In 2017 a lot of afternoon ministry was done with balls near the park in Barrouallie. It was a form of relaxation and exercise, as well as a great way to develop relationships. But these opportunities were also opportunities to create “structure” in the lives of children.
Sadly many children in Barrouallie don’t have a healthy family life. By this I mean the dads usually working, and the mother is caring for the younger children, so there is no authority figure to keep them in line.
I don’t blame the mother or father in this situation, but it’s still incredibly sad to see children able to do whatever they want, without repercussions.
My balls (and game-time) have helped create structure in at least one area of their life.
Basically if you obey the rules, you get to play! Our main rules are as follows.
- Don’t fight
- Don’t keep then ball for yourself
- Don’t get angry, or have a bad attitude
- And ANYBODY can play, as long as they obey the rules
The consequences are pretty straightforward to.
- If you break a rule you get a warning
- If you don’t listen to the warning you have to sit down and watch everyone else play
- If you won’t sit down, I pack up the ball and leave so nobody gets to play
It’s true that on more than one occasion I’ve had children very mad at me because I choose to leave because one person won’t obey. But a part of discipleship is not only having clear rules, but enforcing them in love.