Saturday, June 18, 2011


today we hiked up a crazy mountainous path through a beautiful rainforest to a visit a family. they live in a remote area, completely separated from anyone else. a local friend who took us to them described them as "abandoned".

when we got there, they were thrilled and amazed to see us. each member of the family, as they introduced themselves, said "we have never had visitors here before."

we shared about the ministries that we have here, and that we wanted to help them. we told them we would do what we can, and we will share with others about their needs, etc...

most touching was the old man (pictured here)... 72 years old, his wife passed around 10 years ago. he now lived with his son and 2 daughters, and all of their spouses and their kids. here's what he said before we left...

"God has shown me by your visit that he hasn't forgotten us. He knows our needs. We are all his children, poor and rich. Finally, he has shown us that we are not forgotten." when we prayed together, he fell to his knees and sobbed.

the entire thing was emotional, but what struck me was the way that he said "finally." i got the impression his 72 years have been tough. the 10 years since his wife dies probably tougher. he feels forgotten. abandoned, just as my friend had told me. maybe he hasn't received much help in his life. our visit gave him the chance to take a deep breath and say, "finally, thank you God."

is it not absolutely insane and amazing that we get the opportunity to be that for somebody? that God uses us to remind someone that he loves them... that he has not forgotten them! what a privilege!

He has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. i pray that as we help this family they do not see us at all, but only the awesome God that sent us to them. my son Jake described it by saying that we are like "the mailman"... the blessings are sent by God, but we get to deliver them. how beautiful is that...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


growing up in the states, and playing all the major sports, having the right shoes was always a big deal to me. they needed to be the right style, right brand, and fairly new in order for me to play my best. one thing that always amazes me when i watch the buena vista boys play soccer is how good they play in light of the shoes they are wearing.

many of the kids showed up to tryouts wearing rubber boots, or dress shoes. black dress shoes are mandatory for school, so for many of the boys that is the only pair they own. one kid showed up in an old pair of slip on crocs with bailing line tied around them to keep them on.

to see pics of the various shoes worn to tryouts, click here and scroll down to the photo gallery titles "shoes worn to tryouts".

i am looking forward to getting our boys into some high quality soccer shoes. thankfully we have friends donating indoor soccer shoes as well as cleats to the team! as good as these kids play in rubber boots, i expect they will play even better with a sweet pair of nikes.

oh - the kid in the tied up old crocs had a great tryout and made the team... so we'll be replacing those for him soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

JV team established

i will write more on the bvsa website soon, with pictures and more info. but wanted to share that we officially selected the JV rhinos. (we will have 2 teams of 15, a JV and a varsity.) we made the decision to change from 24 boys to 30, which i will explain more on that later as well...

what a day!! while we expected to need one more day to trim down to the final roster, both mynor and I had the same final 15 on our lists, so we decided there was no reason to wait!

with tears in his eyes, mynor told the 15 how proud he was of them, and how this was the culmination of months of preparation. hiding back a few of my own, i shared my own joy, and how so many people are behind them, praying for them, and supporting them. as hard as it was to make so many cuts, it was a amazing day!

these 15 are the JV rhinos!!

click here for more pics from tryouts...

Friday, June 10, 2011

tryouts day 1

i have stood on the current site for the buena vista boys academy almost every day for the last year. (in was in june 2010 when the money was donated for the land, and august when we broke ground.) but today was different. today, it was full of kids for the first time.

during orientation for the first group, i tried to hide my emotion. it was a little bit harder during the second group. as mynor and I shared with the 50 or so kids in that group, that they are the future of this village, i noticed my son jake and mark & gina's boy eli - listening intently. it struck me that they too could very well be the future of this village. i saw their faces, no less nervous and excited than the rest of the boys. for some reason in that moment, it all hit me pretty hard.

it was a great day. the first round of cuts were tough, many boys that we love won't come back tomorrow. we assured them that we would have plenty of leagues and activities for them soon.

tomorrow is day 2. we expect it to be more intense, and more difficult to evaluate. sunday we will round out the tryouts and pick the final team. will keep you all updated...

thanks for the prayers.