Friday, October 31, 2014

Honduras Boys Academy Plant

The Rhinos with the boys from Travesia
We have an exciting announcement we'd like to share.  I'll keep this one short, but you can expect to hear a lot more in the near future!

Ever since we came home from Honduras early this year, we knew God was up to something. Our JV boys played in a soccer tournament there, but the trip ended up being so much more than that.

During the trip, God led us to a little village called Travesia.  An extremely poor community located on the Caribbean Honduran coastline. Like Buena Vista, Guatemala, it is a unique combination of extreme poverty and natural beauty blended together in the same place.

We met some people there who were in the beginning stages of starting a soccer program for boys. Interestingly, they had started the program specifically to help keep the boys off the streets.

They told us that in Travesia, all the boys end up selling or doing drugs. In addition, sexual promiscuity and HIV is a serious problem.  3 brothers and a sister had decided to try to do something about it - and a loose soccer program in raw form was how they were trying to help keep the boys out of trouble.
Travesia Boys

It was a moment we will never forget. When we boarded the bus, we immediately prayed together about what had just happened.  We asked God why he brought us to Travesia...  how we could help...  and to please lead us going forward.

5 trips to Travesia, Honduras (and one visit from them to Guatemala) later...  

We believe that God is leading BVSA to plant another boys academy.  And the Davis family has felt the call to lead the plant on the ground and relocate to Honduras! 

Paul, Mynor and I on one of our return visits
In only our 4th year of BVSA, we believe more than ever that the Rhinos are the key to making disciples and winning their community to Christ.  We also know that Jesus commanded us to go into the world and make disciples...  which means, for us, planting more boys academies must be an important part of what we do!

We're excited to be sending the Davis family to Honduras to plant another boys academy! The way they have given themselves and embraced the vision of BVSA during their 2 years with us, leaves us confident as they look to share Jesus through the vision of The Rhinos into a new area with so much need.

More info will be coming out soon.  We didn't want the initial announcement to be overwhelming with details...

Davis family
But please be praying with us as we move forward - working to train up the future generation of leaders who can break the cycles of destruction in their communities!

Pray for the Davis family and follow them on their blog as they make plans and transition to a new country and new culture.  This has not been an easy decision.  We have become one big family, and we will miss very much the sharing of daily life.  But if we've learned anything, we know that we have to trust God when he is shaking things up! 

Follow more updates here on my blog...
Thanks - as always - for the continued prayers!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

steps forward

we've had our share of challenges here at the academy every since we got back from our trip to the states.  its been one of those "rough patches", i guess.  to some extent, we expected it after such an incredible high...

we've got boys suspended, others being disciplined, some struggling in school, one who wants to quit school, one who's [single] mom has literally left him at home alone and left to live somewhere else, and a ton more things going on that are adding stress.

however…  i'm writing this post is to mention something great that recently happened!

for better or worse, thats how it typically happens with us here at the academy.  when things are toughest, something special happens to remind us that God is at work.

one of the varsity rhinos asked to meet with me at my house one night a couple weeks ago.  he shared with me that he has been thinking a lot about all the little kids in the village who spend all their time in street.  he said they don't have any good influences in their lives.  he asked me if he could borrow a few soccer balls, cones, etc, to start doing soccer camps on saturday mornings.

he and my daughter spent a few hours making up invitations, and he passed them around the village the week before.  last saturday, he hosted his first of many (at least thats what he says!) soccer camps for the boys of Buena Vista.

the camp lasted from 8am to 12am.  a couple more rhinos helped him run it.  they did a bible study, some practice drills, and then of course, played a soccer tournament.  according to all who i asked, it was a very successful event!

for me, this was a special moment.  we've been spending years working with the boys - much of our purpose being centered on teaching them to care about others.  to see the problems in their community and respond!  and this was one of the first specific and unsolicited things that we've seen, that didn't require any leading or encouragement on our part.

i have known that God is changing the hearts of these boys.  but moments like these help make that point clear.  it also helps give encouragement during the tough days.