We woke up this morning and yup, it was already hot. Met up in our little bungalow for breakfast and were pleasantly surprised with a steamy pot of hot chocolate. Yum. After hanging around the breakfast table for a bit we circled up for some Devo time. Brett lead us this morning as we jumped around Genesis and the idea of sin and how it separates us from His Kingdom. One thing that really stood out to us was in Genesis 6:6, “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” This is completely opposite to the God we see through Jesus, and as the week progresses, we are encouraged to see how the Lord is inviting us into a relationship with him, and not regretting having made us as we continue to glorify Him.
Post-devo time is when the day really got going. We loaded up vans and ventured back to the Academy (LDR). After meeting some incredible staff members, we were put to work. Mixing, digging, hacking, moving, smoothing, and sifting dirt to lay a new foundation/floor for the batting cages. What was so cool during this was our opportunity to interact with the baseball players. They got to help build the facility they will use on a daily basis. And, some of their stories were incredible. One young man in particular could speak English as good as any of us it seemed, and we later found out that he had only started taking lessons a year ago. He pursues learning the language on his own, and shows us how willing these students are to work for their dreams, and work for the Lord. Crazy.
We then transitioned inside and got to sit in on a beginner English class with the baseball students. Sra. Almonte arrived and started playing music as an introduction to class, it threw us off, but we were jamming. Right from the get go, we could tell just how passionate she was about making sure all the students were engaged and truly learning. Her patience seemed unlimited. She got us involved by pairing up students with us “Americanos” and talking about different furniture you could find in various rooms of the house. We walked through each room and identified seemingly every piece of furniture you could think of. It was kind of nuts how excited we all got when someone would say refrigerator correctly. At the end of class, we all got to have a one-on-one conversation and get to know a student on a deeper level.
Tummies grumbling after a lot of hard work and studying, we came back to our home base for some lunch. The meal was an authentic Dominican dish comprising of chicken, rice, beans, pickled broccoli, and the ripest pineapple on this earth. After a short siesta time, we headed back to the Academy for soccer practice. Of course, Jordan and I were thrilled because we love soccer. Before training, the coach spoke some really amazing truths over the group. He talked about the importance of having Jesus at the center of your life. Sports will end, we can win, but God’s love for us is limitless and forever. The coach then led us in a warmup that put most of us out of breath. We divided into four teams and mixed our group with the academy players. This was another super cool way to interact and get to know more kids.
Got back home and found out the water was out after a long day of sweating and being gross. But don’t worry, there’s buckets of water graciously awaiting us in the shower to throw on us with little plastic cups. Dinner was scrumptious as usual, and we were pumped when we found out we were going to Dominican Walmart. After picking out some snacks and munching on some churros, we finally got back home and debriefed.
It is crazy just how easy it is for all of us to witness God in every aspect of what’s going on here. In the leaders, in the students, in the teachers, in the weather, in the team itself, and in the mountains that surround us, it’s just all too easy to see Him. As you think about us, we ask that you pray for good health, continued energy, strength, and some water – both to drink and to bathe in, or you might be in for a great surprise when we get home 🙂
Peace and Blessings,
Hannah and Jordan