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Entries in sports (13)

Grand Slam Of Thankfulness

This week has confirmed we have much to be grateful for at One Child Matters.

We’re grateful for the unique partnerships God has given us with professional baseball players, their wives and families, and their agents – people who are both ambassadors for Christ and ambassadors for baseball.

We’re thankful the hearts of those like Kyle Gibson of the Minnesota Twins, and Justin Masterson of the Cleveland Indians, who give up part of their winter break to serve our kids and put on baseball clinics for those yearn to improve but have few opportunities to learn.

We praise God to see the parable of the talents lived out by Justin, Kyle, and countless others. Even Justin’s wife Meryl found a way to meet the needs of the kids at Mission Valiente – she gives the proceeds from her cookie business, Meryl Masterson’s Home Plate Cookies, to One Child Matters! And they are some seriously good cookies!

We are so encouraged by the way Justin defines the work he’s able to do in the Dominican Republic:

"My prayer for Mission Valiente Project 13 is, whether my name be near it at all, I couldn’t care less, but what I hope is that maybe somebody I went by or didn’t go by, that they would understand the love of Jesus Christ, and that the children would grow, and that in the end what started as biblical references as a mustard seed turns into something so much more incredible."

You can hear more of his heart and see the baseball project in use on this video!

One Child Matters - The Baseball Project from One Child Matters on Vimeo.


To learn more about The Baseball Project, click here. We are thankful for your partnership, too, for the way you help us meet the needs of children in Jesus' name.

Rooting For The Home Team

Spring Fever – the weather is nicer, we all want to be outside, and sports seem to be everywhere! Between the NCAA basketball tournament and the start of the regular baseball season, we are surrounded by competition and contests.

That also means we are surrounded by great letter-writing topics! You can use sports as a launching point for learning more about your sponsored child. Here are a few tips:

Ask about your sponsored child’s favorite sport and athlete. Then, search for news stories and photos online and print off a photo or a short article to send to your sponsored child.

For example, two weeks ago the Dominican Republic team won the World Baseball Classic Championship, and the entire country erupted with joy (a photo of the celebration is above). The Dominicans beat Puerto Rico in the final game, unseating repeat Classic champions Japan in the only global baseball tournament to include Major League Players.

“This means the world to us,” said Robinson Cano, second baseman for the New York Yankees who was also named the Most Valuable Player for the Classic. “You know how it is back home.”

Back home – where every boy dreams of becoming a professional baseball player and breaking the cycle of poverty (for him and his family) forever.

If you sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic, baseball is a very good place to start asking questions about who your child roots for or admires! All 30 major league baseball teams have at least one Dominican baseball player on their roster – in fact, 11% of all major league players came from the DR, the highest number of players from any country other than the United States.

The World Baseball Classic is current enough that you could find news stories and photos, or follow your child’s favorite players as the baseball season develops. For a list of Dominican baseball players in the major leagues, click here.

You can also use sports to encourage your child in school (check out tip #3 in this article) or find other unique ways to learn about your child’s favorite sport. We have several posts about the most popular sports in your child’s country, as well -- you may have never heard of some of these!

Sepak Takraw -- Philippines, Cambodia, India
Kabbadi -- Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, India
Cricket -- India, Bangladesh, Nepal
Futbol/Soccer -- Haiti, Honduras, the Philippines
Badminton -- India, Nepal, the Philippines,
Netball -- Swaziland, Kenya, Ethiopia, India

Ask good questions and you’ll learn a lot about your child, his country, and the passions that you may have in common!


Rallying To Change Children’s Lives

Inside-out, sideways, backwards, askew – when your team faces tremendous odds, a rally cap is a simple way to show you still believe. Any baseball fan knows that a team can come from behind to win in spectacular fashion.

We believe that’s true for children in poverty, too. Show your commitment, and a child can overcome overwhelming obstacles. Provide opportunities to learn, grow, and play, and you will see children transform.

One Child Matters serves almost 4,300 children in the Dominican Republic, a country where baseball is unquestionably the national sport and universal language. We are so blessed to have several partners in our ministry there who work alongside us as we change the lives of children.

The amazing thing is that they happen to be major league baseball players. Along with their wives, families, and friends, several current and former MLB players have helped us invest in our programs in a unique way: they helped us build a baseball field, and then have come back year after year to check on it, run baseball clinics, help Medical Mercy check on the kids, and share their testimonies and the light of Christ in their lives.

It’s been nothing short of incredible! God is so good.

We pulled together some fantastic footage of the players (including the Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Justin Masterson, Minnesota Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson, and baseball agent Randy Rowley) serving at the “Field of Dreams,” also known as “The Baseball Project,” also known as Mission Valiente Joshua 1:9 Child Development Center. The field was started thanks to a generous gift by Garret Anderson and his wife, Teresa. Garret retired last year after a stellar career with the Angels.

Click here to watch the video!

The name of the child development center references Joshua 1:9, where God commands us, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Thank you, sponsors and prayer warriors, donors and baseball players, family and friends for building a place where kids can discover that they have reason to be strong and courageous, because God is with them wherever they go!

Returning To The Field Of Dreams

As you read this, a group of major league baseball players are providing an incredible Christmas surprise to children in the Dominican Republic.

How did some professional ball players end up at one of our projects? It's something only God could come up with... a way to reach children through the love of sports, sparking an interest in the hearts of a group of stellar athletes who could win an audience in this baseball-crazy country.

But they won more than audience -- they won the hearts of the community. Two years ago, a group of major league players helped dedicate the “Field of Dreams” in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to a baseball field, the community was provided with a two story building which houses classrooms that will include a computer lab and library in the near future.  A basketball/volleyball court and an open meeting area also provide learning opportunities for the 200+ children in the project, and acts as a central location for activities and summer camps for children of 8 other projects within close driving distance. 

Justin Masterson of the Cleveland Indians; Kyle Gibson, newly signed to the Minnesota Twins; Aaron Myette, former MLB Pitcher; and Randy Rowley, an MLB Player Agent helped dedicate the facilities and spent time with the kids. You can see a video of that ceremony below.

But today, Justin, Kyle, and Randy are back in the DR to take 80 children to a baseball game for the first time, as well as conduct mini-camps for the kids. And their wives will be engaged with the children in craft activities, including making all of the decorations for a Christmas tree. A free community dinner is being held so the players can share their testimonies. 

In the past two years, we've been amazed at how God has used this field and the programs it hosts to make an amazing impact on hundreds of children and the community of Moca. And the best part is it will only continue for years to come!

You can read more about the players and this trip on by clicking this link. Or watch the video below to see the Field of Dreams for yourself!

Dominican Republic - Baseball Field Dedication 2009 from One Child Matters on Vimeo.


Jack Be Nimble

Our sponsored children are creative beings, inventing games or tweaking rules of established sports to accomodate their resources. From simple to high-flying, these games sure look like fun!

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Tag, You're It!

Children love games – this is no secret. Often in letters from your sponsored child, you’ll hear that your child loves to play a particular game or sport. But what do those games look like?

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Nothin' But Net

Four quarters. A leather ball. A rectangular court with a hoop on each end. Think you know this game? It's sweeping the globe but it's not what you'd expect...

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What Are You Known For?

Before we transition into the unique games your sponsored children play, how can you use your own region's renown as a launching point? A Sponsor's Journal offers a few examples...

For The Love Of The Game

Two countries, one island, two very different sports.

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Watch The Birdy

Continuing our little series on the sports our sponsored children favor, we'll look into another game with funny rules and a mad following. Get ready, because the pace has picked up since you played in junior high!

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The Other World Cup

If you sponsor a child in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or India, don't miss this opportunity!

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Honduras In World Cup

Honduras is the only Mission of Mercy country to play in the 2010 World Cup. As our earlier post explained, soccer is vitally important in many of the nations where Mission of Mercy works. Honduras is no exception.

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Football/Futbol/Soccer: What's In A Name?

If you sponsor a child, especially a boy, odds are you’ve read that his favorite sport is football. Is that the same as soccer? Why do we call it soccer, anyway?

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