The Potential of a Street Boy – Ethiopia Day 7

Guest post by Jeff Hawley – Post written about the seventh day of the trip, August 19

I once heard someone say that great leaders first identify a gap and then find a way to fill it. After spending a week with The Change Boys I realized the capacity these boys have to become something great and realized the gap that Adam Taylor is trying to fill.

The potential you see in these boys is not something that any of us on this trip saw only once during this week, but it is something you see over and over and over again. I humbly experienced how great these boys can be many times while playing soccer with them today – I was schooled by Lilly, almost falling on my face, and he didn’t even have on shoes while playing on pavement.

As part of our camping trip over the past couple of days, we have been working with the boys on teamwork and problem solving exercises. Today, we split the boys into teams, gave them some materials (popsicle sticks, string, rubber bands, tape, etc.), and asked them to design something that could shoot a ping-pong ball. The teams then competed for the design that could first shoot the ball the farthest and then for accuracy.

I have to admit that I was not sure how well the teams would work collaboratively or what type of contraptions would result from this exercise. I was blown away; these boys did an AMAZING job on this challenge. They thought through their design, communicated to each other their plans, collaborated while building their design, equally participated in the competition, demonstrated great sportsmanship, and worked incredibly hard.

In the end, my team, Team A, won the both parts of the competition; we did have an advantage because Matasebia (ma-ta-say-be-ah) used his experience from the street with a slingshot and dominated the entre competition.

One year ago, these boys did not have very much hope and their potential was limited to selling gum on the streets; now, they have a new hope for in their future. What I learned was to not be so closed minded when looking at someone’s potential. When I look back on my life, I realize that the greatest opportunities presented to me where based on the potential that someone saw in me.

The Change for Change Ministry has completed their first year living with these 15 boys. My prayer for their next year is that they would exceed the limits they have set in their minds and realize their God given potential.