Mission Trip – Clinics and Orphanage

OK, I’m going to try to speed things up here, as I’m really behind in blogging about the mission trip!!

Clinics: On two different days, we (the guys) did basketball clinics for kids in different parts of Santo Domingo. The 1st place was called “Guachupita”. Let me just tell you that is NOT my favorite place in the Dominican Republic. A few years ago, we had a high school girls basketball team playing a game in Guachupita when all of a sudden we heard gunshots not too far away, everyone was running like crazy, I had to grab my 3 young kiddos and head to the bus to get the heck out of there… There were areas of the city that were having riots protesting the blackouts that were lasting for 48 hours or more! Needless to say, I was less than excited to return to Guachupita, but I gave myself a “do it for Jesus” pep talk and there we were! There were probably 200-300 kids ready to learn some basketball basics. We ran four stations; passing, defense, shooting and layups. The kids loved it! Some were already pretty proficient at these skills and some were brand new to playing basketball. When the clinic was over, all those kids sat and listened very attentively as the gospel of Jesus Christ was shared. Don’t have numbers or results for this event, although the Lord knows and I believe MANY children changed their eternal destination that day!

Passing!!!

Tony trying to teach some layups!

Shawn, Gio, Lauren and Kevin teaching DEFENSE!!

Listening intently!!

Hearing the GOOD NEWS!!!

The next day, we went to another very poor area of Santo Domingo to do another clinic. This “club” did not have a basketball facility, so they put two hoops up at different sides of the street and we went from there. I cannot put into the words the excitement that was racing through the current of that street. The kids were so excited they were chasing our bus in as we parked. There were well over 300 kids there!!! We gave everyone a heads up on the bus that we were going to try to get some semblance of order in order to run a clinic, but if it didn’t work, we’ll get in the bus and take off. The reason being, it was mob mentality, chaotic. However, we got the kids in four groups (with the intention of running stations like the other clinic, however they never ended up rotating stations). All the girls ended up in my station where I translated for the guys on passing. These were not athletes and it was probably the 1st time many of them even held a basketball in their hands. But what they lacked in skill they made up for in enthusiasm and desire. Out of our 75 girls, we ran the passing drills in groups of ten or so and it went very well. When it became clear to Kevin and Giovanny that we were not going to be able to gather the whole clinic for a gospel presentation, we were asked to share Christ in each of our sessions. So, the girlies gathered around, just as eager to hear what I had to say as they were to pass a basketball. For just a moment of time, there was a stillness in our area of the street as I shared how much Jesus loved each one of them, how He came to die for them and how they can have eternal life in heaven with Him if they accepted Him as their Savior! There was 100% participation and 100% promises that they were going to go to the Baptist Church right down the road come Sunday. Again, only the Lord knows how many true professions of faith there actually were, but I remain optimistic. What I loved about the clinics was the fact that we went TO the kids. We spent some time with them and then we shared Jesus’ free gift of salvation with them! THIS is what I hope to be able to do more of here in our own city where God has us at this time!!

That was a lot of layups to do!!!291, 292, 293, 294, 295… LOL

The group of girlies hearing about Jesus!!!
Orphanage: There is an orphanage in La Romana, about an hour east of Juan Dolio, that houses about 85 girls. When we lived in the D.R. we visited this orphanage at least twice a week as every group wanted to visit and minister in the orphanage. I love these girls. They are VERY special to me! There are two that are so dear to my heart. I walked in to the orphanage and there they were. The first few minutes were filled with belly gut-laughing and rolling tears of joy! It was so awesome to see them! It was great to hang out for a few hours, play games, talk, see their new facilities which include a school and a church that will soon be functional. The guys from the team all loved their time at the orphanage as well, pushing kids on the swings, dancing, doing the O-H-I-O pose. Of course the time went by too fast but it will NOT be almost three years before I go back there!!!
The girls stole my camera for a while, but they got some great shots!!!

AltaGracia (Tata), Me and Rosalene (Linda) I love those girlies!!

Jerry coloring with his new friend!

I cannot believe they tortured the girls by making them do the O-H-I-O, but it was pretty darn cute!!!.

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