Poland Baseball Camp - Incredible!

Hello Folks,

July 13 – Sunday in Poland

What a terrific day of worship, eating and baseball. This day started with a tremendous time of devotions and prayer time with the coaching staff. Another wonderful breakfast was sat before us and we walked away from the table filled to the brim. Afterward, Coach offered anyone who wanted to go to church that morning that we would walk to the chapel that was here in the local community. The whole coaching staff went with about 7 campers while the rest of them stayed back at the school. The walk was a short 15 minutes in the crisp morning air. By the way, since we have arrived in Poland the temperature is fighting to get above 80 degrees, with no humidity. The chapel was full and we sat in the overflow area in the hallway. After church the priest asked the children where they were from and then asked us how we enjoyed Poland! Walking back we spent the time just talking about how thankful we were to be here and to share the love of Christ. Getting back to the school the others were ready to go play some ball. We had a camp session of about two hours and had a great time and saw some great improvements. They are so open and respectful and willing to work at what you ask them to do.

After camp session we had some down time and spent some more time just hanging out with the children and learning some Polish words. We are teaching them English and they are teaching us words in Polish. I thought Croatian was hard, but Polish may have them beat. This old mind can't seem to remember the words and the mouth can't seem to enunciate the proper, s, c and t sounds. In the afternoon we had some of the parents come to the school and help us transport them to their village where their field is and Coach invited the parents to come and watch their children play in some games and then we invited them to participate in a game against their children. When we got to the field there were already about 40 people waiting on us and by the start of the game we had over 60 people. Coach Robert said that was the second biggest crowd he had ever had for any event at the field. The parents were so appreciative and with smiles and laughter filling the air, we had a great time. I asked Coach if I could speak with them for a moment. I just wanted to thank them for allowing us to spend time with their Children. I explained who HiS PRINT was and how coach Robert and I met and how we ended up here. After I finished one of the parents asked from the stands whether we were going to come back next year, that they wanted to make sure we knew they wanted us to return!

We played two games with the campers, first with the t-ball age players and then with the older players we played some softball. They had a great time playing against us and to hear the laughter and see the smiles in the crowd was priceless. After we played 3 innings with each we asked if any of the parents would like to play against their children and we had over 10 moms and dads come out and play. They had an absolute ball competing and playing the game their children have come to love and was so foreign to them. Pictures only capture a small portion of the excitement and video gives you a glimpse or the joy, but to truly gather in the impact, you would have to come back with us next year! As God continues to open more and more opportunities to share the gospel across the Balkans and Eastern Europe, HiS PRINT will need more and more coaches, parents and others willing to come and be used by the Holy Spirit to touch precious lives. The experience is incredible and the love you will feel and the blessings you will receive will be forever with you.

As we finished up the game we brought up the entire crowd and had a terrific round of applause for all those who participated and the opportunity to shake many of their hands and to greet them personally was a very special moment for both us and them. We finished up and then headed back to the school for a light dinner and then had another practice with the pitchers and catchers. Mario took the pitchers and I took the catchers and for an hour we worked on position specific drills. Great time of work and the dedication and desire to improve in all the players is uplifting. The difference you see between here and Croatia is that here in Poland, Coach Robert is active in their lives as well as on the field and they respect him and listen as well as follow his instruction. In Croatia, the players don't have that consistent leadership on the field that can look up to and follow with respect. They respect Coach Daniel as a man and leader, but since he does not coach on the field they don't have that leadership on the field. We are praying for that coach to rise to the top, whether it be a former Stork from Croatia or a player from the states. If we get that we will see a tremendous change in the team and direction it is headed. Coach Robert has been a terrific host and look forward to working with him in the future!

Thanks again for your support and please keep us and our team that is in Serbia as we are looking for ways God can use us to be His hands and feet! We have two more days of camp and then we head back to Croatia to do some follow up and pack to head back to the states on Friday! Have a wonderful God filled day!

Your Friend