January 2017 Update
It has been an interesting and eventful start of the year for us. Unfortunately we had to see the community of Nuevo Amanacer not be able to continue playing with us due to lack of coaches, but we are excited to welcome in a new community called Betel. An umpire who umped almost every Saturday last year approached us near the end of the year and asked about the possibility of bringing three teams from his community of Betel. He organized the kids and coaches and we are hopeful that this will be a lasting relationship. New Song does not have a church plant in the community, but there is a big Christian church in the center of the community whose ideologies tend to be very legalistic. We are excited to be able to use our sports ministry to teach on the encompassing grace we experience from God through His son Jesus. Candelaria and Santa Matilde once again have three teams each with the same coaches, which we hope will become the norm as we strive to gain continuity within our league. Cuitanca is playing with us again but only has two teams this year because they could not find a coach for the youngest age group. We are in the process of putting together another coaches pitch team from Candelaria as the day we found out Cuitanca would only have two teams a man from Candelaria came to see if he could form a coaches pitch team, it was perfect timing. So at the moment we only have 11 teams, but will have 12 soon!
Also this year, as we look to incorporate a more effective way to share the Gospel through this ministry, we are excited to have obtained children’s Sunday school curriculum in Spanish that we will use as devotions during the practices. Also, we will have weekly Bible memory verses and hope to have some sort of prize for those kids who do well with the memorization during the year. We are excited to see what God does as we hang onto the promise of Isaiah 55:11, “It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Having to get everything reorganized again to start up the new season was a challenge, but the biggest trial we faced during January was that all of our baseball uniforms were taken at the airport by customs. It has been a big ordeal so far that has already included 5 trips to Managua (2 ½ hours away), which always turns into a frustrating and long day. The government is requiring a lot of tedious papers and documents to be able to get the uniforms out of customs without having to pay a hefty tax. We have been in the process for about three weeks now and if all goes as planned we will be able to get them out in about two weeks. Please be praying for this situation that we will be able to get all the paperwork done and that nothing will happen to the uniforms while in storage. On the positive side, we hope that playing a couple of games without uniforms or as the Nicaraguan call it “gallo pinto style” (gallo pinto is a famous, if not most famous, food in Nicaragua. It Is white rice and black beans mixed together) will make the kids and coaches more appreciative of the uniforms when they finally do receive them. Thanks for the prayers and God bless!