the doors of la academia deportiva de travesia have been open for 2 weeks! so much has happened and to say that we’re glad to have boys practicing here would be an extreme understatement.
after two tryouts, we selected our teams. it was difficult to tell those extra kids who had come out that they didn’t make the team. that part is never easy.
with our fresh crop of rhinos, we spent most of week one doing orientation to the academy. we went over the rules, talked about each area and what they would be doing and what would be expected of them.
week two was our first week with our ‘normal’ schedule. due to the crazy school schedules here and the extreme caribbean heat, our academy schedule with the boys will be in the later afternoons and evenings. every day the boys will have class time to work on their school work or get extra tutoring, they’ll have dinner or a snack, they’ll have a devotional, and they will have soccer practice or some type of physical conditioning.
through all of this we are getting to know them. one thing that i love about the kids in this community is that they are social and they have personalities! they love to be with you, to talk to you and to have fun. that makes it easy to interact with them. unfortunately, that also means that they are always talking, are out of control and have very little discipline. we’ve spent alot of the past week just reviewing rules and why we follow rules. i know the next few weeks (and probably months) will be more of the same.
for example, some boys just show up when they want on the day they want. for the first week they were showing up super early or super late for the academy. we would start at 5:30 but have boys here at 3 or at the other extreme at 6:30. now some of them aren’t early, just late…that’ll take some more work! for some of them it’s a foreign concept to arrive on time and to do it consistently.
each of these boys has a unique story, with unique struggles and personal obstacles in their lives. the majority of them have parents who have abandoned them or have died and so they are now in the care of a grandparent or aunt or uncle. and a few of them, even though they are teenagers, already live on their own. already, some of the boys have opened up about problems in their lives, revealing deep hurts and wounds that they usually keep hidden or buried. we remind them almost daily that inside these walls, they are free to just be kids, they are safe, and god is right here and wants to be a part of their lives and help them with the bad stuff and celebrate all the good stuff!
as we move forward please pray specifically:
- that god will continue to speak to these boys
- that they will trust us more and more
- that they will see the value in consistency and discipline
- that they will begin to see themselves as part of a team and not individuals fighting to be on top
- and that god will be glorified here, that he will be a light in this community, that these boys and their families will come to know jesus and put their hope and trust in him above all else!
- lastly, that god would raise up more ministry partners for us. we are currently operating on a budget that isn’t yet fully funded! we are trusting in faith that God will send us more monthly ministry partners to sponsor the boys and the academy. if god is calling you to do this, click HERE. if you have questions about what this looks like, contact me. i’d love to talk more about it!