Perseverance and Determination

John Paul has never lost faith in his ability as a soccer player. When he joined our Urukundo family, he proclaimed that he would some day play for Manchester United in England. Every boy is entitled to his dream and this was JP's dream. John Paul has weak legs but strong determination. At least they appear to be weak, but I guess they are stronger than I'd thought. Many nights after a hard competitive game I would hear him and know he was in pain but when approached he would swear he had no pain.  As his mom I have many times tried to discourage him playing outside of Urukundo. I feared he would get hurt. He is not a big boy in size but in heart he is a giant.
He did get hurt many times at secondary school and at the stadium yet every time he bounced back and went right on playing Foote Ball (coccer). Finally the school called for us to come as he was in too much pain. A severely dislocated shoulder brought him to his knees,  and I was grateful our nurse Nancy Ehrig was here and was able to put it back in place. I could not have done that one. She was great and for a time JP played no soccer recovering slowly. He continued to live with muscle spasms, bruises, sprained ankles that had to hurt and the list goes on. Still he played soccer every chance he got. The doctor said, "Let him play as long as he is able," and so we did, supplying pain medicine and heat rubs as needed, wrapping ankles and elevating limbs to relieve the discomfort. It is not easy to see your child in pain and let him continue doing what is hurting him.
JP was and is the Captain of our Urukundo Soccer team. He is the best and there has been no doubt of that.

Home from taking his National Exam and waiting for the results JP went to the stadium several miles away from our campus every day walking both ways most of the time. He became a part of the team and was
selected by his coach as one of three boys to go to a competition at Butare. The winner would be given a place at a sports school. This school is a special school. You must be good to go there. The competition lasted 3 days. JP came home and looked so tired and a bit sad when he came to let me know he was home. I put my arms around him thinking I needed to comfort him.  That was not the case. He let me hug him and then he said. "Mama I am the winner"
This morning January 25,2013 this boy who would not give up went off to the new school where he has earned a place by pure will power and love of the game with a happy smile on his face. Yes perseverance and determination and faith in himself has paid off. Please keep JP in prayer.