It all came to an end last night, culminating in a one hour basketball game between two teams. We played four on four. The competition was stiff with tough defense, moments of great offense, and lots of enthusiasm. The coaches required their teams to pass the ball at least three times before shooting a shot. This was frustrating for some players; encouraging for others. Parents from across the street came to watch, along with brothers and sisters. It truly was a great family time.
I am proud of the coaches, the players, everyone involved. It has been one of the most satisfying basketball camps I have run because of the new relationships which are developing. Photos will appear soon on my old blog. I will notify my readers here when I have a chance to post them.
I have been reminded of a few key lessons in this experience:
- Sports give an opportunity to learn and teach life lessons which often pass us by in sterile classrooms.
- Learning new skills develops confidence and can build trust.
- Even the most marginalized child can experience positive things in sport, providing their is gentle and consistent encouragement.
- If the church has a resource like a gymnasium, it is being remiss if it does not share that resource with the community.
- Language, culture, and resources need not serve as a barrier to forging warm relationships. Rather, they provide an opportunity to work hard in creating understanding. Lots of smiles. Meeting of basic needs for food, clothing, things to do, skill training. All of these things create redemptive moments of contact.