Read the Trip Report
Sure hope none of those cannons are still loaded...
Invading hordes finally trap castle's lone remaining defender...
"Not to worry--if that threatening-looking palm tree gets any closer, the cannon is already in position to take care of it."
|St. Augustine Lighthouse|
The results of a morning's cleaning ministry!
Preparing for the next game
Time for a little R&R.
"Hey, can sharks really swim in knee-deep water?"
"Yes, and Florida's east coast is the shark-attack capital of the world!"
Group devotions time
This is the recreation area in the beach house where we stayed. Very nice place.
The Great Hills boy’s basketball team had a great time on our Florida trip during the Christmas break. We left Austin the day after Christmas for the purpose of playing in a basketball tournament and arrived at home on New Year’s Eve. The trip was filled with many highlights and memorable moments, the first of which was simply getting to Florida. Though nothing out of the ordinary happened during the flight, there was a bit of apprehension about flying so soon after the attacks on September 11. I’m sure that Mr. Miller in particular was nervous since he was the only adult flying with us and therefore responsible for the group. Also I have no doubt many of the parents were just as worried and “praying without ceasing” for the safety of our flight.
We joined Coach Luberto and Coach Linker at our beach house in Palm Coast, Florida. The beach house was another highlight on the trip. It was three stories tall and almost right by the beach. There was plenty of room for all eight players, the three coaches, and Coach Luberto’s wife and their two boys. There was also a game room with a foosball table and ping-pong table where we spent countless hours in heated competition. We had a great time at the beach too, including having a bonfire.
Our first night in Florida included another highlight. A friend of Mr. Miller lives in Orlando and was able to get seats for the entire team to an Orlando Magic basketball game. We watched the Indiana Pacers defeat the Magic in a close and exciting game. This was my first time to see an NBA game in person so this was an extra special moment.
The next day our tournament began. The host team was Flagler High School, a public school with several thousand students. In fact, all the teams were from really big schools. During our three games we were defeated by margins of 50, 40, and then 30 points. I injured my calf muscle during the second game and was unable to play in the third. It was a bit disappointing to lose the way we did but I do not regret having played the games. There is no shame in losing to a truly better opponent. If I had the opportunity again I would not hesitate to play the games again.
Two other highlights worth mentioning were our day in Saint Augustine and our work day. Saint Augustine is the oldest permanent settlement made by the Europeans in the United States. In particular we explored Castillo de San Marcos, the stone castle built to protect the settlement, which is now a National Monument.
As for our work day, Coach Luberto had arranged with the pastor of the local Calvary Chapel for us to do some work for a neighbor of one of the members of the church. We spent several hours raking leaves, trimming brush, collecting trash and putting edging on a walkway. It was very obvious the neighbor really appreciated our work and doing the work helped us to keep everything in perspective.
The opportunity to do a trip like this one is something many people are never able to do.
I thank God he allowed me to do this and I’m very grateful to everyone who made it possible.
I had five great days and memories that will last a lifetime. I know that even this trip served some purpose in God’s plan and I pray the team and I will continue to glorify his name.
Pat Hastings IV