Before we left for the Dominican Republic we challenged our players to spend their lives, thoughts, and pursuits loving God and loving others. This is something that we have prayed for our players since even before they arrived at the first of June. We have prayed that God would reveal Himself in such a way that it would shatter their current worldview and that they would in turn be overwhelmingly compelled to follow hard after God for the rest of their lives. We challenged our players to search their hearts to try and flesh out why living our lives loving God is such a worthwhile pursuit, and here are some thoughts that we shared with them. The reason for loving God is God himself. And why should God be loved for his own sake? Simply because no one could be more justly loved than God, no one deserves our love more. Some may question if God deserves our love or if they might have something to gain by loving him. The answer to both questions is yes, but I find no other worthy reason for loving him except himself.
God is also entitled to our love. Why? Because he gave himself for us despite the fact that we are so undeserving. What better could he have given? If we ask why God is entitled to our love, we should answer, " Because he first loved us." God is clearly deserving of our love especially if we consider who he is that loves us, who we are that he loves, and how much he loves us. And how much does he love us? He so loved the world that he gave his only Son; he laid down his life for us.
This is the message that we bring with us to the DR. Already on day one we have had the honor of sharing the gospel of Christ with over 150 people on baseball fields and at the children's hospital. One particular encounter was pretty amazing as we got our day started. An adult and his two sons happened to be walking by our clinic this morning and stopped by to watch. They had not planned to stay but were compelled to do so. The man started asking Chris a lot of questions during the gospel presentation about how to get to heaven. He thought that he had to do good works in order to earn his way to heaven and today was the first time in his life that he understood that salvation is the free gift of God. As he was leaving the ballpark he turned and mentioned to Chris that a light bulb had turn on in his life. Praise God.
After the clinic we went to spend some time with the kids who were at the Children's hospital. We were able to pray with them, give them cookies and juice, and build them balloon animals. It was a pretty humbling experience to see so many kids with various ailments, some who just entered into this world and are already struggling to survive. Our prayer is that by loving on them even for a brief time, they are able to see the love of our Heavenly Father who loves them infinitely more than they could ever hope or imagine.
After the hospital we walked to the stadium where we played our first game. Last year this team was the only team that beat us and they gave us another dog fight this year. It took us awhile to get our bats going but we managed to squeak 1 run in during the second inning. We added two more in the seventh to take a 3-0 lead. Bryce Deatherage pitched an outstanding game, but in the eighth they managed to score 4 runs. Going into the ninth we were losing 4-3, and finally our bats woke up. We ended up scoring 8 runs in the top of the ninth to win the game 11-4. What an exciting first day. Check back tomorrow for another update and please keep praying that God will continue to move in evermore amazing ways.
Tue, July 30, 2013
by Adrian Savedra