Huh, they are listening
You know as a parent, youth pastor, boss, teacher, etc… you always wonder if the kids you are speaking to are listening. We can put so much hard work into pouring into these kids, but it can be hard to see if the effort is paying off in the moment.
A big part of what I do down here in MTY is pour into our 15-23 year old Hope Program students. The Hope Program students are the children we put through High School and College. The biggest activity I have with them is with our soccer team. With the team, Los Dos, we have weekly practices on Sunday nights followed by a bible study, team events (meals, movies, missions trips, etc…), games, and then I mentor & disciple 3-4 of the leaders on the team/in the program.
With the Bible study on Sundays with the whole team it can sometimes be great and sometimes the guys can just be uninvolved and tired. But, every week we have a bible verse we read, discuss, and pray over. I laminate these verses to be business card size and give them each one. I have seen certain kids chew on them, throw them away, or just leave them where we were sitting after bible study.
But, God has shown me recently how those seeds are not lost on everyone. 2-3 of the guys recently showed me how they have kept every single card in their wallet, and we are probably up to around 30. Also, another of the older players just recently sent an encouraging word to the rest of the team with the photo below.
It is of him chilling with the Bible Verse in his sock during a bike workout. This verse specifically is, Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We were teaching them to be more like a family, to not: put down each other, fight against each other, to control their tongue. But rather to support, encourage, and how to constructively speak to some one.
It is a good reminder that: they are listening and that God has us down here for a reason.