Day 11 - Split Up and Share in Two Cities
Have to apologize for only being able to write about what is going here in Split, since I have half the group here with me and Sis has the other half with her in Sisak doing more community service outreach. I will try and get an update from Sis or Joe each day as well to keep you informed of what is going on there as well.
Day 1 - Split
Day one of the baseball camp could not have gone any better than it did! God blessed us with this wonderful opportunity to reach out to this baseball club through meeting the baseball coach last year, when I came to their field and watched them practice. I brought several pieces of equipment for the coach and team and their eyes got as big as earth when I opened the bags and gave them their gifts. From batting T's, bats, gloves, catchers gear to a pitching machine! They were so thankful and it was a big blessing to provide it for them. The campers were very attentive and worked hard on all the drills I taught them for throwing, running and fielding! They got very tired toward the end but were able to keep up and learn the drills. Having Marion as their full time coach is a huge help in organizing and keeping the players focused. I am praying God will provide that same type of coaching situation in Sisak! That has been a dream of mine and would be an answer to prayer! After practice the coach and players thanked us and were very excited for the next 3 days. I had the chance to share a little about my faith and why we are there and excited to plant more seeds for Kingdom.
Once practice was over our HiS PRINT team went and ate a sandwich and walked around the Riveria for awhile! It was so hot in the sun we didn't last too long and headed back to rest up for the evening football camp. In the last two years we have not seen a lot of participants at the American football camp and we were not sure how many we would have this year. In year one we had over 50, but then the following years only had less than 20. Well we were so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the camp and had over 50 players from 4 different teams and from Serbia as well as Croatia! Watching each of them pull for one another and pick each other up and teach was a real blessing to witness! Coach Mike Norman lead the charge as he does every year and his son Zach and Brandon put together stations that incorporated using the player/coaches from the team here in Split, the Sea Wolves. The players really worked hard and seem to learn a lot and were excited to come back today. The players from the team in Dubrovnik were not able to come back today so ask Coach Norman to stay extra and work with them and he graciously did. When they finished, the lead player Marco came up to us to apologize that they would not be able to make it today and would try their hardest to make it back on Wednesday. They had to get back to work. The 15 players from Serbia all spent the night in tents on the field so they could be here! Their coach Srjdan and I have been facebook friends for over a year and he finally was able to work it out and bring some of his players here! We are trying to make this an annual affair and he is dedicated to making it happen.
Before camp I was able to explain who we are and why we were there and that although we loved football and were happy to be here to teach it, it was our love for Jesus Christ that brought us these 6,000 miles to share His love with them. It was also God's love through connections, that had provided the football equipment brought for them and to be used by them!
Day 11 - In Sisak
Monday was awesome. Sis, Maja, Erin and Robert went shopping for the food bank and bought food for 25 families. It was an amazing blessing and we could see God at work. When we got back to the food bank to deliver what we had bought, they gave us a tour. We quickly realized that food IS the greatest need. They regularly receive clothing donations but the food shelves were almost bare. The food will be packaged this week and the team will have the opportunity to deliver it on Friday morning. God opened an amazing door and we used our yes faces to walk through it. We have been invited to go back to their organization Friday after the blind association to do crafts with them.
The nursing home was also a great blessing. We only stayed an hour and a half because it was just too hot for them to stay out longer. We took turns reading bible verses in Croatian. They got a good laugh at hearing us try. We did crafts together and really had a blessed time of fellowship. Sis had the opportunity to go in to see some of the ladies that couldn't get out of bed and pray with them. A great time was had by all! After the nursing home, we took a much needed swim in the Kupa and took a few minutes to play games and relax in the cold water!
The team had dinner at Neven and Maja's house last night and as usual the food was out of this world! It was a fun time of sitting around the table and just talking, eating and laughing!