Caleb, the Rhino

Aight, it’s been a minute since we have posted anything.  Sorry, it has been a busy few months as we have been prepping to move…moving…and transitioning to a whole new culture.  The last little bit has been a blur.  

Leading up to our move, we had different prayer points and concerns that we took before God. One of our big concerns was how our kids would do transitioning to a life much different than the one they had been living.  As a kid, crossing cultures can be down-right terrifying.  A new home, new friends, new hobbies, new food, new school…it all adds up and a kid can out right rebel or break down.  With that said, we started praying and asking God for peace for our kids.  It was one of our very first prayer points.

We put all of our kids in God’s hands.  Yet, Caleb was the one we were concerned for the most.  No, it wasn’t a heart thing like him not wanting to come.  It was dealing with change. Caleb was not a dude who was up for trying new things, especially food. Caleb was the 1 yr old who didn’t want to touch or eat his cake.  He needed Occupational Therapy as a toddler to help with his gag reflex and textures with eating.  It took him 7 years to eat ice cream…yes, he was 7 when he finally started to eat ice cream.  It was 8 years for pizza.  His diet before coming was very limited by choice.

The kid breathed, ate, drank, and lived for baseball and knowing about baseball.  He was all about his baseball cards and finding documentaries on Netflix.  He bought MLB legos.  His fondness of Adam Wainwright, his Uncle Josh’s buddy, is intense…a kid who has never been to Missouri nor any farther West than Alabama is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. Soccer was not even on his radar.  All baseball, all the time.

Also, running was not Caleb’s forte.  Running poles during baseball was a chore and often he was in the back of the pack to finish.  If you gave him the option to run or walk, dude is gonna walk.  With discipline, he would rather do a wall sit/squat then run laps.  Running laps was a good way to imprint the lesson.  

However, God has moved in and through Caleb in so many ways since we arrived.  It has been really cool to see the young man that he is becoming.  The little toddler who use to scream and cry if you surprised him and hated to touch grass and struggled to eat new foods has been transformed into a Rhino!!  A young man running with other young men of a new culture toward Jesus!! 

In the last 2 weeks, Caleb has run four 5K’s…yes, I typed that correctly, FOUR 5K’s.  Three of the 4 have been from Buena Vista to Magdalena and back and the last one this past Friday was from Magdalena and up a mountain to an overlook of Lake Atitlan.  The way up is grueling with some significant inclines.  He has gone from last to finish to nearly last to fifth out of 15.  We are proud and amazed!!

Caleb & Luke trying some of Uncle Bobby’s Frog Legs!!!

Prior to our arrival, we had been trying to expand Caleb’s palate with different foods (see pic above).  He was trying different things…struggling to get stuff down.  Our focus of discipleship in this area was to be content and grateful with whatever you are served.  We anticipated some hard days because the boys at the Academy are required to finish all their food.  God has moved in Caleb to the effect that he has eaten all of his food and has not had any issues with the different textures and foods.  This is the amazing turnaround that we did not see coming!! Absolutely amazing how good God is.  The food turnaround from the time he was a baby to now is an absolute testimony to God alone.

Baseball is still a love of Caleb’s but my man has jumped into the Soccer scene with both feet, literally!!  We found him in the academy kicking soccer balls on his own today.  He looks for opportunities to play soccer at school with his new friends.  The dude has made friends here and quickly.  There is excitement for us as we anticipate what God will do through these new friendships.  Our prayer is that God will develop relationships through this new (to us) sport.

On Friday, Caleb received his Rhino gear.  He had endured the 2 grueling weeks of conditioning and is now “official”.  As his parents, we are so intensely proud of the accomplishment of becoming a Rhino.  He has worked so hard with a great attitude and deserves this honor. We, as his parents, are joyful to see God moving in Caleb and shaping him into the man that He wants Caleb to be.  As descendants of Adam, it would be easy to pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves that we are some great parents.  But, we know that God has done this work on Caleb.  God deserves all the credit.  May God continue to shape and mold Caleb into a vessel that He will use to help other young men of this village “crash” to Jesus!!

7 thoughts on “Caleb, the Rhino

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  1. “Praise the Lord” was all I could say as I was reading. I, too, am very proud of you Caleb. You are a shining light for the other boys. Loved your jersey , but not as much as the smile on your face. Love you all.

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    1. “Thanks for the encouragement!! School was hard at first but it’s getting better. Hope y’all are well!!”-Caleb

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