An academy is a group of people who gather around a common love. Here at ASAPH, we have a music academy. My students are teaching beginners.
B.J. is teaching her second group of beginners on trumpet, sharing her love for music.
E.M. is teaching her first group of beginners on trumpet.
N.B. is teaching trumpet beginners as well.
P.S. is teaching several trombone students.
A.M. is teaching solfege (music theory).
R.C. is leading the "B" band in practices.
O.J. is teaching keyboard and leading small music ensembles.
T.M. is teaching music (recorder) in schools around the area.
I meet with these "young maestros" from time to time equipping them with the tools they need to grow as young teachers. They are developing leadership skills that will be useful in whatever they decide to pursue in life.
ASAPH sponsors make these programs possible...providing instruments, stands, chairs, written music, visual aids, and a clean, safe work environment. Music happens almost every afternoon here at ASAPH. Without you, we'd be whistling.
When I go to PA for a while, my memories and impressions of the work here always change a bit. Distance seems to cover some problems and embellish good things. Because of that, the first days I spend in Pasbwadòm often bring a few shocks. Most are negative, but there are some surprises that are beautiful to see.
The AAF soccer team underwent a bit of a fracture in 2022. Our longtime soccer coach kind of lost the great relationship he had with the players on the team. He also moved on to more “adult” pursuits...directing a primary school not far from here. At the same time he left, we were devising a way for the team to function in two parts : Junior and Senior. We had never had a senior team (over 18 years old), but the benefits of having one became apparent to me over time.
Before I flew home in February, I had set up a plan for 4 young men from the senior team to lead the younger team in a weekly session of teaching on Tuesdays at 4:00pm. I should have been here to smooth out that transition, but I wasn’t able to do so. I didn’t expect much.
I came back to pleasant signs of success. Reports were all good from the people I spoke with about the weeks I missed. On Tuesday, I sat in while the young men did their thing with the younger players. I watched as S.J.C did a devotion and taught from a book I wrote about how to be a man according to God. Then E.J.W. taught from a book we made based on the FIFA’s 17 laws of soccer. After that, B.W. spoke with the team about their upcoming practice on the field.
I was delighted. The work Jude had done for the last several years had produced visible fruit. His investment in the AAF players has produced AAF leaders. It was a blessing to be shocked by the lessons I followed, by the desire I saw in the young men to lead others, and by their ability to do it well. God is good!
WEC is leading the AAF Senior soccer team now...for the past several months. They are preparing for a match on Sunday. Last Saturday evening a showed up at practice, just moments after arriving in Pasbwadòm.
The team was ready to get to work for WEC, present and motivated. They launched into a series of physical training exercises with the equipment AAF provides. It was quiet and serious, but with the laughter of young men enjoying what they are doing. At one point WEC whistled for a three minute break. The team efficiently helped itself to juice from a thermos and bread from a bag...with no tension and no one left out. After the three minutes, they were back on the field working on schemes and plans.
WEC is a quiet leader. The guys seem to be united with him. After practice yesterday there was a problem. One of the players had complained about who was chosen for a certain position. He has used language unacceptable. A captain reported it to WEC, who addressed it well. He waited for the guilty party to apologize. It took a minute, but he did it. A team is a family, and love must reign. The mood lightened dramatically after that apology. I noticed several older players who were proud of the progress the team had made functioning together. I was proud of them as well.
AAF is presenting Christ to soccer players in a rural Haitian community...one practice at a time.
Missionary in Haiti.