God is so good! It’s only been a little over 24 hrs since we stepped onto the grounds of Buena Vista Sports Academy, and there is absolutely no doubt about it – life change is happening in this place. The presence and love of Christ is moving and working, alive and active, and changing lives in Buena Vista. This is a place where teenage boys are able to laugh freely, feel genuinely loved, learn the value of hard work, develop into some pretty amazing soccer p layers, get fed a nutritious meal, be encouraged, have fun, and experience the difference Christ can make in their lives. It is an honor and blessing just be here seeing it happen.
Yesterday, we were able to cheer on the JV and Varsity Rhinos in their soccer games against a select group of all star players, which was an unexpected and great surprise! They were incredible! Seriously, these guys are GOOD at some soccer. Not only did both teams get a “W,” they played with such heart, as a team, and never gave up! It was awesome. In the words of Brock and Paul, it’s not even about soccer – it is simply the piece that ties this ministry together. These guys are growing, learning, changing, and experiencing the love and truth of Jesus. And that is what it’s all about. They are the future of Buena Vista, and oh boy that is exciting stuff!
My heart is full from the precious smiles, hugs, laughs, and just goofiness of the boys. Yet at the same time, my heart is breaking from hearing some of the stories of the pain they have experienced in their lives. But our God is bigger than a broken culture, strong enough to heal broken hearts and broken lives, and powerful enough to rescue us from our sin. Praise Jesus. And I see it here. In the faces of these boys. While it may be a slow, gradual, sometimes exhausting process for the families who are serving them every single day, the things happening here are beautiful. Praise Jesus for Brock, Kerri, Paul, Jessica, Mynor, Walda, and their families for their obedience. And praise Jesus for his provision. He has, and is, continuing to show how awesome He is.
So today, we had the super cool opportunity to go on an “excursion” with the boys. For kids who would never ever have the opportunity to go much farther than their poverty stricken village, let alone load a bus and head out to a safari, this was a truly wonderful experience for them! It was awesome just getting to see their eyes light up and get so excited when we rode past all the different animals…especially when the hippo ran right out in front of our bus!!! One of the most special moments I experienced today was the chance to have a little one on one time with Ivan. As we walked around and looked at the animals and tried our best to communicate through my broken Spanish (so thankful the kids are patient and that God is bigger than a language barrier!), God allowed us to become friends. I learned some things about Ivan today. He is good at taking pictures. He loves being with his friends. He is a funny guy. He is interested in learning new things. He loves ice cream and french fries. Ivan loves to be talked to, encouraged, and loved on. There is much more to know about Ivan, but this is what I learned today. What I know for sure is that the Lord used Ivan, and all of these kids, to touch my heart. Each of my teammates got a little one on one time with a Rhino and got to learn all about them as well. It was just plain fun. I am so glad Our Father allows times like this. I truly believe He delights in seeing His children filled with joy. And if the smile on Ivan’s face today was any reflection of the joy in his heart, our Father was delighted! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Much love from Guatemala!