but it came to mind when i thought of one of our newest boys in the academy, 9 year old Vladimir.
we welcomed 5 new boys into the academy this year. i'm sure i'll journal about them all eventually. (yes i still call this "journaling") but out of all of them, Vladimir is the youngest... and by far the smallest. he's not much bigger than mynor & walda's 2 year old noah!
it wasn't until a couple days ago that we connected who Vladimir's family was. they are as rough as they come. his dad runs with a tough crew. as a matter of fact, last weekend, Vladimir's dad was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance due to alcohol poisoning. he had drank so much that he was having seizures and vomiting. no doubt that he, his brothers and sisters, and his mom are on the receiving end of regular beat-downs.
during orientation this year, i asked Vladimir what he thought the academy was, and he simply said "a soccer team."
i guess i'm glad he thinks that. if he knew that we care far more about teaching the boys about Jesus, helping them with their education, and investing in every facet of their lives... they might not be nearly as excited to join the program!
which means what we do is sort of clandestine: lure em in with soccer, then drop the transformational secret weapon on em - love.