When we first started coming to Fondo Negro in the spring of 2017, we knew we were encountering a different type of community. The team was as close as family already and the coaches were mentoring the athletes without any prompting or promoting from the outside. What we wanted to do was provide further support for what was already in place. We began encouraging the coaches to talk about what being a good person looked like. We talked to the kids about what being a good person looked like. We talked to the kids’ families about what bright futures might look like and what it was to have dreams that included baseball, yes, but also so much more.
What we hoped was that these conversations would grow roots. That the boys who were receiving the mentoring would turn into men who would have these conversations with their friends and family members and eventually we would work ourselves out of a job, sort of.
When you get a chance to meet Lorenzo (in the above picture in the red Arizona Diamondbacks gear) the first thing you’ll notice is his quiet mannerisms. He has a smile that starts and builds slowly as does his conversation. He is quiet, but he is heard loudly. Since we first met him when he was 15 years old, he has been a leader amongst his friends and the kids on the team. Now, at 21, he is finding success in the minor leagues and has no intention of stopping.
Recently, when he was home visiting his family during some vacation, he asked the coaches for a minute with the team. He stood in front of the 130 or so kids gathered and shared with them that they needed to do better in school. He implored them that he knew some of them were fighting and not working as hard as they could while they are there and then he brought it home by saying this will lead to failure if they ever sign a contract with a Major League team. He told them that just baseball is not enough. They have to do better in school. They have to learn to listen to their teachers AND they have to work hard at the field. He was open and vulnerable with them and he offered them no space for excuses.
This is what we have prayed and hoped for: young men to step forward and lead their community; to not be afraid to say “you are great; be better”.
What is happening in Fondo Negro is working. We want it to work better. We need 10 more monthly sponsors this year to allow us to increase the amount of food we provide an additional day each week. Can you cut out one coffee drink each week to help feed 130 kids in the DR? That’s all it would take.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE! TAKE AN IMPACT TRIP!
We are taking groups to spend a week with the kids in the DR! If this sounds like something you are interested in being part of let us know by clicking the link above, sending an email and we’ll get you more information!
As always, we are thankful for you, our supporters. We pray you are happy, healthy and know the peace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. He’s got all of us in his hand, here and abroad, and for that we are forever thankful. Thank you for your prayers and ongoing support!
With deepest gratitude from the guys.