As the years travel quickly through my experiences here in South America, every opportunity that I have to engage my mind to recall and sense the life change that occurs, I must be diligent in recording these moments.
Often times, people ask me what is the most precious moment experienced while living in South America, and I would never want to respond after a pause. I want to be able, at the end of my life, look back and remember, through the written experiences that I’ve taken time to express on paper, and recall those precious memories. I would never want my daughter to wonder why I did what I did, or why I chose to spend the endless days of existence, wandering around, waiting for the end to come. I want my daughter to see what has been left behind, as an impact to the world that left positive demonstrations of my attempts to love and glorify Christ with all that I am.
Last week, our team leader & President of the Club Deportivo Dan, sat down with me for our weekly briefing.
Through the recent months, we’ve had a successful team that has risen to the semi-finales with a lot of accomplishments. The team has grown together, experienced three years of wins and losses, and every year grow more in their personal faith in Christ. Along the way, we’ve lost some players to various environmental dangers such as drugs, accidents, violence, and gangs. However, through the three years, continual personal growth has been the most rewarding visual to see from a successful program such as the Club Deportivo Dan.
I guess, in the journey, one of the most inspiring actions to see are when one puts another person and all they are before oneself. Time and time again, the selfless action of allowing someone else to go before, or to sacrifice of one’s own so that another can experience joy or be blessed resonates true demonstration of God’s Word.
One of our team members, who is one of the better players, has begun working, while studying, and training within the Club. Its been a journey of joy to see him rise up in his self-confidence, his value and commitment, and most importantly, his relationship with Jesus Christ.
The other night, Rodo, our President of the Club informed me, the entire team was settled out along the soccer court that we rent out every few days for the team to have training, and this young player came walking up to the court with a 7 liter bottle of water in tow. Along with the bottle of water, which we give out after every practice mixed with Gatorade powder so the youth get re-hydrated before going home. One of the most challenging aspects of working among the marginalized community in sports is the lack of resources we can provide. They are not able to get home after practice and drink up water and rehydrate themselves well. So, our CDD and Voices4Peru NGO has been providing Gatorade powder mixed in water to help them get nourished. In tow, along with the 7 liter bottle of water, this young player brought in a container of the Gatorade powder, which was enough to supply sport drink to the entire team.
Rodo asked him what he had done, and the young player responded,
"I want to start giving back to the Club after all that you've done for me."
We were left astonished, Rodo explained to me, and the impact rippled across the team's attitude. Here, in the midst of hardship, with very little to survive on, a young soccer player, from the small amount of resource that he has, has begun to give back to what has been given to him.
For the last three years, Voices4Peru and TICM has been giving uniforms, shoes, medicine, and all the necessary additions required to play in the Club Deportivo Dan. Never before have we ever received anything from the same youth of the program. This day, when the young player brought water and Gatorade to the team, I was incredibly amazed at the personal sacrifice he had given to show his appreciation for all that had been given to him.
Experiences like these that demonstrate the heart of passion to give back to the community and to pour back out where one has been blessed warms my heart and helps me to realize why I do what I do.
Actions, words, and deeds reflect our heart's intention and motivation. What a blessing it is to see these life changing experiences taking place among this desolate place where life has been left lost.
Hope brews, manifests, and reveals the purity of God's grace and love being showered upon this place, and I continue to marvel at His wonderful ways.