Madison Baseball Trip, Dominican Republic
When I received the email confirming my trip to the Dominican I was ecstatic. This would be my third mission trip to the Dominican Republic and the promise of growing in my faith excited me greatly. As it turned out, my hopes came true even beyond what I could have hoped as Jesus taught me three important lessons I hope I’ll never forget.
Pitching in the final game, I was beginning to tire. After giving up a few runs the score was tied and I began to worry that the Americans were going to lose the baseball game. Pitching against their best hitter, I threw a fastball that was hammered to left-center field. Hit so far, I worried that the baseball would end up somewhere in Texas. But instead of being angry, God touched my heart and taught me something crucial, even for a college baseball player: that there is more to life than baseball. After the game Coach Madison shared his testimony and many believed in Christ as their savior. To be honest, I would be willing to give up ten homeruns for every boy who gave their life to Christ. I can only pray that the slugger was one of them, and that someday when we are playing baseball in Heaven I can throw him something else besides a fastball. Anyway, God did teach me something amazing: that baseball is simply a sport we can use to glorify and enjoy Him. I hope I’ll never forget it.
Additionally, God taught me that true happiness is found in living for Him. I had developed a bad routine, struggling with sin and searching for happiness and fulfillment outside of God’s will. But I thank God for the coaches He put on the missions trip this year. We had Bible studies every night and I was able to rub shoulders with Godly men that gave me a new motivation to devote my life to Christ and put to death sin in my life. Whatever it takes, I want to please Christ and find joy in Him. During my time in the Dominican, I was able to experience this joy firsthand by serving others and sharing the love of Christ. Whether I was in a village, on the baseball field, or jumping on the trampoline with kids at an orphanage, God gave me fulfillment and a purpose.
Finally, the mission trip motivated me to be a missionary wherever I go. I am determined to give my best efforts to tell others about Christ wherever I go, whether it is in my family or to the whole baseball team. As Coach Madison and Coach Zeller pointed out, sharing the gospel is an issue of eternity. This trip taught me that as a believer I have the duty and privilege to tell others about my Savior. I am praying for boldness and opportunities soon.
This trip was absolutely incredible. While I pray I was able to make a small difference in the Dominican Republic, I know that ultimately God taught me so much more than I could ever dream of. I cannot wait for my next mission trip and hope I can return with Score International next summer. Thank you again to everyone who supported me in this trip and my coaches and teammates who taught me so much.
God bless you all!