This was the last day of camp, and as we arrived to the baseball field, our kids were very anxious to get the day started. After our morning VBS, we had the largest group of kids come forward to accept Christ! How awesome is that?!!!
Our basketball coaches had been working very hard all week on talking to some of the older kids about accepting Christ. After some one on one translating, these four kids accepted Christ! A few tears were shed, but smiles were on all of our faces when we heard the news!
We got started on some fun baseball games right after that...Christian played catch with a boy.
Then while we were setting up some of the games, a few of our AIM volunteers found a few of the kids that had touched their hearts that week. They gave away shoes to the kids. This is one of my favorites! This is the little boy that caught my eye from day one as one of the sweetest little boys ever! They took his worn out sandals off, washed his feet, put on some socks for him, and helped him tie his shoes. All he said was , "Gracias," in one of the sweetest soft spoken voices! Talk about pull at the tears in your eyes!
Even as we got to playing the games that day, he kept looking down at his new shoes!
More new shoes!
Giving away some of our own shoes!
And the fun begins! We played the game where you spin around on the bat 10 times and try to run back to your line...it's very funny to watch as they run back!
Playing some more volleyball!
And then it was picture time! I finally got to see the joyous faces of the kids as we handed them their very own baseball cards! I can't even describe the joy that gave my heart! It was a blast to see their faces as they looked at each others pictures!
And then we all posed for a group shot of the Bella Vista site...This is everyone!
Then, as a celebration for the last day of camp, everyone from all seven sites loaded up into vans, trucks, and buses to go to Multioso, a sports arena where all 2500 kids could see us give away the sports equipment to their local teams! This is one of the buses that arrives. There must have been 50 kids on this one!
This is one side of the arena...the other sides were just as full too!
This is some of the equipment we gave away. Every team got two bags and they were so full of equipment that it took two of our guys to close the bags! We met and over exceeded their wish lists for their teams needs. We left a lot of it at the hotel for Jose Checo to sort out among the teams. Shoes, pants, shirts and a whole pile of other things are hard to give away since we weren't sure of the kids sizes. He'll be working on that this coming month.
There was lots of singing...
And playing games...
And more hot dogs! All the ladies from each site came together to prepare 2500 hot dogs for all the kids there!
These are all the Dominican coaches before we gave away the equipment.
Alfre gave Christian some of his baseball cards to take home.
And then they gave away the equipment and the press from the crowd as it ensued is an unforgettable moment! The coaches were so excited and to our culture may have seemed pushy to get their equipment for their teams. I was more than a little squeezed as I tried to get the photos of each coach accepting their two bags of equipment. I found myself frustrated and I kept saying in my head, "It's just baseball equipment!" "Back up!" My boss, Fred, leaned over to me to ask if I was okay, and I gave him a look of frustration and said, "Yes!" Somehow, we got through the chaos and I got the photos I needed. I squeezed out of the crowds and into the stands just so I could get some space to myself. I was a very stressful situation that I found hard to put up my "Mommy Tune Out" blockers on. I would later over hear a conversation between Fred and one of the other coaches there. He told Fred, "I'm sorry for the way it turned out at Multioso, but you have to understand that blessings like this do not come along very often. And when they do, we fight to keep them!" It certainly opened my eyes a little to the situation, and I felt a little better about being pressed on so tightly earlier!
That afternoon, I went snorkeling again, but the sun was going down, so the colors were not as pretty. Also, the camera I took with me for photos, erased the photos I took. So, no photos of that adventure to share...sorry!
That evening, Alfre came to the hotel and a bunch of us girls decided he needed his own email and Facebook account! It was very interesting trying to explain Facebook, but he finally figured it out. we all added him as friends and helped him sort through all the messaging and info aspects of the site. It was a fun evening!
Well, that is the end of the blog posts for the camp days. I still have two more days of vacation to post about, along with a whole post on all the plant life I encountered. My hubby is nicely asking me to get off the computer now, so I'll post the other day tomorrow! I hope you enjoyed hearing about the first part of the mission! It was a blast and I can't wait to tell you all about the other half! ...Stay tuned!