A few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, Love & Hope Children’s Home participated in a soccer tournament with our friends from La Casa de Mi Padre and Mi Casa, two other children’s homes here in El Salvador.
In total, there were over 100 people in attendance: kids, teenagers, young adults, caregivers and volunteers. The event was organized and paid for by a team from Cuyahoga Valley Church visiting Love & Hope Children’s Home for the week, but we were also joined by a team visiting La Casa de Mi Padre, which only added to the fun!
Once everyone had arrived, we gathered around to hear how the tournament would work. Tio Julio, from Love & Hope, said a prayer to start the tournament.
Each home was divided into two teams: younger kids and older kids. And each team played two games, one game against each of the other homes. Vanessa and Moises were the stars. Vanessa was a goal-scoring machine, and Moises, as goalie, stopped ball after ball from going into our goal. Aly, Salvador, Eliseo and Miah also did a tremendous job!
Next, the older kids played their two games. We were so proud of them! The Love & Hope teenagers were relatively young compared to several players from the other homes, but that didn’t stop us. Our kids did awesome and played aggressively; Esau and Michell were unstoppable! They were supported by Jocelyn, Jacobo, Tio Henry and Raquel.
In the end, Love & Hope won every game! Perhaps even more awesome than that, our kids, caregivers and volunteers supported each other incredibly. Love & Hope was so loud! We tried to wear similar shirts and made posters. It was fun to see that the little kids, especially, enjoyed the noise and cheering. They were so proud of themselves and reveled in the attention.
After the tournament, each child was allowed to choose a prize while they waited for pizza. Once the pizza arrived and everyone was served, the kids and adults from the three homes ate together and mingled. It was fun to see them interacting, sharing and laughing together. They compared experiences and found common ground. This tournament turned out to be a great way for our kids to connect with peers in their same situation.
It was a wonderful afternoon of fellowship. Thank you to the Cuyahoga Valley Church team for making it all possible!