Thankful for Days Like This!

image.jpg

Recently life has been a blur and I have not had to time sit down and write. I briefly got this on paper today and I hope reading this encourages you!For the last week and a half we have had my friend David Jones, who I played with at Southern Wesleyan, here with us. It has been a blessing to have him here, allow him to experience the ministry, see things he has not seen before, be able to engage with our staff here, and use his gifting as a former player and current coach to serve the ministry here in the Dominican. Recently, David de la Cruz, our leader of ministry in Santo Domingo, Ariel Eusebio Benitez (Boca Chica Staff), myself, and David traveled to Centro Olimpico to be with David de la Cruz, support what he is doing there, and serve in whatever capacity he needed us. After the first practice, David (Dominican) asked David (American) if he would be interested in sharing his testimony with the players and coaches. (While also throwing me under the bus as the translator!) This was a great experience across the board, and my first experiencing translating in front of a group. I have translated one-on-one or in small group settings, and spoke many times in front of groups, but have never had the opportunity to translate officially in front of a group. David talked about his experience as a player, the shift in his identity from David the ballplayer, to David the Christ-follower. After his testimony David de la Cruz reiterated some points and then led into a very clear presentation of the Gospel. That day seven players moved from death to life, accepted Christ as their Savior. One of the points that encouraged me the most was seeing Ortiz, the coach of the program, and someone David has been discipling for a period of time, leading the players through a prayer of repentance. As we were walking away, I started briefly reflecting on the experiences of the day. It almost seemed to me as if this is the way FCA DR is set up, supposed to be, and we saw it work almost seamlessly that day. One thing we have been pushing for a while now is the intentionality of discipleship specifically with coaches. We believe that the staff role is discipleship primarily, evangelism, preaching, and chaplaincy type rolls falling behind. Days like that solidify our thinking, that if we can disciple coaches, they can do things far beyond what we can do, because of the amount of hours they spend with the same groups of kids. As those seven accepted life, we can see Ortiz begin to take the reigns of discipleship, David by extension is still speaking into the lives of the players, still serving in a chaplaincy roll, but through his discipleship of Ortiz, those players are being led well, by a Godly man, who is seeking to use his platform as a coach to advance the Kingdom.