Tuesday was another incredible day.
We began with an early breakfast followed by another morning on the baseball field. We returned to Ramon's home field to conduct our second clinic for a baseball organization called Tranquilo
Before long, 75 kids with ages ranging from 8-14 rolled up in uniform.
They looked good, they were pumped to be on a baseball field and they were ready to learn. It was such a blast watching the Ambassadors communicate with these kids in spite of the obvious language barrier. We spent 3 hours shuffling these groups from station to station and then followed up the clinic by sharing our story.
Again it amazes me how God continues to use His word and Justin's life to lead people to Jesus. This entire journey is such a unique experience for our baseball players. Though there are so many similarities with the Dominicans like a love for competition and a passion for baseball, there are also many surprises.
One thing I forgot to mention about the baseball complex were the goats. Every day when we pulled up to the baseball field, there were about 8 or 9 goats grazing. We discovered in the Dominican that Goat Power is a fairly effective way to keep the field in good shape. Not only do you get the chance to trim the grass, you also have many opportunities to keep the field fertilized. The only draw back is you have to watch your step every once and a while.
After the clinic, we grabbed some lunch and headed to the museum. Ramon really wanted us to understand the story of his country. Outside of Wacey getting arrested for having gum, it was a wonderful experience.
After bailing Wacey out of the slammer, we headed to the baseball field for our second game. On Monday, we lost a game that we should have won. Tuesday we were facing a team that was supposed to beat us and it sure looked that way after the first inning because we gave up 7 runs out of the shoot. Thankfully, we calmed down and settled into the game.
At the beginning of the 4th inning, Coach Savedra headed into the locker room to check on Jake Disney. As soon as he left the dugout, all the momentum shifted. Adrian and Jake had to be careful going back into the locker room because of Coach V's teachable moment yesterday. Even though we told everyone not to put toilet paper in the toilet, Coach V thought that only applied to the players. Unfortunately V got to experience a toilet overflow that somewhat resembled an "Old Faithful" eruption. FYI, in the DR, used toilet paper goes into the trash can because it stops up their toilets. If you know Coach V, could you help me remind him of this fact.
In spite of the fact that the locker room was V-ified, Adrian and Jake had to enter the locker room to take a look at his sore arm. About 15 minutes later, Adrian emerged from helping Jake and the entire team made him go back to Coach V's throne room due to the fact that his brave entrance into the explosion of terror helped us start that rally.
To make a long story just a little bit longer, the rally continued. Since we ended up scoring 11 runs in that inning, Adrian had to stay in the bathroom for 45 minutes.
I just love the superstitions in baseball.
Needless to say, we gained the lead in the 4th inning and kept adding to our total. We won our first game in Estadio Cibao against a really good team. Winning sure is a lot more fun than the alternative.
After the game, we headed to get some pasta at a local Dominican dive and it was really good. We were really excited because Lee Tunnell joined us in the Domincan and will get to spend a couple of days with the team. He had to come into the country to visit his pitchers that have been signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. It is such a blessing to have him join us.
As we were sitting at dinner, we heard a live band kick up a few doors down and several of the guys went to check it out. Come to find out, the band was coming from a church who had just started a worship service. As you would suspect, it took our guys less than 10 minutes to commandeer the worship service because the stage quickly became flooded with Ambassadors sharing the gospel with the entire congregation. At the beginning of the year, we prayed that the Lord would help our guys learn to be bold with the message of Christ. God has most definitely answered that prayer.
After dinner, the entire team walked from the Pasta place to get some ice cream. We split up between two places so that we could more speedily satisfy that sweet tooth craving. It was a lot of fun just being together in the Dominican walking the streets of this beautiful city. We are all truly making memories that will last a lifetime.
For many of you back home reading this blog, can I offer you a simple challenge. I want to challenge you to take a step of faith and choose to go on a mission trip. If you are one who has a relationship with Christ. If you are one who knows what it is like to be forgiven by God. You need to have the experience of traveling outside of the United States sharing Christ with other people. If you chose to take this step of faith in your life, several things would happen.
1. God would provide for it.
2. The kingdom of God would be increased because of it.
3. Your life would be blessed by it.
4. You will be better equipped to communicate the gospel back home through it.
If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, you need Him more than you need the next breath you take. If you know Jesus as your Savior, don't forget His call on our lives is to live by faith and not by sight. Too many believers get this turned around and live by sight and not by faith.
Are you living by faith? You really don't have to miss this adventure.
After ice cream, we went back to the hotel and got to spend our share time with a challenge from Lee. What a great ending to an amazing day.
Early this morning, we got up, had breakfast and headed to our Wednesday baseball clinic. There is a local country club that is conducting various sports clinics throughout the week. One of those is baseball and they allowed us to lead their baseball group the entire day.
After the clinic, we headed to Ramon's grandmother's house where they prepared an amazing lunch for us.
I am so proud of Ramon and so very thankful for his family. They have been incredible hosts for us this week in Santiago. Our time at Ramon's grandmothers was one of the most significant moments of the entire trip. We had the opportunity to sit with them and share our entire story and share the gospel with Ramon's entire family. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and probably a few distant relatives also. It was a tearful and very significant time for all of us.
I know that I have said this before but I am so proud of Ramon. This entire trip has been organized and led by a 20 year old young man who caught this vision by playing for the Ambassadors.
Like Coach Savedra always say's, "This entire ministry is so much more than baseball."
God is enabling us to build leaders who are growing a love for the Lord and a passion for the souls of men.
I thank the Lord that He continues to bless and lead us.
Just like Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us, "to Him who is able to immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. According to His power that is within us. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. Forever and ever, Amen. I am thankful for the Lord accomplishing this great work in and through us.
Wed, July 25, 2012
by Chris Wall