Today was a much needed respite from yesterday’s visit to Casa de Luz. (Click through to see images)
We went out with the team from Alabama that are here for baseball and that my son has been playing with and from the sounds of it, has been adopted as the team mascot since he’s older and bigger than other others. We went to Pasitos de Jesus and loved up on the girls. The boys went out and did some yard work to make sure the grounds are nice and as Dalma, the head of the orphanage says every so clearly, “these girls are to be treated like queens because they are, and that’s how God sees them.”
The girls from the team intermingled with the girls from the orphanage, colored, and just hung out. As luck would have it, my daughter ended up sitting next to the little girl that we sponsor (as a result of our last mission trip), so our family got to meet her, hug her, and let her know that there are people in this world who love her, are praying for her, and helping with her physical needs. Hers is a story of being abandoned, malnourished, and a swollen tummy due to starvation. While the boys were doing their work in the yard, a couple of the girls from the orphanage shared their testimony with the ladies of the Alabama team, my wife, and my daughter. Heartbreaking yet again. Through the laughter and redeemed lives, such sorrow and brokenness. As with Casa de Luz, the lady who runs it deserves a special place in heaven for loving these 40+ girls so well, and seeing them the way Jesus sees them. We’ve supported this ministry for a year now and if you would like to support a ministry, might I suggest Pasitos de Jesus? According to Score International’s website: SCORE International partners with Dalma Florian’s ministry as she provides for 40 girls at the home. Her ministry is recognized by CONANI, a Dominican organization that approves and supports ministries that help children and adolescents. Through many generous donations, SCORE has helped provide a new dormitory, a new water house, and assist in her monthly budget. Your donations help provide essential care for these lovely girls. You can give here: Pasitos de Jesus giving
After our return we ate lunch then departed for Tierra Alta, a compound built by the Rawlings Foundation out of Kentucky and used by the San Francisco Giants to help train their rookies. This is a state of the art facility and the kids got to play on one of their fields. Being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, it wasn’t easy to admire this place, but hey, it’s a mission trip, I need to love the enemy as well! 😉 The boys played a team from the Dominican Republic that was well coached, but our boys held their own today. My son did well at the plate and held down center field and short stop for half the game. He wanted to pitch, but yesterday he threw 60+ and caught, so the coach declined his request (well, pleading! 🙂 ).
After the game, the Dominican coach brought everyone to the mound for some inspirational words about how he was drafted for baseball after having giving up school and going to the baseball academy all day, every day Baseball is a way of life for the boys down here. After an injury and subsequent hiatus from baseball, he returned at the age of 18, but unfortunately, after 18, you can’t go any further in the sport. Therefore, he changed his name, age, etc. (illegally) and tried out for the Mariners and was about to signed to the Cincinnati Reds. When asked his age and name, he gave them the falsified information only to realize that after a life changing decision to become a Christian, that was not how he wanted to live, and gave up baseball. I don’t know if I would have the conviction to walk away from potential fame and fortune when living in poverty for so long, I’d like to think I would, but none-the-less, not my decision to make and I was inspired by his integrity. He now works with many of the academies and teams that are out here.
In any event, a great and relaxing day for my wife, daughter, and me. My son played again in the heat and did well. Now it’s time to gear up for tomorrow… we are going to the city dump to minister to the people living there.
(Click to see individual images)