Lipscomb associate director of athletics Brent High checks in with his final report from the Bisons mission trip to Ponton, Dominican Republic.
Santa Claus came early to the Dominican Republic on Thursday. Earlier in the week Michel, the minister for the church we’ve been working with all week, told us about his dream to start a youth baseball league for boys ages 8-12 and use the league as an opportunity to introduce them to Jesus. Our work to establish Brooks Forehand Field would go a long way to making his dream a reality.
We surprised Michel this morning with what we’ve been calling “Santa’s Sleigh” since we packed it in Nashville last week. We presented him with an oversized Louisville Slugger coach’s bag that had 11 brand new Rawlings youth baseball gloves, three Easton helmets, a brand new Easton MAKO big barrel bat, a brand new set of catching equipment, brand new baseballs and some other bats and baseballs to help get him started.
We finished roofing the dugouts today and most of the chain link on the backstop. We cleared off almost all of the area near the field that earlier in the week had been covered with knee-high thorns. We painted the two foul poles bright yellow. We even did most of the work to put in a mobile irrigation system that will pump water from the adjacent river to a sprinkler system. A pallet from our good friends at Southern Athletic Fields arrived today with professional grade bases, anchors, pitching rubber, rakes, tamp and field drag.
We feel like we did everything we could to set these good people up with a sustainable plan for the field. We even bought them a lawnmower to manage the park.
Saying goodbye is always hard on these mission trips. Without fail, the athletes that go each get really attached to one or two kids. Some of our guys took it really hard today when we had to leave. Their tears showed just how much this week and these people had impacted them. They are already talking about plans to come back.
We are staying at a beachfront hotel tonight before we start our journey back to Nashville tomorrow morning. Seeing the sun set over the Caribbean was quite an amazing ending to another meaningful day. There was even a wide rainbow on the horizon as the sun faded.
To everyone who had a part in making this trip a reality, we say thank you. To the hundreds of donors who gave almost $40,000 to make it happen, thank you. To Mark Jent, Steven Mason, Paul Stevens and all the amazing folks who run Lipscomb Missions, thank you.
Christmas will be extra special this year because of this week we’ve spent with the people of Ponton, Dominican Republic. We are ready to be home, but we will never forget the faces who have touched our hearts and given us another reason to look forward to Heaven.