after a short christmas break, we're back up and running here at the boy's academy. even though we've seen most of the boys out in the village over the last couple weeks, it was so good to see them all come in together yesterday, excited to start another year. and even better to hear a few updates regarding their christmas break:
- Allan (18yrs old): "i want you guys to know that i took your advice. instead of just hanging out on the corner in the dark with my girlfriend like everyone else does, i asked if we could go to her house and visit with her family. i sat and talked with her parents and we had a really good time. they even gave me permission to date their daughter."
- Pato (14yrs old): "guess what happened on new years eve? i was hanging out with friends and they started drinking beer. they asked me to drink with them and i said no. they kept bothering me about it so i left and went home. they were making fun of me as i walked home. when i got there, i told my dad what happened and he said i did the right thing and was proud of me."
maybe they sound like small victories. but for us, they are huge break-throughs. both of those topics were areas of discussion for a year's worth of devotions!
most of it is cultural and specific to our village. as simple as it seems, for a young man in Buena Vista to sit down in their girlfriend's home and visit with her parents - unheard of. and a 14 year old to turn away from peer pressure... and go home and tell his dad what he did? - doesn't happen.
interestingly, neither of the boys told these stories in front of the whole team when asked at lunch "tell me something interesting that happened during your break." maybe a little of the embarrassment factor is still there. but they both couldn't wait to tell us privately.