As we all know, time never seems to stand still. Hard to believe that our family has been back in the states for nearly two years! That being said, we decided to take the opportunity to take the entire family back to Roatan to revisit our home away from home. A fundraiser sponsored by Chet’s Creek of Jacksonville, FL netted sufficient funds to provide seed money for the purchase of the sports court as well as land for a new classroom. They will be following up by visiting Roatan with a team early in June. While there, they will be providing ESL training in the Mazapan while engaging youth and staff in sports ministry on the court. A small construction project on the court equipment shed will serve to be a warmup before construction on the classroom begins. What a blessing it will be to secure a permanent location for this ministry!
Checking on Mazapan and the court were only the begininning of what we wanted to accomplish during our 9 day visit. Our hope as parents was to allow our own children to revisit and experience the life of those that we served for three years. The past trips either Kerry or myself have taken solo, have often served as a reset for our lives. To step back into a much slower pace, where relationships are valued above time, and God is part of the everyday, is refreshing to say the least. Amidst the bugs and intense heat, there is something about this community which ignites one’s soul. Many of the same children that we knew while we were on Roatan are still using Mazapan and the court. The relationship building that we did while there has continued and we are now are ready to pour into the youth. At this time, our focus will be on those children who have been identified as leaders within their peer group. It is our belief that success in mentoring will come from a tiered approach…….C4C mentoring local leaders who in turn mentor in their communitiy.
We are thrilled to see this approach already taking place as students in Mazapan and atheletes on the court are beginning to take on the roles of mentors. Efforts, time and love put in by Kerry, Jamie, Desmy and the many volunteers over the years have led Juan to become our first assistant teacher. The road to his current position was not a smooth one by any means. As a matter of fact, he was once expelled from Mazapan! Continual perserverence by Juan, as well as his teachers, helped him get to where he is now. Currently, there are several older boys who are showing signs of maturity. The aggressive/angry behavior that we witnessed early on has drastically subsided. Many within the community told us to give up on this group. We are so glad that we did not, as we now see so much hope for not only these bigger kids but the smaller ones as well. Our Court Director, Sabino, has been faithful in his duties of keeping up the court and being a constant for these kids. Ron continues to pour into him on a daily basis, giving him the confidence to be the man God created him to be. Hector, our sponsored seminary student graduated from school and was one of the first to welcome us. The timing of his graduation and arrival on island excited us as we can now begin to spiritually mentor the children on the court.