Indoor and beach volleyball
student-athlete Heidi Dyer has had a busy
summer with not only volleyball
training but also recently going on a mission trip to Tanzania. She
shares with us her goals for the upcoming season and her experience on her mission trip:
Q: Besides keeping busy with volleyball, I know you just got back from a mission trip to Tanzania. Can you share with me what that was like?
A: Going to Tanzania was so incredible and eye-opening. I've been to Kenya before and I really wanted to go back to Africa this year. On New Year's Day I asked God to somehow send me to Africa this year, even though I only had a couple weeks throughout the entire year that I wasn't required to be at school playing volleyball. Sure enough, God provided me with a trip through my youth group, University Ministries at Malibu Presbyterian, at the exact perfect time. The second the trip was proposed I knew I was supposed to go on it. I didn't have enough money or enough time to really prepare for the trip, but I trusted that God would provide and He did. We went to an orphanage called Light in Africa, which is run by Mama Lynn. Meeting her felt like how I would imagine meeting Mother Teresa would feel like. She's amazing. Read her book, it's called Light in Africa!
Q: What kind of things did you do there?
A: When I was there, I mostly got to just love on little kids. At first, I didn't realize how incredibly impactful and important that would be, but I was blown away by how content they were just to hold your hand. They are so love deprived that it breaks my heart. They don't have parents taking care of them, let alone loving them and giving them the special attention they deserve. They are well taken care of and it's in a loving way, but they hardly ever get special attention. My heart was SO full just being able to give them that love. I never had a time without a child in my arms or five kids holding on to separate fingers. My team also went to a Masai village and it opened my eyes to one of the most poverty-stricken people groups. I washed parasites out of kids' hair for an entire day and didn't even get through half of the kids that needed it. The problems in that community are endless.
Q: What did you learn from this opportunity?
A: I learned so much on this trip and my eyes were opened so wide to the insane needs of these people. The biggest thing I got out of it was a bigger spiritual heart to love God's people. I loved so much it hurt sometimes, but I figure that's the best way to love. That was the most rewarding part.
Q: Would you encourage other students to go on a similar mission trip, and why?
A: I would 110% encourage anyone who has an opportunity to go serve in a third world country to do it! These kinds of trips are something that teach you more about yourself than you could ever learn at home. It opens your eyes and it changes you and challenges you in incredible ways.
Q: Who or what inspires you to go on mission trips?
A: Going on mission trips is something that God calls you to do. He'll either put the desire in your heart to find a way to go, or He'll tell you to go and then present you with an opportunity. So God is definitely the one who inspires me to go on missions trips. But I'm telling you, once you do, you won't want to stop. It's an amazing feeling to be living for something other than yourself.
Q: With one more month of summer, can you tell us what you have been doing on the court during this off season?
A: This summer our team went to Europe, which was the coolest trip ever! But along with that, we played six matches against some good competition and that really helped us bond as a team. I also beat up on my 14-year-old brother's indoor team in June because their coach needed more players. I'm kidding, they totally hit the ball as hard as college girls ... it's scary. This July our team has reconvened on campus and has been getting lots of reps in during the open gyms, which has been a lot of fun.
Q: How is the training in the summer different than in season?
A: Summer training is different because there isn't the pressure of having to compete as flawlessly as possible. It's all about the imperfections and striving to perfect them. Although, of course we know perfection isn't impossible but it's definitely a good goal to shoot for.
Q: What are you most excited about for your junior year?
A: I am most excited to compete for a WCC championship title. Our team is sold out for achieving it. It feels different this year. A very good different.
Q: Do you have personal goals that you hope to achieve for this upcoming season?
A: My personal goal is just to help the team in any way possible. I might be playing a couple different positions so my goal is to just be ready for whatever the team needs. Obviously I would like to beat my personal stats from previous years but my biggest goal is the team's end result.