Patriot Volleyball Visits China as Part of GSMI

Filed under: Sports |

DAY 1 – Shanghai, China

The DBU Lady Patriot Volleyball Team embarked on the journey to Shanghai, China, on Saturday, March 9, as a part of the 10th trip in DBU Athletics Global Sports Mission Initiative.

The 22 person traveling party, including student-athletes, athletic and university staff, started the trip departing DBU at 4:45 AM for DFW airport for a 8:00 AM flight to Los Angeles.  What was supposed to be a two hour layover in LA, turned into five hours, putting the team leaving LA at 4:30 PM (Dallas time), 2:30 PM LA time, and 6:30 AM (Sunday morning) in Shanghai.  Confused yet?  Don’t worry, our bodies feel the same way.


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After a 15 hour flight, the group arrived in Shanghai at 9:00 PM on Sunday night (Shanghai time) and 7:00 AM Sunday back home in Dallas.  After getting a quick bite to eat at KFC and checking into the hotel, we plan to try to get some sleep and get ready for a full day experiencing China and in a high school setting on Monday.  We plan to visit with several classes and give them a perspective on college life in the US, before the team will play volleyball with the students.

We have arrived safely and everyone is doing great.  Thanks to so many of you who have helped make this trip possible for us, not only from your financial contributions, but more importantly with your prayers.  Continue to keep the group in your prayers this week.  Pray that each individual on the trip will feel God’s protection around them, as well for opportunities and a boldness to share their faith with the people of China.

DAY 2 – Shanghai, China

The DBU Lady Patriot Volleyball Team spent their first full day in China serving at the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) Shanghai Private School. SMIC Private School is a company-run K-12 school located in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park of Pudong, Shanghai, China. The school was founded in 2001 and has over 1,500 students, 70% of which are on an English speaking curriculum.  Several DBU alumni and former students are currently teaching and employed by the SMIC school.

The Lady Patriots taught volleyball skills in the morning PE classes to 6th graders and spent lunch with the high school volleyball players discussing life in America.  Each and every one of the girls did an incredible job at building relationships and talking with the Chinese students.

After lunch, two members of the DBU International Office were on hand, who are also here in China recruiting for DBU, gave a presentation on DBU and Tyler BradsherKendall SepanekSarahBeth Duke, and Erika Papadeas talked about their experiences and college life at DBU to the sophomores and juniors.

In the afternoon, the team taught more volleyball skills to the junior high PE classes and discussed nutrition, fitness, and staying fit as college student-athletes. After school, the DBU Lady Patriots played a friendly game against the men’s and women’s varsity high school teams. Needless to say, the Lady Patriots are undefeated in China, even though the official score was not recorded.

The team visited an authentic Taiwanese restaurant for dinner and were able to experience a wide array of Taiwanese dishes with numerous teachers and staff from SMIC and DBU alumni who are serving in Shanghai.

After dinner, the group visited “The Bund,” a waterfront area in central Shanghai, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. After experiencing the downtown life, the team took the subway back to the hotel for so much needed rest.

“I was surprised by the English spoken by the children in the school.  Everyone we met today was so friendly and welcoming to our team. We enjoyed playing and teaching volleyball to the students, as well as getting to know them on a personal basis.  It was an honor to be able to share about DBU and our reason for visiting China while experiencing the Chinese culture,” Junior Tyler Bradsher.

Please continue to keep the team in your prayers. Everyone is doing great and in good health, but jet lag has begun to set in for many and I think everyone is ready for some much needed rest tonight. We have another busy day tomorrow as we visit Shanghai Ocean University.

DAY 3 – Shanghai, China

The Lady Patriot Volleyball Team started their third day of their Spring Break trip to China, by checking out of the hotel in Pudong and traveled to Shanghai Ocean University, where they will stay in the on-campus hotel on Tuesday night.

Shanghai Ocean University has an enrollment of over 14,000 students and is the leading science school in China.
The DBU Team is one of the first American university groups to ever visit and be on the campus of Shanghai Ocean University.  After a tour of the beautiful, five-year old campus, they were treated to a traditional Chinese lunch.

After lunch, the team played several matches against the university volleyball teams, which included games against the men’s team, the women’s team, and a mixed team of both men and women. After almost three hours of volleyball, the Lady Patriots remained undefeated.

The team was invited to dinner with several university officials, staff, and students to celebrate the recently agreed upon enrollment partnership between DBU and Shanghai Ocean University.

After dinner, the group was able to spend time sharing and reflecting on the first three days of the trip and their experiences thus far.

Even though the group was not given the opportunity to openly or directly share and minister to the students today, they were encouraged when one of the professors on campus made a comment that she noticed something different about the DBU team, compared to other groups they have had on campus in the past.

Wednesday morning the team will head to the airport and travel to Chongqing, where they will serve throughout the city for the remainder of the week.

“Today the team and I were truly humbled by the generosity and love shown by the students at Shanghai Ocean. We were able to get to know some of the students well and noticed their desire for freedom. We are so blessed to live in a place where we are free to pray and worship Christ daily.  My prayer is for more opportunity to share that freedom with the students and people we encounter for the rest of this week,” Junior Kendall Sepanek said.