I had to score! My bat cracked, the ball soared over the center fielder’s head. We were playing a hybrid version of baseball. I was the last batter, our team would go to the field whether I was safe on base, tagged out, or scored, so, I was going to score! As my fleet feet rounded third, the ball bounced in from center, and Cindy, the catcher stood in my path, waiting for what she assumed would be an easy tag out at home. At the last instant, I dived. Headfirst, I slid safely across home plate. I rose to the cheers of our Russian campers. “Now that, boys, is how you play baseball!”
“Love of Christ” church holds a Christian sports camp for youths every summer. This year it was called “iCamp”. Yes, it was a shout out to everything “i” these days. Every year we teach baseball, football, ultimate Frisbee, and several other sports. This year we also had boxing, taekwondo, and rock climbing and repelling. We kept very busy! When we weren’t playing sports, we were escaping the sun under cold Baikal waters. Morning and evening we gather to praise God, hear testimonies, watch dramas and learn about who Jesus is, why he came to live among us, and his mind bending love and sacrifice for us. This year ten young men and women asked him into their hearts!
I was this year’s emcee, and let me tell you, speaking Russian after a full day of sports and a beat-down by the sun made for some funny language mistakes. We all came back three shades darker, God was praised, and new eternities founded.