Have you ever told God the plans that he has for you and then watched as laughed at you and showed how much better his plans are than yours? When we moved back to Uganda in May of 2015, we had a pretty good understanding of how life worked in here and where we wanted to live. We knew that living in a certain place would be ideal for balancing ministry and still having the luxuries of the city nearby.
After three days of searching non-stop for a house, we ended up in a place nowhere close to where we wanted to live. At the time we thought we were settling for something decent that was close enough. A few weeks later, another missionary family came into our lives. Children in the same age range as ours, facing similar struggles to what we would face. Emily, the mother was connected to a Christian international school across town. She introduced Brecka to the director, which led to her becoming a teacher’s helper, allowing Jacob to go to school a few days a week for pre-kindergarten, and eventually the school asked Brecka to become a full time teacher, even helping her to get her teaching certificate.
God had plans for us when he gave us this home in Uganda
If the story stopped right there, it would be an awesome show of how God has a plan and place for us, but the story continues.
In August the school was looking for a soccer coach. Being appreciative of the fact they helped Brecka and subsequently helped get our two children into school (a great one at that), I volunteered. I didn’t expect much out of it, just to be able to do what I loved. The school only played a few games over two months and then it was over. I loved the kids and the time I had there, but this story isn’t over.
While coaching, one of the parents came to me to tell of the struggles her son has had in soccer. He has a dream of becoming a professional soccer player one day. There were no great programs to help her son get to where he wanted to go. A few ideas had come and gone from people outside wanting set something up, but nothing ever materialized. I introduced her to our program and she loved it. The problem was that our program was far away. She also had contacts of many people in a similar situation. Their kids have been in soccer programs in Kampala, but they weren’t high level programs. So she asked me if we would be willing to expand our program to be closer to these people.
At first I didn’t have any interest and basically ignored her. After all, I was busy with our program and that was good enough for me. She didn’t stop asking though; and other parents began to ask. So we prayed about it and began asking if this was something possible. The answer was extremely clear, it’s not only possible; it’s needed.
It’s needed for a few reasons. One being that for kids to dream of being professional footballers, they need the chance to get there. Even if they have the talent to do so, kids in Uganda can’t make it to the European leagues without help getting there. We can help them do that by traveling to tournaments abroad.
The other reason this was needed is because our ministry needs a way to become more self-sustainable. A program like this will help us generate a little income to help the soccer program we already have. It will partner together two areas that can work together and ease our need for overseas funding, while still giving hope to those at our ministry center.
The training grounds for Rising Star Football Academy will be at the home of Uganda’s most successful football team, KCCA FC; one of only two full size turf fields in Uganda
We are excited to kick off the new Rising Star Football Academy in February, completely self-sustaining and giving hope to more kids. The high end program will have top notch coaches, training materials and tournaments to participate in, sharing resources with the Rising Star Recreation and Education Center in Gayaza; our original project.
All of this made possible through delicate planning God put in place, by having us “just settle” for a house in May 2015. We wonder where it will go from here, I know God is already ahead of us planning that too.