Diamonds in the Rough – October 2018

Current Weather: Hot with 100% chance of mosquitoes

Hello from Fondo Negro! I’m in-country for the next month, really diving deep into what’s going on with the program, how to improve it, make it run smoother but also to love on the kids and keep deepening those relationships.

The mosquito problem is the worst I’ve seen it, even the locals are complaining. It doesn’t stop them from playing ball however; it just adds an arm workout in waving them all away once the sun goes down. Last night there was a full moon and as it rose over the field with the very green landscape from the rain it was breathtaking. I wish you all could see it in person.

I continue to be impressed by the resourcefulness of the people here. The coaches wanted the kids to do a drill with their hands on the wall in right field but it had been baking in the sun all day and was too hot. Easy solutions are found where there is full foliage around. Just use some branches as a buffer. Success!

I’ve been here for two days and the kids were very excited when I showed up. Those who remember my name were proud to yell it out and the names that I could remember in return elicited huge grins.

Work on the process for getting grant funding for the water project is well underway, with a meeting of the local rotary club, myself, a pastor in a nearby community who runs a similar system and the company that does the install scheduled for tomorrow morning. Friday will find me shopping with our cook for food for the kids for the weekend. Mentorship with our pastor and the confidence he is slowly building in working with the kids and our coaches  is in process as well. Slowly but surely systems are put in place, habits are formed and people come to trust we will do what we say we will do. Nothing goes fast here and that includes creating trust. I don’t think people actually believe I will be here as long as I say I will nor do they believe we will come back, and yet we do.

Prayers for successful endeavors and traveling mercies for myself and the two teams who will be joining me throughout my time here would be appreciated. Also, pray away those mosquitoes! Please and Thank you!

Depending on how my time goes I might be sending out an additional newsletter in the next month so keep an eye out just in case. And please, feel free to let me know if there is something specific you would like video or pictures of. I’m happy to do what I can.

Off to the field. With Strength and Courage (Fuerte y Valiente)!!

I’d like to support these kids!

The boys love Coach Chico. They swarm him as much as the mosquitoes and it’s easy to see why. He shows his love in return even when he pretends to be ultra serious. Not long after this picture was taken he and Coach Robert put two of the boys in an anthill. The laughter could be heard a long way off. Work hard, play hard, give love.

Do you want to meet these people yourself? Click here to find out how you can travel with J1Nine to Fondo Negro.