Today was a very special day in a rural village in Malawi Africa. On this day many of the orphan boys will for the first time in their life put on soccer shoes and a uniform.
I arrived to a jam packed building where the Thandizo Orphan care program was leading a youth group with a skit about helping your neighbor. They introduced me and I shared with the boys the reason that I was there. As a Christian I am called to love my neighbor and I told them "you are my neighbors". I shared a story with them but I had to make it brief, it was obvious, they were so excited about the earlier news that soccer gear, donated by Coastal FC South Surrey was to arrive today.
The excitement in the room became palpable when I brought the uniforms and and lined up the shoes. Shouts and cheers erupted when the boys had there names called out to pick a uniform and try on a pair of soccer shoes. They gave each other high fives as they waited their turn to select a jersey and shoes. Most of these orphaned boys had never worn a soccer uniform or a pair of cleats before. They had only hoped and dreamed for a day like today. I was overjoyed just to see their faces and hear their shouts of joy.
Out on the field they lined up for a photo shoot with the village leaders. Shouts and cheers erupted with the first whistle to start the friendly match between these two orphan youth groups from neighboring villages. A spirited game ended in a 1-0 score and everyone had a great time. We ended the afternoon by sharing a glass of soy milk with all the players. A big thank you to Peter Baartman and the Coastal FC from South Surrey for making the hopes and dreams of these orphan boys come true!