Baseball opens mission trip in Dominican Republic
Associate Director of Athletics Brent High reports in on the first day of the Bisons week-long mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
Today was mostly a travel day for the 22-member mission team from Lipscomb Baseball that will be building a baseball "Field of Dreams" and working with a local church in the Dominican Republic this week. There were several flight delays and one missed bag (belonging to yours truly) that should arrive sometime tomorrow.
After a 45-minute bus ride from the airport, we arrived at our base for the week in Ponton. Don't tell the women's basketball team, but we are staying at a much nicer place than they stayed in during their mission trip in August. There's still no hot water, but we do have four showers and four commodes. They enjoyed and shared one shower and one commode.
We have been impressed in every way by our hosts for the week. As it turns out, they have a very direct connection to Lipscomb. Cassie Marte attended Lipscomb Academy from the time she moved to Nashville as a 10-year-old until she graduated. She and her husband Melchor and their five children have made this community their focus and their ministry. They have 23 churches all over the Dominican Republic that they oversee and serve.
The pastor of the church we will be working with is an incredibly impressive man named Michel. He is Melchor's brother. He grew up in the mountains playing baseball. As he shared with us tonight, he reluctantly came to work in Ponton much like Jonah went to Nineveh. He has a vision for using sports to reach people for Jesus. The basketball court that the Lady Bison basketball team built in August is already helping him see that vision expand. Their biggest issue is they have kids showing up to play basketball at 6 a.m.
Michel and Melchor grew up playing baseball with Bartolo Colon (Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets). They absolutely love the game. Michel shared with us that he has a dream of having leagues two days a week with the local children after we are finished building the field this week. Little does he know we have a few more surprises for him as the week goes on.
The kids in the streets are already buzzing about the "jugadores de beisbol" that have come to town. They have loads of questions for our guys.
All of our meals are being served at Melchor and Cassie's house. Tonight we enjoyed salami and onions, pineapple, watermelon and some kind of mashed potato-like food. The guys loved it and finished all of it with no problem.
After dinner we went to the local grocery store. Outside we saw the ginormous spider in the photo.
Tomorrow will be a work day as we start our work on the field. Later Saturday night we will be meeting with the youth group from the church.
Please pray for our team. Pray for the people here that we meet. Pray for opportunities to share Jesus using the great game of baseball. Pray that the guys on our team will be impacted in a way that will matter 500 years from now.
If you haven't already contributed to our trip and would like to, please visit http://www.lipscomb.edu/giving/student-mission-gifts. Choose "team" from the participant name field and "Dominican Republic (Baseball)" from the trip pull-down menu. As of now, we are about $2900 away from meeting our budget for the trip.