If we had to give today a title it was “Day of a range of Experiences”. We had a day where we had an opportunity to experience so many different things.
We started with a game against our interpreter Joel’s team. He is one of the coaches on the team. Joel, by the way, is a 24 year old who I absolutely love. He is funny, full of life, and just created a great week for us. We show up and it was a nice field but the whole game we had goats wandering in the middle of the outfield. You could chase them off between innings but they would just be out there again when you walked back to the dugout. So you just play around the goats. It sounded like the goats were upset that our outfielders were out with them. But the game itself Eli and Alex pitched 7 innings. They pitched really well and we ended the 7th 2-2. We scored a run in the top of the 8th and then we brought two closers in. Sam Heslin pitched for 1 out. Then we asked Joel to pitch the rest of the game. Both teams were into it. Cheering for or against Joel. The intensity went up a couple notches as well. Joel struck out the first. And then their third base coach came in. He was good size and they said he is a lefty who is an unbelievable hitter. Joel walked him. And they ended up scoring the tying run. But Joel got the last guy to pop out. But it was a lot of fun and it really connected the two teams.
After the game we gave out some gatorade bottles, t-shirts, and bracelets. Nick shared his testimony and I wrapped up with sharing about the meaning of the bracelets. The experience was one where it’s hard to describe but I believe the fun of that game will be something they will remember. What made me proud too is that we had a couple boys take their cleats, batting gloves, elbows guards, off and leave them for the players there… They didn’t have too but said the dominican’s needed it more than they did. (I know the parents are the ones paying for new ones, but hey… it says something about our young men to even consider that). We also gave them our helmets, fungo bats, and all our baseballs. Something they will really appreciate.
In the afternoon, we went to a girls orphanage. I will be honest, it is one of the toughest experiences we had. It was difficult to connect with them. But the young men again handled the experience with a lot of grace even though it wasn’t easy. What they did love is the photo’s we took and printed for them. We took pictures of the girls and then gave the pictures to them. They loved it. We are leaving the printer as well for future groups and ministry down here.
Other experiences: They got to experience the taste of sugar cane, walked to the beach to pick up some nick nacks, along with an incredible Argentinian barbecue. It was a fantastic meal. And what I loved most was that it was a great meal and served a great purpose. The local pastors use it to help their churches with various ministries. So a double bonus.
We have a bunch of other pictures but I don’t have time to show them all. We hope to compile them for you so you can see the things we have seen and experienced. Even though they will never do justice to the stories these guys have developed with each other.