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May 14 - Seniors Blog Q and A

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 05/15/2013 09:38:36
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Tuesday, May 14

For the Tuesday blog, assistant coach Brian Cooley gave all the seniors some questions to answer...

1. What stood out most about Day 6 in Haiti?

Brayden Carlson: For our last stop of the day (and of the trip), we visited an orphanage. I spent some time with a group of young girls. They asked, "What is the United States like?" and "Can we go to the United States with you?" Later, the girls promised, "We will go to the United States someday." I cannot imagine ever forgetting the mix of pride and anguish I felt this day.

Marcus Heemstra: The one thing that stood out the most today to me was being able to deliver six months worth of food to the orphanage. That is so much food and the ability to feed 33 kids for that long is incredible to me.

Jordan Dykstra: I think the thing that stood out the most was how beautiful the people and the landscape are here. We got to go up into the mountains today and it was a little bit cooler. It also was luscious and green, and really we couldn't have asked for a better day to unwind and get ready for our return home. I would say the beauty in the people was shown by an orphanage mother that we, as a team, decided to bless with six months of food with our emergency funds that we had not used and a donation from a sponsor. Overall, beauty was what this day was filled with.

2. What one thing on the trip touched you the most?

Carlson: The one thing on the trip that affected me the most was Pastor Maxeau. He’s the strongest believer in Christ that I have met in my life. Additionally, his faith permeated throughout our entire group on this trip. Pastor Maxeau serves the people of Haiti unwaveringly, and he leads by example through his work.

Chad White: I could name a hundred things that changed me from this trip. If I had to pick one, I would have to say the Haitian people in general. These people are beautiful and wonderful. They work hard and take care of each other. These people are tough, plain and simple.

Dykstra: I would probably say that being around the guys and watching them serve in such a selfless way was the thing that touched me the most. As a male sports team, we don't get to see the "soft" side of each other very often. The trip opened up arms and hearts for the Haitian people and us. It was amazing to see how grateful we were for everything we did and how welcome they made us feel.

3. What can you take from the trip going forward? How does it affect you personally and how does it affect the team?

Carlson: Going forward, I’ll benefit from this trip in a number of ways. I hope to appreciate and serve more, and this trip taught me how to do that. Personally, I believe that I can contribute more to my community and society as a whole by using what I learned in Haiti. Going into my senior year, I’ll be counted on as a leader. Coach Nagy reminds us, "A great leader must first be a great servant." I hope to use my experiences in Haiti to become a better servant, with a goal of becoming a great leader. With that in mind, I think that I can help our team on and off the court.

C. White: I'm not going to take everything for granted. I’m going to pray more and remember these people. I made some good relationships with the team I came with and some Haitians. The Jacks basketball team will grow from this. We learned a lot over this week and grew closer together as we experienced it.

Heemstra: Pastor Maxeau probably made the biggest impact on me. Every time he spoke I was more and more impressed with his faith, prayer and confidence that God would provide. This trip changed me in many ways. I have a new perspective on life, and it's deeper than just an appreciation for the things that I have. I’m so thankful for this team. I truly love the people on this trip. We grew closer together this past week. This whole trip Graham challenged us as men to step up in our faith and be leaders. In the beginning we were all hesitant, but there is no longer any hesitancy.

Dykstra: I’ll take more compassion into my daily life as a result from this trip. As Americans, we’re so caught up in what we’re doing that we don't take the time to really think about our actions and how we act toward certain people. We don't know what the circumstances people are in, so we need to make sure to always treat them with love and compassion. I think this will affect both the team and me in a positive way. I think in both cases being more open with people I care about and open with each other will be the outcome. If we can't trust the ones we care about most with our words then whom can we trust? I think we all learned that, and that will help our team and me as we grow together.

4. If there were one thing you would want people to know about Haiti, what would it be?

Carlson: I would want them to know that the people of Haiti are special. They’re caring, they’re hardworking and they’re authentic. Despite their situation, they continue to grow as a country, yet remain faithful as individuals.

C. White: To help in anyway you can! This country needs a lot of help and deserves help. I just know if everybody came here they would understand. This has been the best experience of my life, and I will never forget it! GOD IS GOOD!

Heemstra: Haiti has some of the most amazing and special people on the planet. On Sunday, Tony and I got up and spoke in front of the church. I didn't speak long. My message the people of Haiti was to thank them. I thought I came to Haiti to serve them and as a blessing to them. However, I think they blessed me in even more ways. The people in Haiti don't have many physical things, but what they do have is a faith and a desire for Jesus unlike anything I have ever seen.

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