Baseball - Panama, Guatemala

  • Our final day... :(

    Section: Baseball

    2016 Teams: Baseball - Panama, Guatemala

    Baseball - Panama / Guatemala

    I’ve been staring at a computer screen for the last 30 minutes wondering what to write for the final post while we’re abroad. I just can’t seem to find the words though…

    I’ll start with this note. We won our final game of the trip by a score of 5-3. It was a great game from a pitching stand point with a combination of 4 great performances from Trevor Kerr, myself, Joe Dougherty, and the Guatemalan Golden Child Mike Pineda-O’Donnell who shut the door with the save. The offensive performance was spread around pretty evenly. The players who stood out at the plate were Josh Gerig who was 2-3 with a HBP scoring 3 runs, Charlie Ellis who had a pair of RBI’s, and Lucas J. Kelly who led off the game with a single making that his 6th game to lead off getting on base. Not bad for only playing the handful of game we did.  

    This is where the writing gets tough. Trying to put all the emotions of this trip into words is something I can only do by saying, God is absolutely amazing. After everything we experienced on this trip, from a baseball stand point with the adversity of only being able to only play under half the games we had planned for. The growing pains of the spiritual side for guys, almost grown men, breaking down barriers of insecurities to open up to 24 people they have known for a little more than three weeks. The impact that we, as players and coaches, felt like we made being confirmed by the heart piercing words of the President of the Guatemalan Baseball Federation. God is absolutely amazing.

    We were blessed to share The Gospel by either word of mouth or written brochure with just under 1,000 people over these three and a half weeks. We, mediocre American college baseball players, played a major role in the re-establishment of baseball in the countries of Panama and Guatemala, and we used Christ to do it. Do you have any idea how humbling that is? Being players and coaches that are overlooked in our home country because we’re not first round draft picks, to come to a foreign land and be looked up to and treated as if we were all soon to be Hall of Famers is absolutely tear jerking. The fact that we used the word of God to do so it is what really struck so many of us, and that made it all worth it. It has been such an honor to be able to serve these countries and to hear that we made an impact from the top of the Guatemalan baseball food chain is really inspiring.

    For a trip that majority of the players pinned as a, “baseball trip,” so much more came out of it. We, as a combined group, thank the family and friends back home enough for the endless support whether it be emotionally, spiritually, or financially. We wouldn’t have been able to make it to or through this life changing trip without y’all, and for that, we truly can’t thank you enough.

    As we pack the final few pairs of socks and sliders into our bags this morning, gearing up for the 12 hours of combined travel we’re about to experience, we look back over this month with so many emotions and memories. Many sad, humbling moments, but with those also come hundreds of inspiring, sarcastic, comedic times. Whether it’s me and our coach, Conner Tracy, going back and forth about absolutely nothing, Spencer Wise picking a fight with anyone and everyone for no reason at all (seriously though, I think I saw him arguing with a wall because it looked at him the wrong way), Will Zimmer and David Boyle spending more time in the weight room than sleeping, or the endless dedication from Tracy, Case Smith, Trent Sullivan, and our fearless leader John McLaughlin, we definitely have stories for the folks back home. The amount of thanks to the staff we were exposed to abroad, and the staff we’re traveling back home with is absolutely infinite.

    God blessed us greatly on this journey, and at the end of it all, we just hope that our work has brought all the glory back to Him. God’s sense of humor shows through the fact that we had a translator, Steven Orozco, fly out at 8:00 this morning, our flight leaves at 1:00 this afternoon, and the airport is closed for repairs today from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin our journeys back to our respected states, Texas being the best of course, over today and tomorrow. We can’t wait to get back home and talk about everything we experienced and learned. Thank you for everything and for joining us on this God driven journey.

    -Chad

     

    #GOAIAUSA #GodIsNeverDone

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  • Fast, as we finish up!

    Section: Baseball

    2016 Teams: Baseball - Panama, Guatemala

    Baseball - Panama / Guatemala

    Saturday we had a rare day off. With this day came a test that some of the players chose to take. A test of strong spiritual obedience.

    Eleven players and coaches came together to attempt a fast from food. This fast was not required, nor was there a specific time in which it had to be held. Most of the guys tried for 24 hours, some achieving that and some failing. Overall, it was an attempt for a group of guys to refrain from something God provides in order to better focus on Him. As it states in Matthew 16, fasting is not something to brag about, it is strictly between the participants and The Lord. So the individuals who participated have chosen to remain anonymous.   

    “It was a way to show God that I wanted to make Him a priority in my life,” Faster 1 said. “It enabled me to focus on nothing but God for a full 24 hours.”

    “I thought it was a good way for some of us to bond over a spiritual experience that we can take back to the States,” said Faster 2.   

    Sunday morning, after most of the guys finished off their fast with a good breakfast, we took on a local team. Unfortunately, the game was unable to be finished due to time, so the game ended in a tie. Mitch Holcomb tossed a great game, but left without a decision. Steven Wells lead the offense going 3-4. Charlie Ellis blessed us and the other team with his testimony, while his teammate from Union University, Isaac Dominy, delivered The Gospel message. 

    This morning we aided our coach, Conner Tracy, with a coach’s clinic in order to boost the baseball and spiritual intelligence of the coaches in the area. We strap on the AIA uniform for the last time on this trip tonight as we take on the Guatemalan National Team. Hoping to send us off with an exclamation point, Trevor Kerr will be on the mound for this contest.

    As we prepare to finish up our tour here, we pray that our last few days make a solid impact. God has been working wonders on this trip, and these last few days are crucial. Please pray for our final days here and for our return trip home.   

    -Chad

     

    #GOAIAUSA #GodIsNeverDone

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  • A long 3 days...

    Section: Baseball

    2016 Teams: Baseball - Panama, Guatemala

    Baseball - Panama / Guatemala

    Doors are opening in Guatemala, and blessings are starting to pour in!

    The past three days have been some kind of crazy! Amidst a trip to the zoo, 2 baseball games getting rained out among one being cut to only 7 innings, and 3 clinics, it’s been a very busy week. We dropped the 7 inning game unfortunately by a score of 6-3 to the Guatemalan National Team. It was a rough start for us on the defensive side, giving up 5 runs in the first two innings. We were able to hold the Guatemalans to only 1 run over the next 5 innings, but our rally came up just short. 

    Over the past three days, we have also had some amazing opportunities as well. We have been blessed this week with the chance to share some of our testimonies and The Gospel with just under 500 young players, parents, and bystanders. More often than not, we see change happen to the kids we come in contact with, but yesterday we got to experience something new. A mother of the one of the children at the clinic we put on yesterday was having a terrible day leading up to our presentation. Apparently this mother’s terrible day was turned around after Josh Gerig gave his testimony on how he came to know Christ and Isaac Dominy delivered The Gospel. She came up to Cristobal, crying, and talking about how hearing the message completely changed her day. Just a very small example of the power of The Gospel. 

    As we come into our final weekend, we are driven to finish strong. Many of us, players and coaches alike, have gained strong momentum in our faith. Whether it’s leaps and bounds of growth, building consistency in our walk, or just learning some new things, we ask for your prayers that the momentum we have built will continue as we return home. Only 5 more days until we’re State bound!

    -Chad

     

    #GOAIAUSA #GodIsNeverDone

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