Dominican Republic Blod- Day 2- Joe Sibeto, Catcher Slippery Rock University

July 6, 2019

I feel the past two days down here in the Dominican Republic have been unbelievable. Yesterday we went to a sugar cane village in El Peñon. This experience has really changed my perspective on life. We said prayers for people with illnesses as well as spread the word of the Bible to everyone there. We played with many kids and also told them that Jesus was there for them and how he loved us so much that he died on the cross for all of us. They listened very well and I feel like they took something from it. Everyone there seemed so dedicated to their passion whether it was the church or playing ball. It’s really sad to see people that have so little but they are so happy because they cherish each other and the little that they do have. There was a coach that had suffered from a stroke and was still hitting baseballs off the tee with the arm that was not affected from his illness. That type of dedication to something is so hard to find. I felt I learned a lot more about appreciation and gratitude down here so far, and I was sent down here to help them out. It was so eye opening for me.

Today, we played against a Domincan team, and they had fun as well as our whole team. It was really good to play them and we spread the good word to all of them as well. Christ calls us to be his apostles and spread his word to everyone. We had played a great game and everyone was listening to what we had to say as well. Just when I thought that wonderful experience was over multiple people from the Dominican came up to me and we exchanged numbers, and they wanted to take a picture with me. It really felt good that they wanted to do that with me. They said to me that you are an amazing catcher and one of the best they have seen. Those guys saying that really made me feel good inside. I still am shocked that they said that to me and kept thanking me for playing with them. I told them that it was my pleasure, and I feel that this experience has changed me so much so far. It is amazing how you can impact and influence people even when you don’t feel you are. The fields they play on everyday would not even get played on in the US. It is amazing how they don’t even worry about that and get more excited to play ball than a lot of people I know. It truly shows that in life; the most important thing is to cherish the things you have and the people you have. Sometimes we don’t feel like doing things and that is a shame because we have everything. Especially compared to the people down here. I learned so much and can’t wait to get back to helping people as well as them teaching me valuable life lessons tomorrow.

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