Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Out of all the things that I experienced today, one thing in particular has me pondering tonight. Twice today, while driving to and from destinations I saw children playing on the street with a self made tetherball. I'm talking about finding a pole to utilize and some rope and any circular/round ball type object (never a TRUE ball, I'd imagine that is too difficult an item to find, too much a prized possession by those who have them) that could be found would be attached. They were playing what we'd call Tetherball with what they could find. It struck me the first time I saw it, but by the second I began to ache a little. How many children, heck how many adults, no let me get really real with what I was feeling, how often do I sit on my tail end and watch tv and veg like a bum, or neglect or take for granted the many forms of entertainment I have at my disposal at home - board games, card games, internet, computer games, Wii games, soccer ball to grab whenever I want, a basketball goal nearby to play, etc, etc, etc. How much have I taken for granted in my own home, while children EVERYWHERE (just gotta look outside of our own neighborhoods to find them) are grasping to use their imagination to make some sort of entertainment for themselves. Everything inside of me wanted to jump out of the car and hand them a new toy, a real ball, a coloring book, or something... but they were playing - the game was working. After my urge to jump out of the car and head their way, I realized that they were PLAYING, they were acting like children, and to see that here, out on the street even, it made me smile. Too often here, and in many places of the world, children are not given the luxury of being children very often. You have children raising other children, fending for themselves, and more horrific things than we might want to think of... but these children, in that moment, were children.

That concept is one reason (of many) I love this organization so much... not only are they working to help the community at large to be able to help themselves, not only are they providing and sharing the everlasting hope of Christ, and the many many many other things they are doing, but they also provide a chance and opportunity for the children within the ministry to be just that - CHILDREN!!!! Such a beautiful thing! How are we to come to Jesus with childlike faith or "receive the kingdom of God like a little child" , as He says in the gospel of Mark, chapter 10, if we were never granted a childhood or a moment of childlike-ness?! I'm not saying that if someone lacks a childhood then they are doomed as far as their relationship with Christ is concerned, rather I'm saying how much more beneficial for someone reading this verse to grasp the Lord's meaning of "like a child" IF and WHEN they've experienced days like a child?!!!

So that's my soapbox. Sorry. I'm not surrounded by the distractions of "daily life" in America right now, so it becomes easier at times to hear God speaking or YELLING sometimes at me - truths I know, but do I live like I KNOW?!

Today, as Mr. McGoo mentioned on his post, we were able to inventory all of the gear/donations and it was FABULOUS and such a blessing. THANK YOU - THANK YOU to all who gave. I cannot tell you how many "Wow!!!!"'s we got during our inventory. We also began our first session of Sports Ministry with the girls. And, although the session did not go as planned or the way I thought it might during our preparations, THE GIRLS LOVED IT! They were so happy. They were able to play football, they were able to go play, while the boy beneficiaries stayed behind, a role reversal for sure, and before the sessions was nearly complete, I already had many asking, "tomorrow?!". And with that in mind, I will say that today's event was awesome - regardless of how it would compare to a session on the States, it doesn't matter - the girls loved it. We had 15 participating and I wouldn't be surprised if more joined tomorrow after the others begin to talk. We focused on dribbling, passing, and trapping the ball on a "field". I'll be sure to get Mr. McGoo to snatch a photo of the "field" because EVERY descriptive thought in your brain right now is wayyyy off. But we were blessed for the square footage and the flatness of the area.

Today was a good day! May God be glorified through every little bit - less of me and more of Him! Thank you for your prayers!!! I think we both might be meeting with the government tomorrow, definitely Mr. McGoo is going. Onesimus wants to continue to show the government how serious they are about sports ministry and showing how foreigners have come to assist will help their cause and hopefully help them continue to win favor from the government. In addition, Mr. McGoo will sit in and speak at the community coaches meeting tomorrrow. Pray that as he's able to share about himself and his knowledge of sports and coaching that he'll be able to present his faith fluidly within and the Spirit can plant a seed or begin to water what has already begun! GOD IS GOOD!

Mr. McGoo and some of the kiddos that cannot get enough of him. He spent over an hour watching and playing table tennis with them, you could tell it filled them with pride to have him watching.

After the soccer session with the girls, Alemeyu - in charge of ministry and leading the sports ministry, gave the girls a good summing up discussion of the day.

Lunch time in the Drop-In Center. In Ethiopia, during lunch time, all the children leave school and go home to eat - a select few in the Onesimus ministry are selected to eat at the drop-in center should they meet the necessary need and criteria.


Rachael said...

Just getting caught up on yall's posts...awesome! Love hearing details of the day and what God is showing you! Continuing to pray!

Frank Bryant said...

Make sure Mr. McGoo doesn't try to impress anyone with his UK knowledge. They'll know for sure that he doesn't know much about sports.