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.
Everyone woke up feeling much better than the night before, including a couple who were struggling a little with some health issues. Nattie walked us to the neighborhood bakery for a great breakfast before church. Our morning worship at CED was a moving experience for us all. We were blessed that they had an interpreter for us. The message was about Zechariah being led by the Spirit and not getting stuck in a routine or tradition.
After church we went to the mall for lunch where some of the people from church went too. After changing our money we did some shopping for souvenirs at a different location (market), then went to buy supplies for baskets. Some of us hung out at the shopping center and ate ice cream while waiting, and waiting some more. It took longer because the measurements for lumber are different than in the U.S and they didn’t have everything we needed so had to adjust. We went back to AMCA for supper, had team time with Craig leading devotions which was an intro to the 10 commandments, then testimonies from Bret and Brandon. After that we put a plan into place for the next day and headed to bed excited about getting to work!
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