Sharing the Gospel overseas bonds basketball team

by | Jan 5, 2024

This summer, Bethel’s men’s basketball team traveled to the Dominican Republic (DR) to serve, play basketball and share the love of God with the people of Cayetano Germosén.

Each morning throughout the week, they hosted clinics with kids ages 5-18, teaching them the fundamentals of basketball. Before the clinics wrapped up each morning, a coach or player would take time to share their testimony with all those attending the clinic.

“This team is a quiet team, but I saw these students be bold in their faith and pray for each other, and that helped them grow,” Head Coach Steve Drabyn explains.

Their afternoons were full of free time, during which the team would pray for people on neighborhood walks and house calls.

“My favorite part of the trip was seeing the joy in the kids’ faces, as well as the stories we heard from each individual throughout our house visits,” says Drew Lutz ’23, current graduate student and starting point guard at Bethel.

The day would end with reflections, where teammates would share what encouraged or challenged them. “There’s something about getting off campus and out of the country. It was uncomfortable sleeping in a church without AC, and food is different … you don’t have the comforts of home,” says Drabyn. “This helped to create a lot of bonds.”

The trip was about more than basketball, as Lutz identified that playing the game gives them a bigger platform to share the Gospel.

“I saw God move in a lot of ways during the trip. For me, that was the most at peace I had felt in a long time,” reflects Lutz. “It’s crazy what God can do when you take the time to be with Him and pour everything that you have into loving God and loving people.”

Drabyn remarks that this trip has helped springboard the team into the 2023-24 basketball season, bringing them closer together as a team. “One thing we learned from the trip is that these guys can be pushed both athletically and spiritually, and we’re going to push them.”