Monday, August 2, 2010

Keller Park Basketball Camp

Last week I had the privilege of helping out with the first ever Keller Park Basketball Camp.

My last post on here was about the lasting effects of Kids In Need and how it was changing my life. This camp was an opportunity to live out what I wrote about.

I met some really cool kids and connected with some new adults I probably would never have had the chance to know if it weren't for the basketball camp. I was able to come alongside of Kory and Alison Lantz and Ryan Yazel in the ministry they're working so hard at in the Keller Park neighborhood.

One little girl, in particular, touched me deeply. Her name is Synsere and you can see her in the picture above. It wasn't until camp was over the first night that I met her. She was hanging out with some of the adults outside the court and I noticed her smile and spunk pretty quickly. Then I showed her how I could spin a ball on my finger. She seemed fascinated, so I tried several times to pass the ball to her outstretched finger. It took a while, but I finally got it to spin on her finger for several seconds and she lit up! She has a big smile anyways, but after spinning the ball on her finger she was beaming.

I played with her for a little longer and then had to get back home. The next night I brought my whole family and they, too, fell in love with Synsere. That night Kory also told me a little bit of Synsere's story. She comes from a broken home, as many of the kids in that neighborhood do. The last month of her life has been a real roller coaster and they were happy she was at camp.

I am happy too. Synsere may have changed my life last week.

Going into those three nights of camp I knew God was breaking my heart for kids who are in bad family situations, but I didn't have a face to put with that burden. Now I do. It's a face with rich, dark skin. It's a gummy smile with a few missing teeth. It's braided hair and bright eyes.

It's Synsere.

Now, every time I think about kids in rough homes I think of Synsere. She's just one of millions, but for me she's every one of them and she deserves more!