Saturday, July 17, 2010

Competing against the Dominican Jr.National Softball Team and the experience of Casa De Luz

Hey..we got to sleep in a bit today. Breakfast was at 7:30am and then the girls suited up for a double header against the Dominican Jr. National Team. The games were played at the Highlands Complex in Santo Domingo, which is the Dominican training site for the San Fransico Giants. Needless to say, the fields were considerably nicer than the field that we played on yesterday in the San Pedro village. The girls split the double header one game each and competed fiercly. Hayden Bartlett hit a TOWERING 265' home run.
After lunch at SCORE, the girls showered up and everyone jumped back on the bus for the 45 minute ride to Casa De Luz, which is an orphanage in Boca Chica that houses 19 severely physically & mentally handicapped children from the age of 2-18. As expected, this trip was very emotionally challenging. The girls seemed a bit tense as they entered the facility and then first saw the children. The conditions of this orphanage by Dominican standards is very good, however by comparrison to the blessings that we enjoy in the U.S., the conditions were pretty bad. There was no air conditionaling and all of the children were pretty much drenched in sweat. At least half of the children are so physically handicapped that they can't move and therefore spend 24 hours a day in bed, their only movement is being rolled over by the staff or having their diapers changed. Flys were very prevelant.
After 10-15 minutes had passed, our girls were overcome with compassion and began holding, caressing and loving on the children. Several of the girls and adults from our group were weeping. It was a powerful experience. When it was time to leave, our group circled up and prayed for facility, the children and the staff. We don't have the answers as to "Why" God has these children in these conditions and these circumstances, but our faith and knowlege of Him gives us comfort in knowing that their condition is temporary. That all of these chilren of God will receive perfect, heavenly bodies in due time and that there will be no more suffering. We were truly humbled and blessed by these children. Please pray for them.
After dinner back at the SCORE complex, everyone took the short walk to the beach and grabbed some ice cream from a local street vendor on the way back. I must say though, that the devotion time tonight was truly the most special part of the day. After we recapped all the events of the day, Jennifer Emerich shared her testamony of how she surrenderred her life to Christ just four months ago at the age of 42, letting everyone know the love, joy & peace that has come over her since that decision was made. I then shared the amazing story of the cross with the group and one of our softball players made a decision to give her life to Christ. It was an emotional moment for everyone and an incredible way to end the day.

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