Thursday, July 22, 2010

Throwing Aces At Charm City Church

For several years now, hubby and I have been devoted our Wednesday nights to MetroKidz, a Bible-based kids program at our church that reaches out to inner city kids. Last night might have been one of the coolest nights we have ever had! Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with these kids, but some nights are work. Not last night though, I don't think I had seen so many teachers smiling all at once. Why were we all so excited you ask? Orioles pitcher #13 Will Ohman and the Orioles mascot came to visit us!
Per the usual (lately anyways), Miss T and I arrived late. The kids were settled into the sanctuary already, music was playing, and The Bird was "warming" the kids up. Like a giddy little girl, I hurried to get Miss T out of her carseat so that we wouldn't miss our chance to wave at The Bird. I should mention that last year at a game The Bird "kissed" me on the top of my head, so we have sort of a thing going on. Anyways, I was happy to see that Miss T wasn't scared of The Bird and we got our chance to wave. (He blew kisses to Miss T later on!)
After a few more songs, my dear hubby got up to make the introductions for our guest speaker. You could see all over his face how excited he was! After quizzing the kids about pitching, ERAs, crowding the plate, and some other stats, Will Ohman took the stage. Had I met him in a grocery store, even wearing a jersey as he was last night, I wouldn't have thought for a second that he was a MLB player. He's a regular looking guy with a beautiful wife and two adorable kids, a boy and a girl, both 4.5 year old. He talks and holds himself like a regular guy. He certainly doesn't have that "I'm a celebrity" air that I was half-expecting! He told the kids about who he was and what he does for work and he gave them quite a few nuggets that I hope they were listening to and took to heart:
-We are all given talents by God in order to glorify him. His gift was being able to throw a ball with speed and accuracy. There are many kinds of gifts and each of us needs to find ours.
-In order to glorify God with our gifts, it takes A.C.E. Attitude, Concentration, Effort
-His favorite part of his job is also the most scary. He gets called to the mound to strike out the best hitter on the other team usually when there are guys on base. This high pressure scene is where he is able to best use his gifts for God's glory.
Will answered many, many questions for the kids (and some teachers) from "How many times have you played the Athletics?" to "Do you get nervous?". There were some really poignant questions too. When asked if it was difficult to be a Christian when he is in that type of surroundings, he said not really. When they have games on Sundays, they have someone come in to have a service, even if its only for 15 minutes or so. He said a lot of his teammates pray and are usually doing so during the national anthem.
After the questions died down and the kids were being dismmissed for dinner, Will and his wife handed out player cards and helmets for each of the kids. They stuck around after dinner and signed cards and helmets outside for the kids on their way home. Such a nice guy and a great family. We truly enjoyed their visit to MetroKidz and the message that was shared. I hope the Orioles re-sign him, so he can come back again next year!
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