Thoughts from a Southerner in Ohio
By Kevin Greene, Missionary-Athlete, North Georgia softball
After missing the trip to Colorado, I perked up when I received the invitation for experienced Saints to go and join a team from New Jersey on a different crusade. Without hesitation, I put my ‘yes’ on the table thinking surely 2-3 other Saints I knew would sign up! I was a bit surprised when a week or two out Frank asked if I was okay going on my own and playing with guys I’d never met! I said, “We are on the same mission, with the same heart to serve our Father by serving inmates, so let’s do it!”
Well the team received me as one of their own just like I thought. There are bumps along the way when different cultures and styles are involved, but the camaraderie was there right from the start. However, as always, Satan tried to plant seeds of doubt: “should I have come?”, “do these guys really need me here?”, “are these inmates connecting with me?”
On Day 1, I’m playing first base and coaching first as well, talking trash in love to the inmates in the stands and on the other team. A guy approached with a funny look on his face and he says, “You ain’t from Jersey, like the rest of these guys! Where are you from”? I said, “I’m from Georgia.” He replied “Where in Georgia?” When I told him I am from Austell, he was dumbfounded!
He said he was too: he went to the same middle school and high school I attended, and he lived less than three miles from where I was born and raised! He is a fellow believer and we talked for about an hour, encouraging each other in the process. He shared his poetry with me and said when he gets out he would like to keep in touch.
I don’t know if the team needed me in Ohio, but God obviously did! Two Georgia boys in Ohio! He’s a big, big God!