One of the kids in our group has been known in the neighborhood as “The Bad Kid”. He had a foul mouth, made nasty gestures, didn’t participate in activities, or if he did only to distract others, fought with everybody and had the tendency to always get in trouble. One day when he happened to be with the group the kids were asked to draw a picture of their families. This was his picture. He went on explaining: “This is my Dad, he is trying to kill my Mom and that’s me under the bed.” He was in first grade then.
Since we started the soccer program after Bible Club he started to show up regularly. Lovingly but firmly we had to put him in his place a few times, but he started to be respectful with us and nicer with others. We found out that he was very sharp, enjoyed logical games and learnt very fast. But what he loved the most was still playing soccer. And even though most of the time he was the smallest on the field, he gave his 110% for the team. Last night after the game on the way home he told me: “Tonight I want to pray.” I can say I was really surprised. I wasn’t sure if he meant that tonight he was going to pray along with us, or that he wanted to lead the prayer, but I said: “Great!” We gathered on our patio around the fresh pizzas, put our hands together and he started to lead us in prayer: “Thank you God for this day. Thank you for this good game and thank you for the pizza. Amen.” How wonderful was to hear him praying and feel that something started in his little heart! In my head I thanked the Lord that a small mustard seed was sown.