“Play Ball!” echoed through the trees as orphans gathered on the dirt diamond for their first real baseball game with uniforms and everything. An umpire even stood behind the plate.
A small group from Mercy Projects Ukraine together with the Salvation Army traveled to the orphanage at Vovchkiv called Snowdrop to do a “baseball camp” there during the kids vacation. The theme of the camp was “Complete Game” which addressed both the game of baseball and the love of God in the game of life.
23 children live at the orphanage and they all call director Nelya their “mama.” The 20 boys certainly loved the game of baseball. They learned how to hit, throw, run the bases, keep score, and how to be polite to the umpire! Each day started with exercise, Bible lessons, and a testimony from an athlete “on the team.” Of course everyone looked forward to the two-a -day training sessions out on the field. The evening films about baseball were pretty fun as well!
A young man named Vadim simply didn’t understand, WHY he should stand and wait for the ball. That’s no fun, he thought. So while standing and waiting he began to sing and dance. But when his team started losing , Vadim became serious and started playing. Vadim eventually and proudly became one of the best.
Vadim has two brothers and they have been at the Snowdrop orphanage now for two years. Their parents were “drinkers” and basically abandoned the boys. They roamed the streets looking for food and were brought to Snowdrop. Their mother died a year ago and now the oldest brother Vadim must watch out for his younger brothers.
A highlight of our baseball camp was when the boys could hit a home run and run around the bases very fast. Everyone is looking forward to Spring Training!