DEAR DIARY: Day Three was Very Inspirational
SAGU Lady Lions prepare to take national stage
Good Morning, Hoopla!
You would've loved Wednesday in Northern Indiana!
We woke up for breakfast at 6:30 for an early start to the day. As we walked outside the weather was pretty cold and misty, a lot like it was yesterday. We arrived at the Orthopaedic Capital Arena at 7:45 for a chapel service. It started at 8am with a young man from Grace College leading in acoustic worship.
The volleyball coach from Grace (Andria Harshman) gave a short devotion about 'service in the community.' She challenged us to make the most of the opportunity we have in the community to share the love of Christ. She made us think about "situations that are bigger than we are." And, boy, would soon discover what she meant! Doing our part in the body of Christ is what is what Christ has called us to do. The service ended with another worship song followed by a tournament group-picture of all the teams.
We left directly afterwards to go to our service project, which was at a local pregnancy center. It was nice to walk outside to find that the mist had cleared up and the sun was shining. We could finally walk outside without a jacket. We were all excited to go to a pregnancy center since most of us love the chance to work with babies.
When we arrived the director, Angie, showed us around the center. She told us what they are about. The program there is awesome! They take in young pregnant women who have nowhere else to turn. She said they just had a young lady come in who was pretty sure she was going to get an abortion. They did a sonogram with her and she began to cry. Seeing the baby inside of her was not just cells that were assembled together... it was a life!
Those are the kinds of young ladies who come through their doors. Their staff can show the love of Christ to these women, unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. That is an awesome thing.
Hoops, you'd enjoy the next area we were able to see.
They also have a program where they care for children from two weeks to five years old. It allows younger moms to finish school and/or go to work.
The center is also focused around prayer. When they become aware of problems in the lives of expectant mothers and their families, which is pretty common, they unite together in prayer for them. That is what being a believer in Christ is all about!
Chelsea Jones said she really likes the purpose behind all of their programs for mothers.
Megan Wilson enjoyed working with the one year olds. She said the little ones appeared and sounded very intelligent. They talked a lot, she added. It surely reflects well of their mothers and the great job the workers at the center are doing.
While most of the us worked with children, Mrs. Mary Beadles, Shaquita Roberts, and MacKenzie McDowell all sorted through maternity clothes. The center also provides a boutique where young girls are able to obtain maternity clothes, something that most of them are unable to afford.
Serving at the pregnancy center was a good experience for our team because it opened our eyes to the cries and needs of people. It reminded us that every life is important! Plus, the purpose we have on earth: sharing the love of Christ with all, no matter their background.
Then it was back to basketball!
After leaving the pregnancy center we went back to the arena to have an hour long practice. We went through our normal warm up and went over all of our plays. To end practice we ran sprints and shot free throws. It was good to be on the court after riding on the bus for two days.
Stephanie Hawkins has been saying how very excited she is to be playing tomorrow. Practice ended and we went to eat lunch at one of our favorite places; Quiznos. The outside of the building had the Ten Commandments engraved on the stone wall. That is rare to see in public places these days.
After lunch we came back to the hotel and I'm pretty sure everyone on the team took an afternoon nap. After all, March 16 is National Nap Day. Besides, we were all tired from getting up so early, and it had been a busy day already.
Guess what we did tonight, Hoopla? Shopping? Nope, but that's a good idea.
We dressed up for a special tournament banquet!
It was held at the Rodeheaver Auditorium. All of the teams were introduced. We had chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad. Of course there was a lot of picture taking. Why? Isn't it obvious! Because our team loves cameras! They provide us with an excuse for having fun!
They also made an ice cream cake with the SAGU Lion logo on it! It tasted so good that Chelsea had to take some home – on her new dress!
The banquet guest speakers were Mr. Kem Zolman and Mrs. Shanna (Zolman) Crossley of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock. The two have an awesome story as father and daughter sharing their story of Shanna growing up in Indiana. She broke the state record for most points in a game with 50.
She played for Coach Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee, then was drafted four years later by the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Andrea Lugo said she liked how she talked about the "college years" being her defining years. It was then that she found out who God was for herself, instead of who her parents said He was. She was really transparent, which was really cool for all of us to hear. She has a very powerful testimony and we were honored to have her speak at the banquet.
Crossley will be sharing a devotion with our team tomorrow before we play our game at 5pm (4pm Dallas time). I think it's awesome to have a pro basketball player who has a relationship with Jesus Christ come and serve as the chaplain of this national tournament. The banquet was a nice time for all the teams to come together and learn more about what the NCCAA is about and to meet the guest speakers.
Winding Down before Winding Up on Thursday
Afterwards we came back to the hotel and wound down to prepare for our game tomorrow. We are excited to be playing and want nothing more than to win and more importantly, to represent Christ as we do it.
We hope you enjoy reading about our trip and the exciting time we are having. More will come as our day unfolds tomorrow. We are due to eat breakfast at 9am and leave for our shoot-around at 10:30am.
As we all talked, Megan Wilson said her favorite memory of the season is bringing the team water during the games. She is a walk-on who made the team and we are so happy to have her with us.
Andrea said her favorite memory of the season was getting to play the whole second half at the NCCAA Regional Tournament last week.
Chelsea spoke of a special memory; when we seniors had a strategic dialogue in the hotel room the weekend we played Bacone College and Langston University in Oklahoma. We discussed the roles of our teammates. It made us thankful for each of them.
Heather Jefferson said her favorite memories are coming up with "Hoops for Hope" on the way back from LSU-Shreveport and also, "Senior Night."
Memories truly are the photographs of the mind.
Well, I've written plenty about today. Thursday will be here before you know it... and it'll be our turn to play. There are two games that precede ours. We really want to do well.
I'll write more after we have a game under our belt!
Lamb Chop (Rachel Harris)