Mas Niños

When we woke up this morning, we were lucky enough to wake up to the sound of the water truck, and soon after the smell of pancakes and bacon.  After we had finished eating breakfast, we circled up as a group to work through day two of the Revision devotional that we’re working through this week. The purpose of today’s devotional was centralized around the concept of the cruciality of forgiveness for others and more importantly for oneself in the context of a Christian life.  Ultimately, God’s forgiveness towards us is unmatchable, unrepayable and unending.  We talked about a few stories in the book of Matthew where often times human beings fail to grant forgiveness and mercy towards others and towards ourselves.  This draws into context how truly undeserving we are of the forgiveness we receive from our heavenly father, at a level far beyond what we can ever experience in human life.

We started the day continuing with our service project working with Go Ministries baseball players on their batting cages.  We picked up where we left off the day before, sifting and mixing sand that could be spread on the floor of the cages.  Similar to yesterday, we were working alongside some of the Go Ministry baseball players and staff, many of whom we met and talked to in English class the day before.  Throughout our time working, we had the opportunity to strengthen the relationships that were formed the previous day through working, conversation, and challenging them with their understanding and ability to speak the English they have been learning.

After working for a few hours on the batting cages project, we headed back to dorm building to enjoy lunch our incredible cooks had prepared for us.  After eating, a few of us did the dishes, and spent the next couple of hours bonding as a team, playing games, and resting up for the activities to come in the afternoon.  Most of us joined in a collective game of cards, which further allowed for conversation and relationship building within our team.

Around 2:30pm, we made our way over to the Go Ministries basketball court before practice, intending to get there early enough to play with each other and get warmed up in preparation for the kids to join.  However, several players were already shooting around when we got there, so we jumped straight in before the official start of practice.  When the coaches arrived, we were divided up into three groups in combination with the kids to progress through three different stations.  Let’s just say this was one of the hardest practices any of us have experienced, which is saying a lot considering that we are all college athletes. J These three stations were composed of ladder footwork drills, a dribbling station and a jump shot/shooting station.  We finished with a game of lightning (or knockout depending on where you’re from) where the true athleticism and competitiveness of our group combined with the players to make the game extremely entertaining.  Following practice, we circled up with the boys, and Bryce shared a part of his testimony with the group.  We then closed with prayer led by one of the players.

After about an hour with the boys at practice, we proceeded with a practice with the Go Ministry girls’ team.  A few of our team members were given the task of putting together a few drills and games to get the girls excited about practice.  We were pretty dedicated to bringing the energy, and a few of us might have some issues with our voices tomorrow from cheering so loud.  We then finished practice with another game of lightning where a few of boys who had lingered around after practice once again joined in.  This was a great opportunity for us to be able to interact with some of the young girls that Go Ministries has built a foundation to make an impact on their lives.  To close practice, we again circled up for a time of sharing and prayer, where two of our group members, Hannah and Mekenna shared a few things with the girls.  One of the girls then closed in prayer before we had to rush off to serve dinner at the nutrition center established by one of the churches associated with Go Ministries.

As soon as we got to the church, we were immediately greeted by smiling children who didn’t hesitate to say hello and jump all over us.  We played with the kids for a while before serving them dinner.  We gave them piggy-back rides, ran around with them and threw them in the air.  Soon after we were all called inside, and after prayer lead by one of the children, proceeded to serve them dinner.  After dinner, we circled up outside of the church to have the opportunity for Kyle, one of the leaders of Go Ministries, to share about the history and current state of the church in what is a very impoverished area.  We heard from the current pastor of this church who provided a very inspiring insight into the work that God currently and will continue to do in this area.  We then continued to play and run around with the kids for a while, putting them on our shoulders, playing tag and being surrounded by screams and laughter. Rylee, one of our football players, continued with what will become an infamous exclamation ‘Mas Niños’ which means ‘More Kids,’ while proceeding to be jumped on while carrying three children at a time.   Needless to say, the kids were sad to see us go, but we all left with smiles and were so glad we had this opportunity.

After, headed back to our building for dinner of authentic pork chops, pashed potatoes, peas, and ‘squeaky cheese’ a classic Dominican food.  We had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of Brett, Kyle and Dariana, the primitive leaders of Go, and how God has called them to where they are.  Their stories were especially moving, and it was inspiring to see how God’s plan is carried out in each of us, whether that aligns with our initial plans or not. We closed the day with a quick debrief, journaling and team bonding before heading to bed, looking forward to a busy day tomorrow.

Peace and Blessings,

Baller Bryce, Rose aka ‘SUPAGIRL’ and DJ Paula

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