Politics aside, this afternoon CSB was scheduled to play the only other team in our group of five which is still participating, Kakuka. Sure, they showed up late, and then the officials were even later, so the 2 pm game started after 4. Sure, two of the Kakuka players were disqualified because of being too old (you have to be within 6 years of finishing primary school to play) but since they had no subs, our team decided to let them play anyway. We all just wanted a real game, at last!
And it was great. Our boys played hard, and well. The very first goal of the season was scored by our own "son" Mutegheki, who in a very Rooney-ish move dribbled, passed ahead to the outside corner beautifully, ran straight to the middle, received the pass back, and drove it in. I think each score was completed by a different player, which shows the depth of the team. I recognize a lot of Nathan moves in their play. It was all a bit rougher and less controlled than when they scrimmaged each other, and they still have lots of room for improvement, but it was a great, morale-boosting game. Deus was cheering on the sidelines and delighted the students by laying down on the field after a successful penalty kick. The coaches were striding and shouting, the crowd was reasonably orderly but entertained, the girls sang praise songs and drummed and danced until they were hoarse, Julia danced on the sidelines with her friends while Jack hung out with his, we cheered with some teachers, and dozens of raggedly dressed little urchins swarmed the field whenever they could, seemingly trying to get close to their hero/role models, the CSB team.
It's only football, not graduating from University. Yes. But it is the most visible success of the school to the community. It is a display of discipline and team-work. It is a chance to shine, to be cheered, that these kids will possibly never have again. It is a demonstration of the possibility of standing bravely against foul play (hiring mercenary players was routine when Kevin first started). It is a time for students and staff and community to all be on the same side, wanting the same thing.
Christ School will never be easy, precisely because the powers that be do not want it to be here. It will always be a clashing ground of good and evil, of Kingdom values and harmful practices. However, days like to day give us a glimpse of hope. Healthy students playing their hardest, excited onlookers, a wholesome afternoon for hundreds of community spectators, the joy of the game, and general conduct that stands out as unique in this area. We heard this week that the church which gave the single largest donation to CSB last year decided not to repeat their gift this year, and that another major donor might also choose to drop out. But at the same time, we had unlooked-for gifts from two completely unexpected places thanks to two team mates, for which we are grateful. This is Christ's school. It challenges our faith to move it ahead when a third of the costs can not be met by the poverty-level tuition and have to be raised by us and our WHM colleagues. But today we remember that it is Christ who cares about these kids, and moves people to give, if we can only hang on we will see wonders even greater than the 6 to 1 score line. Amen.