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.
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