This picture is from the summer of 2015, right before we moved to Monterrey to serve these guys full time. Little did we know that Leo would be such a big part of our lives. He was a charismatic kid, that loved to be tough, mouthed off a little, and would always joke around. This picture is actually right before he was kicked out of the Hope Program for all the stupid stuff he was about to do (don’t worry, he would agree with me saying that to you all, it is the truth haha).
We moved down to Monterrey September of 2015 and that next month Leo started hanging out at our house all the time. He came to know the Lord and turned from the bad decisions he was making. Around that same time, we started our Hope Program soccer team, called Los Dos. This is where Leo and I started doing in depth discipleship and mentoring.
Then one day about 7 months later the kid that once got kicked out of the Hope Program came back to speak at a retreat for our children’s home kids. He was the main speaker. He told his story, bared all, and God used him in big ways.
It has been a little over a year since he spoke at that retreat and he just graduated college. We are so proud of the man of God he is becoming.
We have a new tradition here in Back2Back Monterrey. When a student graduates, they are allowed to ring a big bell on campus. The idea is that the students see this bell all the time and hope and dream to ring it one day. They know that day will be when they graduate.
Well, On July 3rd, 2017 Leo rang that bell so hard. As our family spoke to all who attended, this is what I said,
” It is not how you start, or how you run the race that matters most, but it is how you finish. Leo, you got off to a rough start, but you’re finishing well. Also, you graduating means nothing to us compared to you knowing Jesus. We are so proud of you for the fact that you love Jesus with all your heart and are allowing God to use you in others’ lives.”
Well done, my brownie bro. We will always be here for you. We am excited to see the husband and father you will be one day.