A hard learned lesson might await for those who do not meet the minimum.
For the past several months I've been working fairly intensively with the youth of Maria Reina Orphanage. More specifically, I've been working with the four guys. They are a great group of guys with so much personality and potential. It has been my goal to help develop their personal character while helping them realize their potential.
I'm trying to accomplish this because I know that I am not going to be with them forever, and if they want to escape that hellish district of the city, they need to develop perseverance, commitment, responsibility and character. Basically, they need to see growth in their personal lives that reflects values and virtues which enable them to "make it" in this life.
The World Cup offered me a great chance to help them build character. I have a plan to take the four guys to the Hilton Colon Hotel to watch the final match in the hotel's public restaurant. The restaurant has a giant 10x10 foot screen on which to watch the match. It would provide the perfect environment plus help make memories with these guys, which is equally important. And here is how the plan could help them build their character. Three weeks ago I told them about the plan. I also told them that they needed to save $3.00 to go.
Now, if you know the least bit about the Hilton, you know $3.00 doesn't buy much. In fact, even in Ecuador, it only buys a coke. Their meals are going to be covered by an offering taken by OM's Prayer Group as well as some donations from others.
So, why the $3.00? First, it is a process through which they can learn discipline and savings. Second, when they bring some money to the table, it immediately changes the dynamics of my relationship with them. It goes from a paternal relationship to a friendship. Thirdly, they need to prove they really want to do this through their own actions.
Here is the problem, two of the boys have spent their money, not saved it. They've gone the wrong direction!
They were looking for sympathy from me this week as the deadline approached. Well, they are not going to get it. They don't know how much we are already going to do for them. They don't know we plan to buy their food and pay for transportation. They think that is covered in the $3.00. In a last minute effort to give them a life line, I've agreed to bake them cookies that they can then sell to raise the money. They responded positively, but we shall see if they follow through with the plan.
I hope for their sakes they have the money.I will not change my mind about the set standard. If they don't have their money come game day, they won't be going. It's not about the money, it's about the principle, and the principle and its lesson are way more important than $3.00.
You know what is funny about this situation? It closely reflects the spiritual reality between us and God. There is this minimum standard none of us could meet because of our own actions and decisions. God then goes out of His way to provide a means to meet the standard. I hope for others' sakes that they act upon His grace. I have this feeling, His isn't going to change His mind or His standard either.