Service Learning at the DreamCenter (Men’s Volleyball)

The Erskine men’s volleyball team just returned home from a trip to California that included a couple matches at West Coast colleges plus five full days of service at the DreamCenter in Los Angeles.

The DreamCenter is an organization staffed by volunteers who serve thousands of individuals and families in the LA area via humanitarian outreaches, education, and community programs.

The volleyball team spent 5 days working at the DC, and pitched in to help with everything from child care to loading the food truck, doing construction, talking to folks, and picking up trash from local streets. Their days were jam-packed with activity, led by DreamCenter volunteers who themselves have often been recipients of help and care from the DC.

Coach Derek Schmitt writes in his final entry about the trip,

We closed our week [at the DreamCenter] with some $5 Hot-n-Ready pizzas from Little Caesar’s as each of us talked about how we are different from when we checked in to the DreamCenter on Monday afternoon.  There were a lot of great things shared including spending more time in prayer and in the Bible, having more of a servant mentality, being more appreciative of the things we have, having more faith in God and His power, and much more.  It has been exciting to see the guys invest in the DreamCenter this week and the impact it is having on each one of them.  

Read more from Coach Schmitt about the guys’ experience at the DreamCenter:

First day at the DreamCenter

Day 2 at the DreamCenter

Day 3 at the DreamCenter

Day 4 at the DreamCenter

Last Day at the DreamCenter for Men’s Volleyball.

Henna Lessons

I am currently typing one-handed, because I have just returned from getting a henna tattoo.  Erskine’s BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries) sponsored an afternoon of henna as a fundraiser (only $5 for a hand- or foot-design) last Friday, but since Choraleers were singing in Charleston I was not able to support them.  Luckily, the event was such a success that they sold gift certificates for a henna design later, so I got mine done this morning.

My henna design drying.

Henna has been used in recent years in missions, in countries that use this traditional form of body art.  Designs are created to teach Bible stories, with each element of the henna symbolizing an element of the story.  I love this concept, because it is such a creative way to spread the gospel through a familiar element of the host culture of the missionaries.  I should also mention, for those who don’t know about henna tattoos, that they are created from a paste made of crushed henna leaves; the paste is applied in a design that, when left to dry, dyes your skin for a few of weeks – not permanently.  I won’t type too much more since this one-handed typing is very inhibiting on the keyboard (I got my left hand done and it is still drying), but you can see a picture of my henna at left, which tells the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19.

Update: After a couple of hours, my henna dried and started flaking off, which was a sign to scrape/wash the rest off.  I am very pleased with the final product!  I have been showing off my design all day and explaining the story in its pictures. . .  such a beautiful art.

The final product!