God is always pointing out the little treasures in our neighborhood, Belleville. Like the sweet, giving family that works at the fruit and vegetable store, the creative graffiti that the buildings are painted with, and the kids that play soccer at Parc de Belleville, a treasure that God pointed out to Melanie, one of our staffs here in Paris.
Melanie is one of our staff from the US, she has been pretty much playing soccer since she was able to walk, so you can say that soccer has been a huge part of practically her whole life! When Mel came to staff last year in Paris she started playing soccer with the people at the park. She told me that first time she played soccer there everyone who was playing were all amazed and took videos on their phones and sent it to their friends. From then on she continued going back to the park. When I asked her how she felt the first few times playing soccer with the kids she said, “I liked it because there was people of all ages there, and they invited me to play. Not just the little kids, but the adults too would invite me. And whenever I would pass them in Belleville they would call out and say, ‘Hey, Coach!’”
She explained to me that since she can talk to them more in French this year she is able to communicate better with them. Her goals for the next year with the kids and adults that play soccer there is just to gain respect, and most importantly gain friendship with them.
I asked her when she feels the most joy with the kids and she said it’s when there are all ages represented on the field. Not just young kids or teens, but adults and parents too. They all can learn from each other and grow.
“I see so much potential for their soccer skills to grow, and their life skills. And when you’re a little kid, all the kids just run and crowd to the ball. But when you grow up, it’s about the whole team picture and helping each other out. So it’s really cool to watch them learn how to work as a team. Just like life, as a kid you want all the attention. But when you grow you learn that the world doesn’t revolve around you but it’s about working as a team, and working for others as well as yourself.” -Melanie
À la prochaine!