As we dug the foundation for House 1, we planned that 15 orphaned boys would live in this home. The same plan existed for House number 2, except that this would be the home for 15 girls. These homes were built with much care and love with no expenses spared at a one of a kind mountain location that brings new meaning to the word beautiful. In January of 2018, as these homes were nearing completion, PANI (El Patronato Nacional de la Infancia), the institution that oversees the rights and conditions of minors in Costa Rica, instituted a new policy as it relates to orphans. Their new system chose a foster care model for orphaned and marginalized children instead of an orphanage model. PANI would deny the permits for any new orphanage in the country, as well as begin closing down nearly all existing orphanages. This unexpected news forced us, as well as many other ministries, to refocus and change our model.
The wonderful news is that what man saw as a surprise, God sees as an opportunity. After much prayer, in September of 2018, a new ministry was launched, and a new plan was adopted. A Christian Soccer Academy. Since the inception of the academy, we have seen miracle after miracle of lives and families changed. The impact of this model has been beyond our wildest dreams. God has used soccer to not only encourage children, but give them hope for their future as they learn biblical values, teamwork, and a strong work ethic. Through the academy, we have seen children and families accept Jesus as their personal savior, be baptized in water, and find purpose in life through Christ.
So what’s next?