner International to serve in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
This trip was part of DBU's Global Sports Mission Initiative which was created to allow student-athletes to experience other cultures by serving Christ overseas. It marked the sixth international mission trip for the athletic department and included a team of staff and student-athletes from the volleyball, soccer, tennis, basketball and cheerleading teams.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the trip to Honduras," DBU Tennis Coach Jennifer Curran said. "The student-athletes who gave their time, talents and money were truly the hands and feet of Christ during the week, even though many times they could not speak the language. They gave everything they could that week without grumbling or complaining, just hearts filled with love and compassion for these children."
The group spent the first two days in Honduras serving mornings at Casitas, a juvenile home for girls. Each afternoon, they worked at Las Brisas, a community elementary school. While at Casitas, the DBU student-athletes spent time with more 90 girls, ages 12-18, from widely varied backgrounds.
The DBU team shared Scriptures, testimonies and life lessons with the girls, offering advice and love. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances for these girls, many still were receptive to the Bible stories and message from the student-athletes.
During the first two days, the group also spent time at a community elementary school. Buckner International helped build Las Brisas to educate many of the children from the underdeveloped and poverty-stricken areas of San Pedro Sula. While at the school, the DBU student-athletes entertained and interacted with more than 150 children, ages 6-12, helping organize recreational activities and crafts, as well as performing Bible skits.
The next two days were spent at Nueva Esperanza, an orphanage that housed about 200 children, newborn to age 12. The mornings were spent holding and caring for 28 babies, all under the age of two, while the school-aged children were in classes. During the afternoon, the team was able to interact with the children, playing soccer and on the playground, teaching VBS songs, constructing crafts and taking an opportunity to communicate the love of Christ to the children.
"Not only were we able to impact the children at Nueva Esperanza, but they also impacted us," said senior volleyball player Kaylyn Frink. "It was humbling to see a different perspective on how much we have to be thankful for in our lives. God's love was seen through these children."
The group spent two days at a transitional home for teenage girls—an extension of Buckner—housing seven girls who lived and worked as a family unit. The home teaches the girls family skills and responsibilities and helps prepare them for life as an adult.
The team attended church with the girls and spent time with them, tie-dying T-shirts, teaching American music and playing a competitive game of soccer in the street. The activities allowed the student-athletes opportunities to share their faith and have intimate conversations about Jesus.
"For me, it was very humbling to grasp that the same God we worship is the same God these orphans worship despite their circumstances," said senior Kristen Secord. "Even though there was a language barrier, we were able to minister and love on all those we came into contact with. The trip helped me to change my view on putting hope in God, because for these kids, this was all they had."