Matthew 19:14: "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'
It started back in 2008 when my daughter, Danielle, was attending preschool at Cornerstone Christian Academy. She was 4 years old...
Danielle kept coming home from preschool talking about Mrs. Hatfield's "friends in Haiti." She wanted to take in her whole piggy bank to donate. She colored pictures for these mysterious friends. She prayed for them to have food to eat. She would even try new vegetables on her plate because she knew the friends in Haiti would try them if they were here... What 4 year old does that?!
The time came for Open House at school and I tracked down Mrs. Hatfield and asked what I'd been wanting to ask for weeks. "Who are these friends in Haiti I keep hearing about?"
She explained that she and her husband went on annual mission trips to Haiti each Spring Break, and they worked at a school with many Haitian children. It was a busy night and there were lots of parents waiting to talk to her, but she looked at me and said, "You don't know anything about soccer do you?"
I thought she was joking. Little kids tell their teachers all kinds of stuff about their parents. Surely, Danielle had mentioned that her mommy loves soccer...That her mommy had signed up to coach her city soccer league team the next year. She went on, "We've been going to Haiti to do these soccer camps with the kids for years and we've never taken anyone who knows anything about soccer." I smiled. Yeah, I knew a few things about soccer.
I hemmed and hawed and dug my heels in and finally relented. God sent me that Spring to Haiti with the Hatfields to help with a soccer camp for hundreds of Haitian children. And, they taught me SO much more than I taught them. I came home on fire, my heart completely broken for the people of Haiti.
While our team was there in March 2009, we built a basketball court on the grounds of the Pillatre Christian Center. Which leads us to Part 2 of the story--to be continued tomorrow.