Sports Reach Men’s Softball Mission Trip Recap

Faith and Athletics+Featured+News & Events+Trip Updates // March 5, 2020 //

When we set up this mission trip, other than it being a little shorter than usual, there was nothing that made us think it would be an unusual one. But it really was!

We had originally planned to have sixteen guys drive through the night from the Kentucky & Tennessee area.

They planned to drive straight through the night and arrive to play ball all day at the Charlotte Correctional Facility in Port Charlotte, Florida.

Due to a wide variety of unavoidable issues, when 7 a.m. rolled around, and it was time to head into the prison, we only had eight men. But, they would not be deterred. The Lord had a purpose for them to be there, so in they went.

While at Charlotte CI, the guys went 3-1 on the field and shared the Gospel with thirty-five men.

As the guys were wrapping up their time there, we had a special treat at Everglades Correctional. A friend of mine, David Garrard, from Kentucky, was putting on a magic show for the men. He is a retired Minister of Children and is now a professional magician. He is a well-known figure around the country and has even made an appearance on the CW Network appearing in the “Penn and Teller Fool Us Show.”

There were over two-hundred men piled into the chapel for this event, as David shared some wonderful illusions and a powerful Gospel message.

Sunday morning, the softball guys did a great job and went 6-1 on the field. They were able to share the Gospel with 175 men with twenty having spiritual concerns.

Monday morning, we were able to play softball while David Hammond was also playing tennis with several inmates. The softball team went 6-1 and shared the Gospel with three-hundred men, and sixty-two of them had spiritual concerns.

Tuesday was supposed to be our final day there. We drove to Okechobee Correctional, and after the long drive there, we were told that we were, unfortunately, getting canceled. While there were some other issues going on as well, the big reason we were being called off was because of the crane. Yes, this is the bird we’re talking about. The bird had laid three eggs in the grass just past the infield, which is a big deal because the crane is on the endangered species list. They needed to bring in people, especially for moving the eggs. That was crazy!

A lot happened that weekend. Between softball, tennis, and the magic show we were able to share the Gospel with at least 680 people; the team went 15-3, and we had 90 men indicate spiritual concerns.

All 90 of those men will go onto our follow list. Michael “Billy Ray” Haney has a group of ladies at his church that volunteer to follow up with each of these men as well as making sure they receive a newsletter each month.

Lastly, I want to give a special thanks to B. J. Mitchell and Bulky Ray for helping take care of this trip. God’s glory!

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