free to be who God created you to be. free to laugh, cry, joke around, and dance. free to pray. free to hug someone. free to share about jesus. free to be who you are.
i feel honored that God has allowed us to give that freedom to the boys in the academy. here, they can act freely without fear of judgment. they can be who they want to be. they can tell that joke, dance that move, or goof around.
sadly, for most of them, they don't feel free to be that person at home. i am reminded of this over and over again when i am out in the village and i am with the boys in their home environment. they respond differently, a little bit paranoid as their family watches them around us. no way they are going to let their dad or uncles see (what i have learned to know is) their true personalities.
usually at some point during these exchanges, they will give me a winkish-type of a smile as if to suggest that their real self is in there... just tailoring it down around the homestead...
poverty, legalism, abuse, addiction... they all choke out our freedom that we have in Christ to be who we were made to be. it has taken about a year-and-a-half being with these boys every single day to finally start seeing them in their truest form. completely free. and it is beautiful. (watch video below!)
its no wonder that so many of them ask if they can stay. its a common question... "can i stay here for dinner?" "can i stay here and do my homework tonight?" "its warmer in your house, can i just stay?'
our prayer: for God to transform these boys so deeply that their love for God, love for others, and freedom to be themselves, would slowly seep into their everyday lives at home - leading their siblings and even their parents towards gradual change. eventually, when they are young husbands and fathers, they will do things differently, breaking these generational chains of bondage.
God, please help us and bless our work! bless our work as we seek to change these boys and their future families! we believe it is your heart and your desire. let it be done by your power alone.