Athletes Helping Haiti

Tyler protecting the sign despite the strong winds.

Unless you live in some cave or isolated cabin without any connection to the outside world, you have undoubtedly heard about earthquake devasted Haiti. Thousands of lives lost. Millions left without homes. Many more injured, some for life. Haiti has been forever changed because of what took place on January 12, 2010.

Immediately, millions of Americans sought to be a help. Fundraising efforts were organized. Rescue teams were mobilized. Help began to pour into one of the poorest nations on the western hemisphere. You must admire and appreciate the spirit of the American people when a need of this magnitude arises anywhere around the globe.

Yet, in the midst of all this, for the American people life goes on. People go to work. Students go to school. Homes unaffected by the quake go back into their respective routines. Once again, many become slaves to their own calendars. Then there’s the group of student-athletes at Gateway Baptist Academy, where I am blessed to be a principal.

Last Thursday evening, we had scheduled a fundraiser for our school’s sports program. As in everything, the beginning stages of a program can be the most expensive as you purchase equipment, uniforms and other miscellaneous items. Hence the need to raise funds. However, after a few comments from students, I sensed a desire to do much more with these funds than what was planned.

After meeting with all the student-athletes, it was confirmed. They wanted to help the people of Haiti. In an era were athletes can be so self-centered, I was proud to be the principal of a group that wanted a portion of their funds to go to the missionaries on the ground in Haiti. These funds will be used to buy supplies for the people of Haiti as well as meet their physical and spiritual needs. Wow! Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of teenagers today that are thinking about the needs of their families, much less the needs of other people across the world.

I’ve said this many times before, I have the best “job” in the world. To have the daily opportunity to train each student to have the mind of Christ, what can be better than that? It is not always the easiest task. There are times of criticism and discouragement. I have even at times asked if it’s all worth it. On one Thursday evening, as the wind howled and the rain fell upon the Arizona desert floor, I can emphatically say, “Yes! It is worth it!”  Thank God for teenagers who think of people other than themselves.

The kids are thinking, "Chicken or steak?"

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