Bringing a positive message

The Seymour group had not hosted three sports camps at different locations ever before, so July 13 was a new experience for the group’s leaders and staff.

Also, buses were not available to get all the children and the weather caused one camp to close early.

Still, all three locations had good turnouts.

Its been quite interesting for me, taking van or bus rides to the sites in Navarette.

The city of nearly 50,000 residents seems to have one forecast — hot. And I’ve seen more stray chickens and dogs than I’ve seen in my previous 55 years.

I wonder why the dogs don’t seem interested in having a chicken dinner.

The group from Jackson County, 33 strong, had a few members sick due to the severe heat Tuesday.

The Dominican Republic currently is in it’s dry season so rain is cherished this time of the year.

However, rain is not as welcomed if you are trying to host a basketball and volleyball camp.

“These camps have been amazing,” Peyton Heyne said. “The kids are so willing to be taught. They are so excited to play because they don’t get to play every day. They don’t have basketballs. They don’t have volleyballs, nets or goals. When we provide these things, and we provide the teaching — they love it. We have to be good role-models. They look up to us.”

Donna Sullivan and Dan Weaver, who ran separate camps, were pleased with the attendance.

“When you add up the three sports camps, we had over 500,” Weaver said. ”We did Bible schools at three locations, so we had over 130 there. We had over 300 at a concert, plus if we add over 250 at the first camp, we had over 1,000, maybe 1,100 people.

“We were able to touch them with a positive message, or something that we’ve given out, or most importantly, with the good news of a God who loves them, forgives and wants to help them.”

Many of the kids have never played basketball or they only get the chance when we are here.

“The way we incorporate the kids into the sports camps is through the gospel,” said Noah Cobb of Brownstown.

Cobb has been to the Dominican Republic many times with the Seymour group, and he greatly enjoys each experience.

It’s been an amazing experience for me also, and I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

I believe the Dominican children will come out, and many have appeared sad knowing we’ve only got a few more days here to do sports camps.