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Hundreds of kids poured out of their houses in Havana last June. At the clinics held by their visitors, many children as well as their parents came to Christ. What got their attention? Baseball.
Never in his lifetime did Cornerstone University Head Baseball Coach Dave Mitroff expect to bring the gospel to a foreign country through baseball. Now, however, he is preparing to lead a team to Cuba Dec. 12-20. He wants to reach even more people, and you can help.
Cornerstone University’s baseball team will make up the core of the team. The baseball program of this small university, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., was brought back to life just last year. Already, the team’s ambitions are reaching new heights.
They have partnered with Global Baseball, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build relationships on a global scale and share Jesus with lost people. The athletics of Cornerstone emphasize spiritual excellence. In light of this, they push for athletic excellence as well. That is why the baseball team has the ability to be a unique and effective mission team.
When visiting Cuba last June, Mitroff was shocked at how open the communist country was to the gospel.
“There’s a revival going on there,” he explains. “The Cuban government has actually accepted us, welcomed us in. We have religious visas to go in there. We have seen a tremendous openness of the people and also the government to bring baseball in, and then with a religious visa to be open to give the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
While there, the team will provide clinics for children in the morning, games in the afternoon, and house church gatherings in the evening. Mitroff says, “When we go there in December, we’ll be playing six to eight games in some of the largest venues in all of Havana.”
After the game, Cornerstone will be inviting their opponents to the house churches to hear about God. Each game has the potential of reaching thousands of people with the gospel. Those who are not participating in the game for the night will be out doing home visitations.
“In Cuba, baseball is considered god,” Dave Mitroff says. The hope is that baseball—something most of Cuba is clearly enthusiastic about—will provide a gateway to share the truth about God.
Along with the Cornerstone team, there will be ex-Major League Baseball players including the vice president of Global baseball, Brian Doyle, and Lee Guetterman, both former New York Yankee players. In all, there will be 56 members to the mission team.
Each athlete will be checking an extra suitcase on the plane. The second suitcase will contain medicine, vitamins and other supplies that will go to minister to the house churches and brothers and sisters in Cuba. This causes the price to increase significantly for the athletes, who have been raising money through friends and family. Though they also have had outside assistance for the trip, there is a significant way to go.
This unique opportunity has the ability to reach many unsaved people as well as minister to fellow Christians.
Please be in prayer for these athletes and their time in Cuba this December. Pray that God would provide the remaining funds to allow them to go. Pray for the safety of the team. Pray that the Holy Spirit would move them to boldness and that they would have a positive impact on Cuba.
This article originally appeared on mnnonline.org.