Play Ball! Clayton Kershaw and Eric Chavez

The baseball season is a week old, and my beloved Red Sox are not getting any numbers put up in the right column yet.  0-6 start is not what I had in mind.  Aren’t we glad that our favorite team’s success is not the be-all and end-all of our lives.  There are more important things.  It just doesn’t always seem like it.

In any case, here is part two of my series on Major league baseball players and some of the cool things that God is leading them to do.

We continue our trek through the Western divisions of both leagues.  This time, with stops in Los Angeles and Oakland.

I came across a story of LA Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.  He was their opening day starter  this year – the ace of their staff, and has been making a name for himself over the 2+ years that he has been pitching in the majors.  He recently got married and he and his wife are actively supporting an orphanage in Zambia through an organization called “Arise Africa”.  For more on his story, Click here or on his photo to the left.  He spent some time in Zambia at the orphanage that he is supporting, and has vowed to donate $100 / strikeout this year to help them out.

I will also link to arise africa’s blog and Kershaw’s Challenge so you can see for yourself the goals that they have set and the needs that are out there.  I for one will be cheering for lots of strikeouts for Clayton Kershaw.

And speaking of having an impact on the world around us.  I want to draw your attention a little to the north of LA, to the Oakland area.
 I spent 2 years teaching Children’s ministry workshops around the US, and one of the churches we did a workshop both times was Abundant Life Fellowship in Roseville CA.  From this church came an outreach idea that is impacting the lives of young people in many places around the country.  It is an organization called Lord’s Gym.  They started when (from their website)

The Dream began twelve years ago in the heart of Doug Bird, Senior Pastor of  Abundant Life Fellowship in Roseville. When he drove through the city, he didn’t see a place, a safe haven, a youth center where young people could go and hang out. He did not see a place where young people could go and be inspired to live their dreams and achieve their goals.

So the dream was set in motion and a first youth center was opened.

They now have 15 locations around the country, offering youth a place to come, work out, and encounter Christ.

The Oakland A’s have joined in this outreach, promoting it, supporting it and seeing the important place it has in the area.  You can check out some of the promotional videos, etc by clicking here.

One of the faces on the videos, Eric Chavez, is no longer with the team.  He signed on to play with the New York Yankees, but he also is taking an active part in influencing the youth of America through baseball by providing equipment and opportunities to play.  Check out his website here to see what he is all about.

As a Red Sox fan, It is hard for me to cheer for any yankee.  But I think he has a great thing going on here and I support it by letting you know about it too!