A Saturday DR trip update:
Hello everybody this is Jacob Plite, Senior at Cornerstone University. It is currently 10:30 pm on Saturday August 10, 2013. Today was another amazing and eventful day. We started off waking up at 9:00 am. Kyle, our mission leader gave us an extra hour to sleep in since we didn’t have construction work today. It was a blessing to say the least. Our breakfast was excellent, as usual. We had scrambled eggs with bacon and fruit. The cooks here are incredible. After breakfast we got dressed and walked to the local basketball court where they host youth tournaments. The ages of the teams were 13-14 years. Pedro and Ray, two of our mission counselors coached either team.
At halftime of the basketball game we all had the privilege of listening to Edgar Sosa speak to the local kids. Edgar was on the national team that we played two days prior. He was born in Santo Domingo and played collegiate basketball at the University of Louisville. He currently plays professionally in Italy. Edgar spoke to the community in Spanish so we weren’t able to understand what he was saying, but I could tell that his message was genuine. After his speech he signed autographs and took many pictures. I was happy that I was able to get a photo with him. He is a fantastic basketball player but more importantly, he is an extremely down to earth and compassionate guy. I wish him all the best in his future with basketball.
After the game was over we walked back to the mission center to take a quick nap before lunch. We had fried chicken and rice. This chicken put any Buffalo Wild Wings to shame, no lie. After lunch we got ready to go paint another local basketball court just a few miles away. However on the way it started raining heavily which made the court much too wet to paint. Instead we listened to Pastor Nico’s testimony. It was very moving as expected. One thing that has really stood out to me while on this journey is how passionate everyone is for Christ. Pastor Nico has sacrificed much of his life for the kids in this community. He has given them the opportunity to learn about and grow love for our glorious God. I have utmost respect for that man and everything he has accomplished so far.
Once we arrived back to the missionary we had more time to kill since we weren’t able to paint the court. Some of us took naps and the others played cards in the dorm. I was the designated DJ so I played music while playing cribbage on my phone. After about an hour it was time for dinner. On the menu was some delicious pork, fried eggs, and some sort of mashed potatoes that I had never had before, but were quite good. After the meal we listened to Pedro’s testimony. Pedro was a professional basketball player back in the 80’s and still holds two records to this day. One is the most single game steals, 18. And the other is most points scored by a rookie in his first professional game, 28. Pedro is now in his 50’s and still has such a passion for the game. Pedro is the 8th child of 18 children. He spoke of his family and how he has over 100 nieces and nephews back in the states. He wanted us to remember that we always have a home in the Dominical Republic now. Just because we speak different languages, doesn’t mean that we’re not family. He told us that we all have a special place in his heart after this week. Pedro is an incredible man that I will never forget. I wish all of you readers could have the opportunity to meet him.
After Pedro’s testimony we had an hour break before our game against the local club team. We played on the same court that Edgar Sosa spoke at for the 13-14 year olds. It was quite an experience because the court is outdoors and we played at night under the lights. It’s very hard for me because I am still unable to compete due to my injury. Traveling all this way and not being able to play against the Dominicans is tough to swallow. I am currently six months out of surgery and have two more to go. My coaches are being very patient with me. Too patient in my opinion! But I understand their reasoning. My brothers played a very scrappy game and came out with the win.
After the game we walked back to the missionary for some Dominos Pizza. As you all know, it was fantastic. The Dominicans really enjoy their corn pizza. It was a first for me and definitely won’t be the last. I highly recommend everyone trying it. And that brings us to right now. I just got done eating and am currently in Kyle’s house on his laptop typing this blog. I hope you are all enjoying reading about our life-changing journey. Can’t wait to see you all when we get back!!! Blessings.
Yours truly, Jacob Lee Plite J