Children Need Structure

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.

  1. Don’t fight
  2. Don’t keep then ball for yourself
  3. Don’t get angry, or have a bad attitude
  4. And ANYBODY can play, as long as they obey the rules

The consequences are pretty straightforward to.

  1. If you break a rule you get a warning
  2. If you don’t listen to the warning you have to sit down and watch everyone else play
  3. 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.

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