Nov 15, 2011

Greetings from Juan Dolio and more...

As I type this, I am in a hotel lobby during day 2 of our Dominican Baseball Outreach.  I am here with my oldest son, Nathan, and one of our high school students, Steven Welcher, doing baseball clinics and ministry projects to the children of the Dominican Republic.  We are here with an organization called SCORE International which does this outreach each November.  This week is designed to give guys who love baseball, high school coaches, college coaches, major league scouts, and professional players a chance to do ministry together using the vehicle of baseball.  We do baseball clinics each day in the mornings.  We have about 7 squads that go out each day to a different town and do a clinic with anywhere between 150-300 kids.  We split them up into squads and teach fundamentals of infield, outfield, hitting, and pitching.  At the end, we gather everyone up and one of the players will share his testimony.  Then one of the team members will present the gospel and ask kids to surrender to Christ as Savior and Lord. 

Yesterday we did a clinic at the Air Force Base in Santo Domingo and then went to a village called Ramon Santana to hand out bags of groceries.  For about $10 each, we bought rice, beans, oil, salt, tuna, and spaghetti that will feed a family for about a week.  It was a funny sight seeing 22 white gringo's in the local supermarket buying groceries together. 

This morning we went to San Pedro de Marcoris to do a baseball clinic.  San Pedro has produced many professional baseball players like Sammy Sosa, Alfonso Soriano, and others.  Every kid in San Pedro believes that baseball is their ticket off the island and the way to provide for their family.  It was a fun day of clinics.  Our team has two former major leaguers - Andy Pettite and Chris Burke.  Pettite was swarmed afterwards for autographs and was gracious to sign hundreds. 

Keep praying for us while we are hear to show and speak the love of Christ to the children of this island.  SCORE has a great ministry and is doing many very effective things for the kingdom here.

On a separate note, I got word on Facebook yesterday that our two-man team that is in Guinea is having some inroads with the Kakabe people.  Evidently, many of the Kakabe religious leaders have engaged them with questions and they are open to hearing more about Jesus.  The Kakabe are a small unreached people group of about 4,000 people in a country of millions.  Their tribal identity has been swallowed up by the Fulbe in the region.  This is the second team from our church that has gone.  Prayers are being answered and we may see some Kakabe turn to Christ.  When they do, they face large amounts of persecution and possible isolation from their family.  We will have to send teams to continue to share the stories and to disciple any new believers.  Keep praying saints.

Glory to God!


Haines said...

I hate I wasn't able to go. I really would love to go one day! Tell Nathan I'm very proud of him! He is an awesome young man with a wonderful heart for doing God's work! Also, proud to call you my brother! Good luck the rest of the trip and travel safe! Love you guys!