Cuba (MNN) — Some say Cuba is changing. Is it more open? Is there more religious freedom? You be the judge. Last month, the men’s baseball team from Cornerstone University traveled to the communist nation.
Cornerstone baseball coach Dave Mitroff says they partnered with an organization called Global Baseball and Cuban House Church Pastor Edwardo to go into Cuba.
The 44 team members and support staff were there for two reasons. They were there to play baseball and to share the Gospel. “In some cases, some players had never really done that before. They openly wept and said that this was changing their lives because for the first time, they had an opportunity to see just what the Holy Spirit could do through them.”
CU Athletic Director Dave Grube was also on the trip. He says the players had a great impact. “We literally saw people come to Christ that were coming to these exhibition games to watch. And, they were bystanders. We had conversations, and the next thing you know, they had tears running down their faces and they’re asking Christ into their heart.”
CU’s baseball team ended up being 4-3, but that wasn’t the important stat. According to Mitroff, “We had over 500 commitments to Christ during the week.” Mitroff says the Holy Spirit worked through them. “One of the higher ranking communist officials–and we’ll leave it at that–came to Christ while we were there. He said it about as clearly as you can say it: ‘I believe in Christ, and I know that He is real. I’ve seen all the other religions, and I believe Jesus is the only way.'”
While the baseball team is back in the United States, CU will continue its link to Cuba. Mitroff says, “For the first time, we have approved a collegiate summer team that can go there and play–not this year, but next summer. So, there is an opportunity to take the Gospel across the entire country of Cuba with a religious visa.”
In the meantime, Mitroff is recruiting quality Christian young men who are passionate about baseball and Jesus. “We want to be about more than mere baseball here at Cornerstone; that’s why we call it Beyond Baseball,” he says. “We’re going to honor Christ, and we’re going to do our very best to build you into a strong Christian man.”
Contact Mitroff at (616) 977-5471 to arrange a campus visit and an interview with the coach.