"Hungarian National Baseball"
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
The last few days have been some of the most challenging days while in the mission field.
Remember last week when I was talking about expectations? Yea, well I believe I set myself up again to realize that God is the only one that needs to set expectations. He continues to blow me away.
When things look bad, he has a purpose, and there is always something that comes out of it. He will use the situation for the better.
Saturday, while traveling in a van across three countries, I was expecting to be working with the 15U Hungarian National Team.
Using the words of the great Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend."
We ended up working with the 21U Hungarian National Team that is divided basically into two teams—a 19U division and 21U division. The camp would only be two days long.
Most of the young men that play are busy working right now and cannot come to the practices. That, in itself, has been a challenge.
But, with this obstacle, it has opened some amazing doors: working one-on-one with some players—going to an orphanage on Thursday (today) to share the game of baseball with them—and going to a different part of the county to work with a local club team, helping its youth and adult teams on Friday and Saturday.
I have been the head coach for the two-day camp. The federation has not selected the national coaches, so the local coach, myself and three others have been working with the team.
Sunday we broke down the team into individual defense, where all the players worked on outfield and infield. We were able to get a lot of reps in and work on some basic fundamental fielding in the outfield and infield.
The best things about being a part of the national team camps is the character building sessions. During this time, we involve lessons from the Bible, personal testimonies and faith in sports.
We spoke to them about the importance of setting goals and how there are short term goals and long term goals. I spoke to them about a theme that Campbell County baseball ran with this year: "Be Better."
Everyday, you have a chance to be better than you were the day before. As athletes, there is always room for improvement in our game. Also, in our own lives we have a chance to be better each day.
We mess up daily, but we have a loving God that forgives us. We may mess up, but you learn from it and move on. In the same way, you have to "be better" with our own walk with Christ.
Monday, during the morning session, we worked on pitching and hitting. I have the privilege to be coaching one of the top pitchers in the country. This young man is one of the most eager players I have ever seen to want to learn and to want to be better. His goal is to be the top pitcher in the nation. As a coach, that is something you look for—someone who is willing to learn, someone who pushes others to be better and who is coachable.
During the evening, we showed them some things that they can use to make better players, physical and mentally. So, that means we had them put on their "running shoes," as a coaching friend would say.
We took them through an intense crossfit and ab work out. One thing that I have told these guys is the things we teach, you can pass on to other players. With them being older players in the country, the younger ones look up to them.
They are role models. One day, these young men will be coaches. To make baseball better in this country, they need to teach them the basics we have shown them this week. That is one of the most important things out of this two-day camp—just teaching them some skills that they can pass on to other players.
I can not help but think back to 1st Petter 4:10: "Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."
Just like what we are asking of the players when we tell them to share with others the things we have taught them, God is asking of us. He is asking to use the gifts that he is giving us to share with others. These things are to better the Kingdom of God. We are called to share what we know with others.
So this week, share your faith with someone. Go outside of your comfort zone and just love on someone and share the love of God with them.
Also, when it comes to expectations, let God have control. Let him know and use the expectations.
Next week, I will finish my journey with you.