From the youth league all the way through high school, the game of baseball is a passion to many throughout our country. Recognizing the opportunity to use the sport as a platform for ministry, Reel Life facilitated a father-son trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break. A group of 7 dads and 10 sons collected gear, packed their bags, and headed out for a week of extreme “travel ball.”
Local park systems played a huge role in providing baseball equipment for the several Dominican communities visited by the team. The group gathered a load of helmets, catcher’s gear, baseballs and jerseys for the team to transport.
Baseball was a large part of the trip, but the team also focused largely on sharing the love of Christ through community service. Each morning was spent visiting impoverished villages to distribute food and water purification systems. Lack of access to clean water and malnourishment was an obvious issue in many of these areas, so the team’s time was very well spent. Explaining how the dirty water is purified as it passes through the filter also provided an excellent illustration for sharing the gospel, and many dads from the team enjoyed sharing while the boys followed by praying with the families.
Each afternoon, the group traveled to play a baseball game against a young Dominican team. As expected, the fields were a little rough, but it did not diminish the fun or enthusiasm of the kids on either side. At the conclusion of each game, someone from the team would come forward and share their testimony for all who had gathered.
Everyone seemed to gain an appreciation of a new culture and enjoyed blessing some new friends with food and water! The local missionaries were encouraged and their efforts were bolstered throughout the week. All agreed that it was an amazing experience to invest this unforgettable time in discipling our boys and seeing the Lord use us as His instruments to make a difference for now as well as for all of eternity!
We are already making plans for families to return to the Dominican next year and use baseball to build relationships. It is expected that both father/son and family trips will be available in the spring of 2017! For more information about that trip, or any others offered by Reel Life International, please visit www.reel-life.org or email email@example.com.