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.