LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team returns to the roots of their head coach Sara Russell for the next few days as Russell is taking several members of the squad to the Pacific Northwest and Canada for a mission trip.
Below is an update from Coach Russell on the trip:
Day 1, Tuesday, May 13
We arrived at the Atlanta airport at 4am to check in for our 6am flight. We were greeted by the Captain of our plane who insisted on a group picture where he showed off his well developed yoga skills by posing upside down. Our flight to Denver, short layover, and flight to Seattle all went smoothly. We settled into our 15 passenger van and headed to our hotel located in downtown Seattle.
After a quick break we traveled to the Duwamish Longhouse Cultural Center where the girls leaned about the First Nations. We then headed out for a dinner at the seafront and then caught a Mariners game before calling it a night.
Day 2, Wednesday, May 14
After grabbing a quick breakfast in downtown Seattle we spent some time on the University of Washington campus at the Burke Museum spending most of our time in the Pacific Rim exhibit learning about the First Nations.
We then headed to the Tsawassenn ferry terminal to travel to Vancouver Island arriving just in time for dinner at our host home, the Wallace's in Ladysmith.
After a quick game of cards we called it a day prepping for an early morning.
Day 3, Thursday, May 15
At 4:45am the rooster crowed and we hit the road stopping at Oceanview Church to team up with Pastor Darin Phillips and staff and then headed to Victoria. We arrived at Our Place, a homeless shelter and served the community by serving breakfast. It was truly an eye opening humbling experience that words could never describe.
We then grabbed a quick breakfast for the famous Canadian chain Tim Hourtons and then headed to the British Columbia Royal Museum.
After a delicious burger at the local diner The Pink Bicycle we spent some time as tourists on the streets of Victoria walking along the inner harbor. Morgan Lane, Hannah Rogers and Madison Quirk hitch a ride with a Rickshaw through China town.
We then jumped back in the van to head back to Ladysmith were Chandler Shepherd, Hannah Rogers, Kaitlyn Sirmons, Jordan Brett and Coach Russell led a softball clinic with a 9-11year old local softball team.
Day 4, Friday, May 16
At 8am the team met up with Pastor Darin and went on a hike up to Heart Lake for prayer and worship then met at Ladysmith Primary School to serve "Treat Day" to the students. The team had a blast serving and interacting the kids. After grabbing a quick lunch, we went down to the city of Chemanius, known for its world famous murals. We then met back at the church and broke into three groups and went to local elders' houses where we served them by landscaping their yards. We ended the evening with a hot dog roast, karaoke and card games in our host neighborhood. Jordan Brett led the team with multiple top vocal performances.
Day 5, Saturday, May 17
Saturday was packed full of serving and fun experiences. We started the day by planting garden boxes at the church followed by lunch. We then headed out to the Ladysmith government dwarf where we met up with First Nations, Saul and Tanna Brown and had the experience of a lifetime canoeing in a authentic Native Canoe around the harbor.
After canoeing we headed to Nanaimo for a team skating experience. We started off slowly, but by the end of the hour most players had the hang of it and were well on their way to becoming hockey players.
From there we gathered at Woodgrove movie theatre to watch "God's Not Dead."
Day 6, Sunday, May 18
The staff at Oceanview Community Church blessed us all by creating a video of our experiences throughout the week to share with the church body. Chandler Shepherd and Kaitlyn Sirmons interviewed on stage with Pastor Darin sharing about how God had worked in them through this trip, while the others served in children's ministry playing Bible baseball.
After church we fellowshiped over a meal and then played a slow pitch game with members from the church.
We then headed to Duncan, The City of Totems, to take a totem tour.
We then resided back at our host homes spending time with those who graciously opened there homes and hearts to us. Special thanks to those families from your Covenant Softball Team.
Day 7, Monday, May 19
We stopped in downtown Seattle to spend time at Pike's Place Market before heading to our hotel for an early night.
Day 8 Tuesday, May 20
After traveling throughout the day we returned safely to Atlanta late Tuesday night.
We had an amazing time loving on and serving the people of Vancouver Island sharing Christ's love through practical acts of service. We are very thankful to Pastor Darin and Oceanview Community Church for partnering with us on this mission trip!