Cornerstone University men’s basketball team is partnering with GO Ministries, an organization that connects with more than 30 churches in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and facilitates 12 sports leagues with at-risk youth.
Eleven CU basketball team members are on the trip, which is being led by Head Coach, Kim Elders, and Assistant Coach, Eric Desantis.
“The team is on this trip because they love the opportunity as a team to serve Christ and be part of his global work in communities around the world,” said Dean of Student Engagement, Chip Huber, who helped orchestrate the trip.
While in Santiago the team has been working on construction projects to enhance churches, medical clinics and sports facilities.
The team has fed children in nutrition centers, held outreaches in local communities, worshiped with locals and played basketball against national and international teams.
One of the most life-changing experiences was at “the hole.”
“This is the poorest area in all of Santiago and one of the country's biggest spots for drugs and prostitution,” explained team member Anthony Allen. “I couldn't believe my eyes when we arrived. They live side by side in little 10 by 10 houses with water running through the middle of the street in some parts. These houses are stacked on one another like nothing I've ever seen before. Human waste and trash is all around you.”
Allen was shocked by what he found at the court they were to play on.
“These kids were full of laughter and joy despite these terrible surroundings. These kids loved every second of us being down there. They would ride on our shoulders or backs all day if you let them. Seeing the smiles on their faces alone made the trip all worth it,” said Allen.
While there, the CU team helped feed 50 children through the G.O. ministry.
“It was truly a once in a lifetime moment down in the ‘hole,’ he said.
Jacob Plite, a senior on the team, agreed.
“These people down here spoil us and are a joy to be around,” Plite said. “This has been one of the coolest experiences of ours lives. We are all truly blessed individuals!”
The men’s basketball program regularly takes short-term mission trips together to minister as a team and grow individually.
Huber says that they “return with a greater passion and interest in being involved in kingdom work.”
To follow the team’s blog, visit http://chiphuber.blogspot.com/2013/08/cu-mens-basketball-trip-dr-post-4.html
To learn more about GO Ministries, visit http://www.go-ministries.org/