On June 11th, 11 high school ballplayers, 3 coaches (FCA Staff), 5 dads, and 3 brave ladies headed to the Dominican Republic to play baseball and share Jesus. It was obvious that the prayers of many were answered as God went before us and paved the way.
FCA has a permanent staff member in Boca Chica, Mike Shaheen. He and his wife Jody and two kids live, work, and breath FCA ministry “to and through” the coaches of their community. Baseball is the largest influence on young men in the Dominican and there is really no second choice. This was evidenced as we put the word out on wednesday that we were putting on a clinic for kids from 8-12. To our amazement over 180 kids showed up to display their talents. Yes we were a little overwhelmed but thanks to divine grace not one person got hurt or dissappointed and the gospel was shared to all of them at the end of the day.
We played four games and our guys gained tremendous respect from the local community. Their skills and experience were evidenced by their 4-0 record but more importantly the way they played stood out. They played hard yet gracious and with respect for not only their own team but the others as well. There were many distractions as the crowd which was plentiful would be up close and personal. From their feet hanging over the dugout roof to sitting against the outfield wall they were all enthusiastic and impressed by our team. By gaining their respect they were eager to listen intently after every game as testimonies were shared by both teams.
Mike Shaheen shared with us before we left that our work had advanced his ministry tremendously in the number of people touched and the example of Christ that was portrayed. Everyone who went with us also expressed that they will never be the same. The perspectives on poverty, baseball, and spiritual opportunity were changed forever.
Many thanks to all the supporters who prayed, contributed, and encouraged our going. This was definitely the beginning chapter of many more trips like this from FCA Charlotte Metro. Next year we take more teams and VOLLEYBALL too!
Mark Talbot, Charlotte Metro Director