My New Friend, Miguel

10/01/07

I would like to tell you about one of my friends from the Dominican Republic. His name is Miguel. He’s a small, 13-year-old from Don Bosco, one of the bateys where COTN operates a school. I met him last summer when I had come to play basketball at the school. Any time the children were playing basketball, he was sure to be found close by. This summer I got the chance to hang out a little more with Miguel, and I found out more of his life story. Miguel hangs out with a group of boys at Don Bosco who write and sing Christian Rap songs. Every night he and three other boys meet at the one-room church to pray and hang out. They even sleep on little cots together there. When I asked him why he traveled there to sleep every night, he said, “My home life is really hard with my parents always fighting and my father drinking, so I prefer to sleep here.”

As I continued to talk to Miguel about his life, he shocked me with the next question I asked him, “What things in life give you the most joy?” Being a 13-year-old boy, I expected him to answer that playing basketball or singing the rap songs with his friends gave him the most joy, but his answer was nothing of the sort. He said, “The thing that would give me the most joy in life would be if my whole family came to know Jesus Christ.” I thought that was a very touching answer, but I continued to try to find out what things he liked to do. “Okay, but what things do you like to do that give you joy in life?” I asked. Then he looked at me and said, “No, you don’t get it, the only thing that would give me the most joy in life would be if my family came to know Jesus Christ. I pray for that every day.” It was really cool to see that the single thing that really mattered to this young boy was that his family would know God. It made me think about my own life and how much effort I really put into making sure my family and friends know God.