In the middle of the country of Guatemala, is the state of Chimaltenango. In the middle of the state of Chimaltenango is the Colonia of Puerto Rico. In the middle of Puerto Rico is a Sandlot. It’s here where we set up our baseball clinic to engage the kids of Puerto Rico. NEXT Worldwide, a handful of members of The Village Church Flower Mound, and Pro Source Athletics baseball team, partnered with Fellowship Guatemala to plant the church Fellowship Chimaltenango Colonia Puerto Rico. We set up and worked a baseball clinic with the youth in the mornings, and during the afternoons we broke up into teams and visited the kid’s homes and bragged about the kids. We took every opportunity we could to pray with the family and share our faith and the gospel, all while pointing to the church God planted. We had many opportunities to share and God worked in us and through us as we glorified Him in making much of His name.
One particular event that I want to share with you today is the last play of the last game on our last day with the kids there. The game was practically over and it was just before we brought all the kids together for a prayer and to say our goodbyes. We decided to let Matthew Hunter “kill the ball”! Matthew was the Pro Source Athletics #1 hitter that season and our thought was to let him just unload on the ball so that these kids could see a real hit, a home run, the long ball travel. Plus for safety we were playing with a tennis ball. Most of these kids play soccer and we didn’t want anyone to get hit with a hard ball and if you weren’t aware that a tennis ball hit by a bat with a great hitter can really go FAR… really FAR. And so the ball was pitched underhanded to Matthew. I was like pitching a steak to a hungry dog. I recall, as the ball got closer to the plate Matthews eyes grew bigger and then he unloaded all he had on the ball and it sounded like, and looked like the ball came out of a cannon. The ball traveled up and up and you could barely see the ball as it headed out over center field. The faces on the kids were hilarious. Their eyes were bugged out, their, mouths wide open and we all slowly turned watching the ball leave for another country. As we tracked the ball coming back to earth about 600 feet away when all of the sudden Eber came into view. Eber is this little kid with an Aggie ball cap and an oversized blue jersey that was given to him the day before. He was kicking up a dust cloud as he was running all out towards the general area where one would guess the ball would touch down. Eber came to a screeching halt and held his arm up and glove open. I remember thinking wouldn’t that be a miracle if……… I still get chills sharing this, and I’ve shared it with many. The ball that traveled for what seems like miles came to rest smack down in the middle of Eber glove for a catch of a lifetime. Needless to say gloves and hats flew up in the air as we all screamed running towards the edge of the Sandlot where Eber stood with the ball in hand and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. We threw him on our shoulders and bounced him back to the home plate where all of us celebrated the great, the legend Eber and his catch from outer space. What a joy it was to experience that especially see other kids react to their new hometown hero.
You know, it wasn’t till days later during some quite time with the Lord that I came to realize the full picture of what God was sharing with me and probably many if not all there that day. You see Eber was prepared with all that he needed to make a play that day. He eagerly waited on the opportunity to act, but he was ready. In God’s perfect timing the opportunity came and in Eber’s obedience he took the first step and the next in the direction he knew to go. God showed up, and in His sovereignty work in and though Eber to make something happened that is still touching lives today.
I don’t know where you are with your walk with the Lord, relationship with your spouse, kids, friends or a neighbor, job, ministry, goals ECT. But I want you to know that I am praying for you. I pray that you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and in His timing, the opportunities to act are crystal clear. Like little Eber, take off running in that direction, with the knowledge that the results are up to Him and although He does not need us, He choses to work in us and through us to bring Glory to Himself and impact lives forever.
-Chago, NEXT Staff