They were the first words he said to me.
He got off the bus for kids camp. He has style and a walk that showed he was in charge and the leader of the pack. He made some ninja motions and as I went to give him a hug, he shoved me back and said (in an accent that could have only come from an American movie/tv show)- "I'll Kick you're A$$".
I hesitated. Not many 10 year olds have English competency to speak English that well, and the reality is that he probably did not understand exactly what that meant. He went on with his "swagger" and "strut" throughout Friday evening. By the end of the night, I got a "fist bump" from him. (progress).
Saturday was an event packed day. After breakfast He stood beside me, didn't say a word, but just stood there…close against my leg. It wasn't until later in the day…He came up to me, put an arm around me and started to speak with me. He loves soccer and was really looking forward to the tourney for the older kids tomorrow(Sunday), he was enjoying the games and worship and dancing during the camp. He had his pseudo gold bling on at this point (you remember those cheap, thick chains we as kids wore? The ones that turned our necks green? Yah that's what he had).
One thing we have learned clearly- Kids are kids and want to be kids, but the world influences them and it has dramatic effect on their lives. A little time showing them love, remembering their name, and that they are valuable can rock them out of their impressional view of others and themselves.
Phila knows he has a father in heaven.
Phila (pee-lah) ran up to me on Sunday at the tournament and said (a little like a gangsta "What's up"). And now I have a new buddy that we can continue to groom and include in youth events and training's as he grows up Strong in the Lord.
We thank God for you! You have sent us, and we get to be part of something bigger right here in the front row. We are so blessed and realize that there is SO much more to be done here.
We are asking for two prayer requests today. 1)- that Phila would grow in his faith and experience of the Father's love and 2)-We believe we are to continue that work, and ask for your prayers this week. We MUST get an answer this week from South Africa Home Affairs on our visa, or we will be forced to fly to USA and re-apply(a very costly adventure) from Chicago's offices.
Stand with us, believe that by THIS TIME next week, we will have a favorable response and won't have to waste time and money to go to/from USA for something as simple as a visa to remain. Thank you!