When Stewards of the Game and Grace Covenant Church planned a baseball clinic for teens this month in Nicaragua, Mike and Teresa Sharp of Stewards prayed for God to provide two Major League Baseball players, one to share his testimony in person and one to autograph merchandise.
Through Teresa’s friends at Operation Mobilization-Sports Link and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, God provided Amaury Telemaco, a retired player from the Dominican Republic who pitched up to 95 miles per hour for the Cubs, Phillies and Diamondbacks.
Spanish-speaking Telemaco not only agreed to share his testimony at the big outreach event at the end of the week, but he also volunteered to teach one day at the clinic.
Then God provided Dennis Martinez.
Retired now and coaching for the Houston Astros, Martinez was the first and most famous Nicaraguan to have played in the major leagues. He also grew up 40 minutes from where the baseball clinic was held. Martinez agreed to sign 50 of his baseball cards, which were handed out as door prizes before the outreach event.
God also stopped the rain.
On the day of the big outreach event, held at the Matagalpa stadium, it poured down rain. After delaying the event for an hour, the team decided to proceed with the welcome speaker and live music, using umbrellas and wireless mics. When the time came for Telemaco to speak, the rain stopped.
A television crew, which no one had contacted, got there five minutes beforehand, filmed Telemaco’s entire message and aired it that evening.
When Telemaco finished, the rain resumed and the television crew left.
“The stadium wasn’t full (because of the rain), but we ended up reaching the whole city,” said Pastor Michelle Hoverson of Grace Covenant.
During the week of baseball clinics, Bible devotions and the outreach event, 64 people prayed to become Christians.
“What I learned,” Mike Sharp said, “is that God’s plans are always bigger and better than our plans.”