Tuesday, August 30, 2011
robinson goes by robin... he is one of my favorite kids. he talks a lot - enough to drive kerrie and walda crazy on most days. but his constant chatter is always upbeat, joyful, and funny. during some down time with robin recently, he shared with me about his dad. years ago, his dad was killed by some bad men trying to rob somebody's home. robin's dad responded to the lady's call for help, and ended up dead on her front porch.
robin is now 11. his older brother castulo, now 18, took on the role of provider & protector. robin speaks highly of his big bro. "he took care of us when my dad died, and he still does. he is a good person. and he is the best goalie in all of buena vista."
we invited castulo to play on our men's team. not just because of robin's glowing recommendation, but as a way to connect with him. in addition to finding out that robin was right about his soccer skills, we also found a bigger version of robin with a permanent smile glued to his face.
robin also told me that ever since his dad died, his mom has had to work double-time. she leaves home between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning and doesn't make it home until 7pm. in fact at our last 2 parents meetings, it was castulo who came to represent robin.
i can't imagine how difficult robin, castulo, and their other brothers and sisters lives are. and what explains the joy they maintain? what else could explain it other than our mysterious God who can make joy out of sadness, and use all things for good. for us at bvsa, all we can do is pour our love, time, energy, and resources into kids like these and trust God to glorify himself in the process.
i believe the sky is the limit for kids like robin and his brother. they have taken on a serious load of responsibility at a young age. they have learned to be men at the age that most kids are still whining about what's on their plate for dinner. they learn to work, cook, and provide when most kids their age are wasting away hours per day in front of a tv or video games.
kids like these, after overcoming such circumstances, are incredibly tough and savvy...prepared to handle whatever comes their way. sadly though, in places of such poverty, the opportunities just aren't there. we are doing all we can to make sure that is not the case for robin, and others like him here in buena vista guatemala...
oh, if you didn't notice... robin is playing goalie in the picture to the right (and he is a stud). to me, that just makes sense, since his brother is his hero.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
jesus took breaks and went away to the mountain. i cant even imagine how chaotic his world was, and how necessary it must have been. even in my little world, these short breaks are a must do from time to time.
this one came as the result of a celebration of my old man's 60th birthday. we (his boys and son in law) were honored to find out that when my mom asked him what he would like for his birthday, he said a "guys trip with my boys and grandsons."
so we all met in LA where my brother lives, and drove 5-6 hours north to the yosemite national park, home of the tuolomne river. a 150 mile river set in the heart of the sierra nevada, the beauty of this place totally caught me off guard. we whitewater rafted incredible rapids, hiked, rock climbed, and slept on the river banks under open skies lit up by the milky way and meteor showers.
for me personally, in addition to the great time with my pops, bro's, and nephews, this was some special father-son time. jake and i are extremely close, we are best buds and do pretty much everything together. but it is always different when you "get away" together and do "guy stuff." in addition to all the adrenaline-filled-fun, we shared some great quiet moments together - praying and reading the bible. there were some very memorable moments and breakthroughs that i dont think we'll ever forget.
we arrived back in guatemala today. even tired from the long day of travel, i feel refreshed. excited to get back to life. thankful for the opportunity to hang with family, go deeper with my son, and to get away to the mountains.
click here to see some more pics from our trip...
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
friday: two 2 hour training sessions, followed by a huge spaghetti dinner with all 30 rhinos, followed by a movie night (karate kid) with all 30 boys!
saturday: our first tournament! we were invited to play in a tournament in san lucas celebrating the grand opening of some new short-court (futsala) fields. we divided our boys up into 4 teams, and had nonstop games from 12:45am to 7:00pm. it was an incredible day, all 4 teams played great - 2 of the 4 advanced to their finals and 1 of them won their championship.
sunday: we had a team from arkansas in town (mynor's brother's church) and they scrimmaged against our rhinos.
needless to say, we are exhausted....
a weekend of firsts...
it was a great weekend in many ways. for many (most) of the boys it was their first time eating spaghetti, first time watching a movie, first time in a car, and first time in another city. when we pulled up to the fields, there was a huge crowd of people, music blasting, a live DJ, etc, etc... our boys were wide-eyed but we were very proud of how they kept their composure.
one thing we were all amazed by was their toughness on the field. being more on the "indigenous side", our boys were much smaller (and darker skinned!) than the rest of the players...but we out hustled and out-fought. clearly not "fitting in", many people throughout the day asked who we were and where we were from. it was an all around great experience for them!
one thing we realized toward the end of the tournament was that our boys were playing up in each age category. so we were playing against kids 2-3 years older than us in every grouping! that being considered we could not be prouder.
oh, and just as a side note, our two gringo boys played great too (my son jake and the schmidt's boy eli). they each scored goals, and played tough.
ok, i have bragged enough. thanks for listening....