Canadian Soccer Project to Panama
As the last few days of tour approached, I started to think about how I wanted my last few games and clinics to go. I wanted to make sure that I made the most of my opportunities to share my faith and show God's love to kids at camp. I prayed that God would really help me connect relationally with kids through meaningful conversation as I approached my last few camps.
The last clinic came quite unexpectedly when Brian notified the team that one of our final two clinics had been cancelled. We were told that our last clinic would be held at an orphanage. This was exciting news for me because it was going to be my first time at an orphanage. I didn't really know what to expect. I knew that these kids were longing for love that they never received from their parents. This final clinic was not so much about soccer as it was about love. The kids loved physical contact: hugs, high fives, and piggyback rides. God used me to love on these kids and show me how powerful love truly is. During the final coaches vs. campers game, I just stopped playing and decided to give one of the kids a ride on my shoulders. He had a blast. We flew around the pitch while battling Brandon and his wingkid. Afterwards the little kid who I had played with said to me, "Thanks for playing with me and for being my dad today". This really broke me down; I realized how much these kids need fatherly love that only God can provide to them. I felt guilty for coming to camp and giving them all that individual attention and then leaving them "parentless". We talked about this during team time and one of my teammates mentioned that we just gave them the most fun two hours of their lives. Changing my perspective on the situation helped me see how powerful God's love is and how much of an impact I can have when showing His love to others.