Featured Volunteer Story
Dan Carr with two Orbit Children. Dan is a Teacher and basketball coach from Lansing, Michigan.
I have made four trips to Orbit Village in the past six years. In each of these visits, I have spent the week prior to my time at Orbit Village working with at-risk adolescents in a more rural area of Kenya. We spend time learning about basketball and the Bible. We take a bus into Nairobi, which most of these boys have never seen, and take in all of the sights of “big city life.” Then, we continue on to Kayole and play our annual “Friendship Game” with the basketball team at Orbit Village. We try to put the older students in a position to see the influence they have on their younger peers. One way we do this is by having them conduct basketball clinics for the younger grades. One year we took the guys camping in an effort to build faith, trust, and leadership skills. Every year at Orbit Village I spend one day teaching the kids Spanish. They absolutely love it! And so do I.
I’ve accepted that I’m not a preacher, not a doctor, not an environmental engineer, or many of the other professions that are often associated with mission trips. I am a teacher and a coach.
And although I’ve never led a crusade, delivered a baby, or built a water well, I’ve discovered all over the world that sports have a unique power in drawing young people and entire communities to the Gospel. Ministry comes in many forms. I’ve learned to not worry about what God hasn’t equipped me to do and focus on what He has equipped me to love and to do and just go for it. Every person possesses the capacity for ministry, whether it be halfway around the world or next door.
One of the most powerful things anyone has ever said to me came from Cyndy Waters one night while we were sitting outside of the Orbit Village Boys’ Home. We had just concluded a busy day at the school and were just relaxing outdoors before dinner. Several of the boys were nearby. Some of them were sitting with us. A few of them were climbing all over me, fascinated by my white skin and the hair on my legs. Cyndy said, “For fifty one weeks out of the year, these boys don’t have a father, but for this one week they do.” Even the smallest actions we take can mean so much to these precious children.