Hine Reflects on Summer Mission to Puerto Rico
July 31, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - Rising junior Aubrey Hine of the NC State gymnastics team has traveled on various mission trips throughout the United States before, but she has never had the chance to go out of the country as part of a mission team. During a two-week period in June, Hine had the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico to share her faith with members of the community.
“When I heard about the Puerto Rico trip, it really just stood out to me and I felt like that was where I wanted to go,” Hine stated.
A native of Lancaster, Pa., Hine was able to go on the trip to Puerto Rico with a team of eight leaders and 13 Division I student-athletes from across the country through Athletes in Action, a Christian organization that uses sports as a platform to share one’s faith with the community.
The group was able to spend two weeks in Puerto Rico, with the first week going through sessions in the classroom, as well as on the field to learn how to reach others through sports. Hine and the others that traveled from the U.S., spent this week at Interamericana Universidad in San German, where 15 Puerto Rican student-athletes joined the team.
One of the experiences Hine experienced during the first week was a competition called the Special, which was an 18-hour physical competition at the camp. According to Hine, the goal of the exercise was to wear the group down to where they had to rely on their faith for strength.
During the second week, Hine and the group from the United States had the opportunity to venture into the community to share their faith with others. Hine said the opportunity to share her faith reminded her how blessed she has been in her life.
The rising junior also had the chance to spend time with several children at an orphanage in San German, where she had the chance to spend time with the kids. The group brought the children balls, bracelets, bubble and various other toys to play with.
“It was great to be able to love on the kids and just spend time with them but also heartbreaking because many of them cried when we left,” Hine said.
Hine says the one of the challenges that the group faced was the language barrier with the Puerto Rican students on the trip, but said that the group was able to communicate effectively through sports.
“It was really neat to see, that we could communicate through the things we had in common,” Hine said.
Hine says her favorite part of the trip was when the group had the chance to visit Mosquito Bay, which is a bioluminescent bay that glows whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue.
“We had the chance to jump in the water and whenever you jump in the water or move around in the water it glows, kind of like a glow fish,” Hine said
Last season for the Wolfpack gymnastics team, Hine saw action in nine competitions throughout the season on the floor exercise and posted a season-best 9.825 at the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championships.
“This trip really showed me how blessed I am to live the life I live,” Hine said. “So many people in Puerto Rico live and poverty or with much less than the average American. It was very neat to experience that and really made me thankful for all that I have here in the United States.”