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Wrecked: Tale of A Kenyan Victory

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Wrecked: Tale of A Kenyan Victory

For the third year in a row the American FCA team was getting ready to face the Kenyan teachers of Mountain Park Academy on the soccer field. This time, the stakes were higher. A trophy had been made, documenting the former victories of each team, one “W” for the Americans and one “W” for the Kenyans. The 800 students of Mountain Park Academy gathered to watch the game, lining the field on every side. Every spirit was filled with anticipation. Even the preschool class sat attentively with their teacher, eyes never leaving the field and the players.

As the Kenyans scored the final goal to win the game 3-1, all 800 students charged the field in joy. Students surrounded their teachers with pride, chanting “MPA! MPA! MPA!” to celebrate the Kenyan victory. The chant would last for the next hour, with every student participating full-heartedly, even the youngest student at one-and-a-half years old. The teachers who had been spectators at the game looked around in wonder. They had never seen anything like it before – the unity of the students, the pride for their teachers and for Kenya, the power in the little voices and they chanted in victory.

What does victory mean for a child who has been in second place their entire life? Children who live abandoned by parents, surrounded by disease, and dependent upon aid. Victory means hope. A hope in overcoming all of the trials and tribulations that make meeting even the most basic need seem nearly impossible.

The people present at MPA that day would tell you it was a day to be remembered. Sports victories often signify overcoming something greater than just the opposing team. The victory on that day was accomplished despite having hungry stomachs, in the absence of new cleats and team uniforms, and in the midst of daily hardships. Victory was theirs for they had overcome. As the students rejoiced, the Lord rejoiced with them, for He delights in our victories. The joy felt that day will become the strength of these students to overcome. Their strength will not come from the half-cup of porridge they are served each morning, nor will it come from the love and atttention of parents at home but their strength will come from their joy.

“…Do not grieve because your strength comes from rejoicing in the LORD”  Nehemiah 8:10

 

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