Friday, April 15, 2011

Emerging Victorious

It was a monumental achievement. Restore Leadership Academy's boys and girls soccer teams not only won the Amuru District Championships, but also emerged victorious in last week’s Regional Championships. For a tiny little academy of 240 students to rise to this level was an incredible achievement- they are the champions of a Northern region spanning 7 districts and well over a million people.

The most astounding part of this success is the way in which they did it: with uncompromising integrity and solid teamwork. It is common here for teams to bring "mercenaries" (older and highly talented players that are paid) to help their school succeed. Player documents are forged, bribes are paid, and the resulting games are often violent clashes, fueled by the insatiable desire to win at all costs.

Our boys facing a "mercenary" from Kitgum District

Restore’s kids quietly and steadily defeated each of the loaded teams they faced this year, letting their unselfish feet do the talking, and their united spirit the rebuking. Restore's conduct and success sent a clear message to the region: These games are meant to develop children’s character, unity, and respect for each other- virtues that not only lead to success on the soccer field, but also to the kind of leaders this society will need as it breaks free from the corruption and evil that has stifled its past.

We are so proud of our students, and so thankful for our teachers and staff that have poured love and life into them. It’s already bearing fruit: we’ve witnessed these young men and women challenge and inspire their peers, honor God and their fellow man through their actions, and emerge victorious on the field and in life. I have every faith they’ll continue to lead their families and communities into a brighter future.