LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s volleyball team will travel to Haiti for an 11-day trip in which it will serve alongside an organization called Harvest International at Camp Mahanaim in Les Cayes from April 27 to May 7.
The group, which will include 14 athletes and seven staff and parents, will have partner with Rod and Debbie Wray, who have worked as missionaries in Haiti since 2007, and serve in a variety of areas within the community.
While in Haiti, amongst other projects, the team will have a unique opportunity to help organize two mass weddings. In conjunction with the Wray family, the team will help put on a pair of weddings for as many as 30 couples who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford their own wedding.
The Spartans have collected nearly 30 wedding dresses, which will be brought to Haiti and used for the ceremonies and receptions. The team will also bring enough rings for every man and woman involved in the mass weddings.
During the wedding celebrations, the team will take photos of the event for which the players will help build photo books for each of the couples.
“The girls are really excited about these mass weddings,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “We’re really just trying to support these people and give them an opportunity to have a wedding and officially become married in the eyes of both the government and the church.”
Beyond the wedding ceremonies, the team will have opportunities to run a number of volleyball camps and clinics at Camp Mahanaim, where the Wray family has helped launch and develop a local girls volleyball team – the Camp Mahanaim Angels.
The Spartans will also compete in a couple of volleyball games themselves, which could include a contest against the Haitian national team.
“I find that it’s great to get out of our North American environment and culture and be exposed to something different and unique,” Hofer said. “It’s also helps us focus on causes that are greater than ourselves while building relationships beyond our everyday circles. I also see this trip as a chance to lay a foundation for opportunities to serve and support these people and their communities in the future.”
The women’s volleyball team last went on a missions and service trip in 2011 when it partnered with Athletes in Action in Paraguay.