Dear Friends and Family
After a rough start getting here we arrived late Saturday and have had a great day with the kids and adults at the Haven. Leading up to the trip two of our team members had to drop out , one because his boss would not let him off from work and the other due to sickness. So there are 4 of us who are happy to be here. While we miss the two who could not come; We believe this is the team God wanted here.
Last night we gave out shirts, had dinner and then went for Ice Cream with the kids. It was a blast riding in the car. The kids miss my wife (Gram ) but are thrilled to have us (Kate, Rebecca, Clyde and myself) here for the week.
This morning after a pancake breakfast we watched and Andy Stanley video about our natural birth into sin and the difficulty we have living the life that God calls us to live. But in Christ, living through him we can live as God wants .
After church we divided the kids into teams and began the PTR Olympics. Each team gets points for winning competitions and for memorizing verses. Each day one of our team members will share with the kids. Today was my turn and I shared about the joy we can have, described in Philippians, regardless of Circumstances.
After team time we will have more games with the kids before dinner.
Blessing to all of you in the States and thanks for your partnership
Today we had a 6:30am breakfast so we could arrive at the prison for our scheduled time. When we got there, we had to wait more than an hour for them to clear us because of a bus change. On a positive note, it gave us more time to talk and pray. After being screened, scanned, patted down, and a bit of a walk, we were finally inside. We had two 45 minute sessions with about 40 men in each group. We started off with Craig giving a short talk about why we were there. Some of the guys gave nods of affirmation when he talked about Jesus. Brandon and Ferrel gave a testimony, one for each group. They both gave examples from their own lives about how God gave them hope through Jesus Christ when they were at low points, and also what disc golf means to them. It was obvious that all the talks were Spirit-led. When we introduced disc golf to the inmates, it was super-exciting to see how much they loved it. We heard very positive comments and were told that the men felt loved that we would take the time to come there.
When we arrived at Parque La Libertad after lunch, our team working there had installed the rest of the baskets and we just needed to add the tee signs that were made from old patio stones that Jim had found and asked permission to use. No time was wasted as everyone grabbed their discs and ran to try out the course for the first time.
From there, we went back to the sports complex where we were for yesterday’s clinic. A different group of people came to learn how to play! We were also able to scope out a piece of the property suitable for several baskets, which was one of the sports director’s request. He is excited about what Eagles Wings is doing and a potential partnership to serve families in San Jose. We ended the day with a late supper, team time, and making plans for the tournament tomorrow!
The morning started out pretty much the same as Monday, with some of the team at the park and some at the school. At the school, we had 3rd and 5th graders. Again, the kids were eager to learn about disc golf. We also had one of our team give a short talk on determination. After our time at the school, we headed over to the park only to find out that permission had not yet been granted so we waited…and prayed. In the meantime, basket-making was well underway. When the hole placement was finally approved, the guys headed out with shovels, hole diggers, and pick axes… only to find out the ground was too hard to go deeper than 10 inches in most places and they actually hit concrete or gravel because the site is a former concrete “factory.” So the guys quickly came up with Plan B and made some adjustments to the bottom of the basket posts so they would still be stable in shallower holes. We had to leave before completing the project because we had a clinic scheduled at another park. Upon our arrival there, at a sports complex, Jim was approached by the sports director who told him of their desire to put in baskets/courses at other parks around the city. The clinic we held in the park was attended by the pastor’s family and a few people from other mission agencies. They were all very enthusiastic and we had a great time. We were all exhausted and hungry after a long day and went back to AMCA for a late supper, team time, and bed. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the week holds!
Today was our first work day! We all went to an elementary school after breakfast, and then some of the team went to Parque La Libertad to lay out the course and get final permission. After arriving at the park, they found out that the people in charge had Monday off, so they went ahead with course design and prayed it would be approved. At the school, we introduced disc golf to 2nd and 3rd graders and did some other games with them, as well as a short lesson on obedience. We had almost 90 minutes with each grade and it was a challenge to keep them busy for that long. They seemed to enjoy learning a new sport, with a few of them showing exceptional ability. After lunch at AMCA, we headed over to the park to wait for the lumber. Two hours and several phone calls later it finally was (mostly) delivered. The guys went right to work on the baskets and made good progress. We headed back to AMCA for supper and team time, and we were ready to call it another day.