Summer Missions

Trip is eye-opening experience for Lady Vikings duo

by Doug Gorman

alt

Northgate teammates Jessica Cochran (second from left) and Carly Alderman (far right) got a chance to play teams from the Dominican Republic during a mission trip this summer. 


When Northgate softball coach Lisa Skelton and two of her players, Jessica Cochran and Carly Alderman, look back at what they did this summer, what happened on the diamond will be of little significance.

All three took part in a life-changing experience when they went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with a group from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Part of the Dominican Republic is known for tourism because of the tropical climate, but much of the Spanish-speaking nation lives in terrible poverty. Still, it was an eye-opening experience for the trio from Northgate who are all used to luxuries such as clean running water.

Still, the group found the citizens of the country warm and welcoming during their visit.

“The people were always smiling,” Skelton said. “They don’t know any different. One of the things they taught us is how we talked to them cultur- ally. “We would tell them, we are so blessed, but they are blessed from where they are. There are some people who are downtrodden, but you also have some people over there who are doing some great work and reaching out to others.”

None of the group knew what to expect, but realized it was going to be about a whole lot more than softball.

“It exceeded my expectations and so much more,” Alderman said. “I am glad I went. I would do it again without a doubt.”

All three were impressed by the citizens of the Dominican Republic outlook on life.

“When you go out there, you can’t help but smile,” Cochran said. “They are so happy. You can have the worst day and they put a smile on your face.

The softball team assembled by FCA put on clinics and played every day against high school-aged girls as part of the mission trip, but the journey was about more than base hits and fielding ground balls. The main focus of the trip was reaching out and helping others.

“The softball was very good and we enjoyed it, but one of the best parts about the trip was getting to bond and spending time with some of the young girls,” Alderman said.

It was also a time for some self-reflection.

“Carly and I both got saved,” Cochran said. “It is truly a life-changing event. It touches your heart on a whole new level. It is hard to put words to it.”

Skelton, Cochran and Alderman came away with a new perspective from the trip as they gear up for another high school softball season, starting next week.

“Every place we went, the young girls are being led by wonderful Godly women, and they don’t feel sad,” Skelton said. “There is great hope.”

The Northgate coach who has won two state titles with the Lady Vikings and finished as the Class AAAAA runner up last year is gearing up for another season, but already has sights set on a return trip to the Dominican Republic next year.

“I am a big advocate of going back,” Skelton said. “I am trying to get a big group going from our county. I think that would be great.”



More Sports

High School Football

Vikings take positives out of loss to Mundy's Mill

Northgate tried to take away as many positives from Friday's heartbreaking 41-34 overtime loss on the road to Mundy's Mill, as much as the e ... Read More


Local Golf

Whitton, Daniel win titles at Hurricane Junior

Coweta youth golfers turned in top performances at la s t we ekend's Hu r r icane Junior Golf Tour event at Whitewater Creek Country Club in ... Read More


Lady Cougars 12th at Atlanta Classic

The Newnan Cross Country teams competed Saturday Morning at the Atlanta Classic at Clinton Farms in Douglasville with the Lady Cougars finis ... Read More


College Football

Coweta standouts lead Mercer to first conference victory

LEXINGTON, Va. - Former Northgate High standout running back Alex Lakes rushed for 98 yards and two scores as Mercer held off VMI 27-24 on S ... Read More


High School Football

Cougars come up short on Homecoming

Despite a determined second half comeback, the Newnan Cougars were unable to keep up with South Cobb and quarterback Kylil Carter, falling 4 ... Read More

High School Football

Hawks fall in line, stay perfect in region play

The month of August was certainly a bummer for The Heritage School’s football team. But the Hawks may not want to turn the calendar ov ... Read More