YOU are Called to Stand in the GAP

Virtues: 
Image 6

Coach (to wife via text): “They are trying to find someone to take this kid in.” 
Pause for a few minutes.

Coaches wife (to husband via text): "Why don't we do it?"

Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans
who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. Obviously these children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death. More Facts and Stats on Child Homelessness

 
IMG_4659

L to R- CHCA 2013 football captains: Ryan Prescott, Nick Marsh, Conner Osborne, Kyle Davis, Tyler Renners and Head Coach, Eric Taylor (missing Christian Willard)

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy(CHCA) recently has become a consistent small school (470 students 9-12) play-off football team. Founded in 1989, it actually came very close to an outright football state championship, finishing 14-1, losing only in the state final. However, all hopes are that this year's team can finish what that 2005 CHCA team started. Finishing the regular season 10-0 and ranked #1 in the AP Division V OHSAA final season poll, the Eagles are getting ready for more games, starting first and foremost with their 1st round playoff game this weekend.

 
Athletics CHCA_1925352643

CHCA players praying before a game.

Head Football Coach Eric Taylor and his CHCA football team implemented SportsLeader 1-on-1 mentoring this past season. Some coaches can be led to believe that since their teams are pretty good there's no need to do anything more. On the contrary, Coach Taylor and his staff knew that no matter how good their team potentially could be, no matter how good their kids and their families were, kids get lost through the cracks, every day. The more "foster parents" to help, the BETTER! And since EVERY kid at CHCA is way too valuable to lose, mentoring this year was emphasized even more than normal; coaches teaming up with players, mentoring them about life on and off the field.

 
IMG_4661

L-R:Assistant Coach Brandon Sammons, CHCA player Prince Michael Sammons and Head Coach Eric Taylor

It's a sad fact of life that many coaches view their players, ONLY as players. They are not human beings but instead commodities in which coaches leverage their personal ambitions. So why mentor them? Why help them with life? Why be another parent? Heck, there's no orphans on my team! Well, ONE of those 153 million orphans arrived to Cincinnati two years ago via Nigeria. That one's (Prince) mother and father both had died and he was orphaned in America with nobody who REALLY cared about him. Was there anybody that could, that WOULD, come to this young man's rescue? CHCA teacher Brandon Sammons texted his wife, "They are trying to find someone to take this kid in."

 
7_1126543

Prince Sammons happy to find a new home!

So, a normal, typical American family came to the rescue. Despite having already a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 1 year old, with only two bedrooms in their small home, the Sammons came to the rescue. After legal hurdle after hurdle of being told they couldn’t adopt him, a typical American family fought tooth and nail to get it done for a young man they loved, who needed somebody's help.

July 19, 2012, the Sammons family was granted permanent custody of Prince. 
January 22, 2013, Prince's green card was approved and subsequently, the OHSAA ruled immediately to grant him eligibility to play basketball. 
April 18, 2013, the adoption was finalized and his name was legally changed to Prince Micheal Sammons.

 

When you read about Prince Michael Sammons in the years to come, you will hear about this 6' 8"- 260 lbs defensive end that is one of the best football players in the state of Ohio. Many will marvel at his football playing abilities. But never forgot how God made this all possible. A humble teacher/coach and his wife asked each other what God would want. He told them….. and they obeyed. But people, I ask, How many MORE Prince Michael Sammons are out there? We know already, that there are too many to count. The real questions should be:

How many typical American families are out there to stand in the gap?

How many typical American coaches are out there to mentor and lead, TO STAND IN THE GAP?

Thank God for Prince there was one here in Cincinnati and on the CHCA football coaching staff. There are Prince's out there waiting for all of US.(some already living in our houses!). When are we going to WAKE UP to our vocation-TO LOVE- and to stand in the gap.

Thank you- Sammons family and ALL families who have taken the courage to take the leap of faith to take a child into their home!

Check out more of the Prince Michael Sammons story HERE!