". . . the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." (Psalm 33:5)
We entered Astbury, a quaint little village, on the way to watch a cricket match as part of a fellow shipping venture. It obviously wasn't a typical activity that one would expect missionaries to attend, but there is flexibility in how we do our work when there is a very special reason (which there is). That justified, below are shared pictures from the area. The soccer field was cut out of the middle of a pasture and built by volunteers of the cricket club. They tenderly groom it, taking extra care to make it hard as a rock underneath the turf, so the ball will roll easily.
The guy on the left, wearing the white coat that looks like tails, is the referee.
The wicket usually has two little peg things, like the one on the ground, balanced in the slots on top.
If those are knocked off, the batter is out. The batter stands by these to bat, and runs from one wicket line to another to score, unless the ball goes out over the lines, then he scores six points if it flies out and four if it rolls out. Where do you GET points for knocking the ball out of bounds? England, of course!!
The country lane we drove down to get to the cricket field.
English countryside scenery
This tree is covered in ivy, but the photo doesn't show that too well.
The typical hedge row that is found in most fields.
This really great guy is the person we were here to support. He is waiting to bat. He gave us a club shirt and sweater like he is wearing. They are both waiting patiently for something to happen. Cricket is a very, very S-L-O-W game.
Waiting some more.
There IS actually some action going on. This is the bowler (pitcher). Believe me, he works because he gets a running start and throws that ball really hard. He is bowling the ball through the air here, which will bounce once before the batter hits it. Sometimes he can throw it without hitting the ground, but it has to be below waist level. He wants the ball to hit the wicket to get the batter out. The batter can swing and miss and never be out. He can hit the ball in any direction and it is a good ball, unless it is caught on the fly, or stopped by the opposing team before it gets out of bounds.
This is the back of the church. Tombstones encircle the entire building.
Some village cottages. The modern cars sorta ruin the ancient look, huh?