China Williams had a mission trip of a lifetime when she traveled to Liberia in the summer of 2019 with Celebration United Methodist Church. There, Williams spent time bonding with children, learning about the African country and building a basketball court. The trip gave the upcoming senior at VASJ new perspectives about the world and provided her with purpose.
It was my first time leaving the country and being on a plane. When I first got there, I was really overwhelmed because it’s completely different.
But once I got over that, it was really fun. It was cool to be in a different environment with friends. I had only met [the people on my team] like twice prior. It was kind of an instant friendship once we were all in the different situations together.
We spent one of the two weeks at a boarding school. We had a vacation Bible school, and we made friendship bracelets with little letter beads, and the kids seemed to like it. We helped them build their basketball court. Our mission helped fund the actual construction, and then we got to help mix the cement and put it together.
The kids were teaching us how to play freedom ball. It’s kind of like soccer, but the goal is really skinny.
It was really fun to bond with them. They would show us how to do it instead of us telling them something. It seems like the reciprocation was there.
It was really weird to see the wealth distribution because the [boarding school] was in a really impoverished area.
But we drove an hour away and it was like literally mansions on beaches — coconuts and everything. So that was kind of shocking to see the stark difference between them.
It seemed a lot like America — but just super extreme. — as told to Molly Heideman