Sunday, July 17, 2011
I have over 1300 pictures from this past week alone and testimonies of God's work in the hearts of each and every person who joined us here for the last 7 days. I will post those picture on a photo sharing site as soon as I can, however I want to share a personal story of mine here to illustrate how God's perfect timing and His perfect plan.
Many of you know my story of how God used Julio Franco to radically change my life and lead me back to Him four years ago. I have reached out to Julio SEVERAL times over the past 4 years via text message, phone call, email and have actually had a hand written letter delivered to him. I wanted him to know how God used his simple act of obedience on January 22nd of 2008 as he shared the gospel at an FCA event that I attended to forever change my life, the lives of my wife and children and through my story, thousands of others for His Kingdom. Julio has never responded back to any of my attempts. However it never bothered me because I knew in my heart that he and I would connect one day when God wanted it to happen.
Yesterday morning I accompanied one of our baseball teams to the village of Consuella, just outside of San Pedro, to compete against their village team. It's the village that Julio Franco was born in and grew up in. When I stepped onto the field I saw one young man taking ground balls at 3rd base. My interpreter told me It was Josh Franco a rising junior in high school and Julio Franco's son. I had the opportunity to speak with Josh for a while and he told me that he and his family had moved back to the DR for a year so that he could train here, avoid the Major League Baseball draft system and sign here in the Dominican. Josh told me that his dad would be out on the field in about 30 minutes. Imagine how I felt at that point.
God's ordained timing, just as it always is, was perfect. Julio and I got to spend close to 3 hours together talking about life and our love for Jesus. The morning climaxed with me sitting on a bucket and sharing the gospel with the team he is training here and on the very same field that Julio played baseball on as a boy. All the while, Julio stood behind me and translated. Eight high school aged young men responded by giving their life to Christ. Julio had a smile on his face that was priceless. Personally...I was (and still am) in awe of how the God of the universe chooses to orchestrate His plan.
This story is just one of many that have been experienced here over the past week. We have 76 high school coaches and athletes arriving here tonight who at this point have NO idea as to how God is prepared to move in their lives if they will "be still and know that He is God". Please pray for them....as well as for my family and I as we head into week # 2 here.