The Bob Jones University Bruins women’s volleyball team is traveling in August to San Jose, Costa Rica, with SCORE International, the short-term missions group the team has partnered with, to minister in a short-term mission setting.
Erin Jarvis, junior Bruins volleyball player, once lived in the sunny country of Costa Rica for a year because of her dad’s job when she was in grade school. Since returning to the states, Jarvis misses the Costa Ricans’ appreciation of the small things in life. Even a simple gesture like a hug will make the locals happy. This summer, Jarvis has the opportunity to return to Costa Rica with her team to make an impact on peoples’ lives.
The team has been given many different opportunities to impact the lives of the local people. According to Jarvis, the team intends to use the platform of volleyball to reach the people they interact with. “Volleyball is our common language here since not everybody on the team knows Spanish,” Jarvis said. “So really getting involved with the girls on the court can lead to even more important conversations on the bench.”
The Bruins will be holding volleyball clinics at public schools, one of which Jarvis attended, where they will teach the students fundamental volleyball skills as they present the Gospel. The team will also compete against a national-level Costa Rican volleyball team. After playing, the Gospel will be shared with the players.
The players will minster in different ways as well. SCORE International sponsors an orphanage in the city, and the Bruins team plans to visit the orphans and minister by spending time with them. Senior Saleena Walker believes visiting the orphanage will have the biggest impact on the team as they see how the children live. She thinks the experience will open her teammates’ perspective to how other cultures live.
For one day, the team plans to go out into the city to pass out tracts and give the Gospel to those living in the city. The Bruins are prepared to help SCORE in any other outreach ministries the SCORE gives them. Dr. Vickie Denny, head coach, said the goal of the trip is to share the Gospel, encourage believers and experience a different culture.
Junior Lauren Mukenschnabl is excited for the opportunity to use her God-given talents to witness. “I’m hoping that this trip will help me broaden my views about what missions can be,” Mukenschnabl said. The mission trip provides the team an opportunity to grow together as well as to minister to others. Serving as a team will allow the players to form a stronger bond together as a team and in Christ. They will return to the states and begin their preseason training. The team’s goal for the trip is to spread God’s word through the platform of volleyball and service.
“That’s what our goal is every day we play,” Jarvis said, “and should be for the rest of our lives, through whatever platform God provides us with.”