DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Baseball Clinic)
- Entering 3rd year of the Baseball Clinic
- Established relationships with many from the DR village
- Mentored boys that attended the clinic, being an example of Godly leadership
- Positive reports coming from local missionary communicating boys are demonstrating growth in leadership
Together with The Cercadillo Project, we travel to the Dominican Republic (DR) in order to further develop disciples of Jesus while also empowering the people of Cercadillo through education and providing baseball camps. Baseball is very popular in the DR, so hosting baseball camps for boys & young men is a great way to reach out to the community for Christ. In the Cercadillo village, the women and children are typically the only ones who attend church. Our goal for DR is to reach out to boys & young men in order to establish relationships with Christ and encourage them to attend church on a regular basis.
In May 2015, we had a small team of teachers go to the DR to help train school teachers, while also serving and praying for the students.
Following the May trip, in July 2015 we had a team arrive in Santo Domingo to provide a baseball camp for children from ages 8 to 17. With 3 different age-specific segments for the camp, we ended up working with about 100 eager to learn & well-behaved boys every day.
At the start of our journey, we ran into some obstacles--more like got stuck in some obstacles--as the road we took to the village had turned to mud due to a heavy rain the day before and our van became the road's victim. With great teamwork, we were able to get the van out and went on with our day. With the help of interpreters, we were able to explain the game of baseball, learn & understand their culture, and explain the Bible to the boys. So many of them don't have a father-figure in their lives, so they thrived on being around the men in our group. Two middle school boys got promoted to our high school group because of their hard work & leadership skills. One of our 8-year-old boys invited others to come to his house so he could explain the Bible to them. Many of the campers would walk over 2 miles just to get to camp (and they'd show up 1 ½ hours early too)!
Even though this trip is a lot of hard work, we do get some time to play. On the last full day of our trip, we went to the Catedral De Santo Domingo, the first cathedral built in the New World. Next, we toured the Fortaleza Ozama, a castle built by the Spanish. On the way to the beach, we drove by several Dominican baseball facilities, stopping at one that we were able to get into--the Texas Ranger's Dominican summer league facility! It's amazing how God intervened for us to get access to the facility: The Rangers manager was from the St. Louis area, so he was generous enough to let us watch part of a game. We then headed to a beautiful beach and ate at Cafe Del Sol.
Through hitting, infield/outfield drills, and scrimmages, we showed the campers love and compassion. In return, they reminded us to appreciate things like clean water, indoor plumbing, and air-conditioning. It was definitely a life-changing week for all of us. We look forward to our return next year, so we can once again meet up with our Dominican friends.