Think about those deep, sustainable relationships that you have. Those family members, friends who you can call any time and talk to them about anything. The one, you know will drop whatever they are doing, to come to your rescue and vice versa. Now, think about how that relationship came about and the work it took to get to that point. All the toil and time was worth it…right?! The fruit is sweet and full.
I, Ryan, was recently in Guatemala with Carter and Matt getting some hands-on training from Brock and Mynor at our academy in Buena Vista. We learned the logistics of the ministry then got in on the Devos, Soccer, Education, Nutrition, and life. It was good being at our new home and seeing how our family was going to integrate into the ministry. A lot of it was stuff that I had been thru before, but it was good to see things from a different perspective.
BVSA’s vision is to spend intense relational time with a few boys of the community in the hopes of “going deep with each of them in an effort to instill longterm, life-changing values” (https://www.bvboys.com/about-bvsa/what-we-do/). Most of the time there will be 30-36 boys in the Academy on a given day. That number will drop at times due to a variety of reasons. But, the point is to “go deep” with a few over a long period of time rather than jump in and stay shallow with a lot for a short period of time. If a Rhino joins at 10 or 11, he will have had 7-8 years of cultivation at the Academy.
As in any lasting relationship, the work of cultivating is not easy. There is toil, sweat, and tears. Think of all the time the farmer puts in before he starts seeing any growth. Working with young people can be the same way. Any parent of a teenager is saying “Amen!!” right now. Yet, when the growth does come and your toil comes to fruition, it can be uplifting and sweet.
I got to witness some of this last week. At each academy, the goal is lead young men to Jesus. Where the Holy Spirit lights them on fire making them disciples of Jesus. And, in turn, they head out and make more disciples. Disciples being discipled who then go out making more disciples. BVSA staff is looking forward to the day when the boys that they have poured into, for so long, rise up and lead their community to change.
Every Thursday, Mynor leads a Bible Study for Rhino alumni’s. Last week, we had 9 former Rhino’s learning from the Bible, speaking honestly about life, confessing sins, and challenging each other. The night ended with one of the guys stepping up and throwing down a challenge. A challenge for them all to take the next step forward and put their “money where their mouth is”. For them to step up and start helping the younger Rhinos. BAM!! It was awesome, Allen was personifying what they had been taught…run together as a Crash of Rhinos to Jesus and keep each other accountable as “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Prov 27:17)”
It was awesome to see, and I have only been blessed to see the ups/downs of a few. Both, Mynor and Brock, were encouraged with the fruit that they got to see on that night. These young men that they poured into many, many years ago are stepping up and continuing to grow into the men God has called them to be…the young men that God is growing them up to be. We all believe and grasp what Paul says in 1 Cor 3:7: “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” Knowing that, it is still sweet to see the fruit. And that fruit is sweet for several reasons: God is glorified thru His work, God is glorified thru your work, and God encourages you for continued work. All in all, it’s great to see God at work and how He prunes and cultivates all for His glory (John 15).