For the second consecutive year, members of the NorthPointe Christian varsity baseball team kicked off their season by trading their gloves and bats for serving spoons and dish clothes in the early hours of a Saturday morning. On March 16, NPC baseball players served alongside members of Park Church in downtown Grand Rapids at their monthly Community Breakfast. This breakfast targets Grand Rapid’s homeless and needy population. “God has put our church in an area of town where a large number of homeless people congregate. We feel it’s our responsibility to reach out to these people in a tangible way” said Tamara Laage, a 12 year volunteer of the breakfast. “ We’ve been committed to this cause for almost 20 years.”
NPC players and coaches were able to assist with setting up the facility and serving over 200 people a hot breakfast with eggs, sausage and French Toast. Of course, all this causes a mess and the players jumped in to clean tables, chairs and the kitchen area. Once all was cleaned up, volunteers from Park Church sat with the NPC players to chat about what they saw and experienced that morning. They helped them understand more about the type of people the boys served that morning giving them a priceless perspective on the profound need and struggle that many people face each day in our city. “Let this change you,” said Pat Trowbridge, another Park Church faithful servant. “It’s okay for these experiences to impact your heart.”
For the past few years, NPC Baseball has championed the phrase, “This is bigger than baseball.” Baseball can be a platform for young men to become like Jesus Christ. Serving together something beyond baseball can open their eyes to a lost world that needs the care of Jesus followers. At the same time, it can build character and community to a team coming together with their season ahead.