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Adrian&Sanda Soporan Family

Train Up a Child…

Everybody is crazy about events and sensations where we experience some brief and intense emotion, and then we wait for the next event, as brief and intense as the rest of them. The toilsome path of learning is far from being sensation and explosion. It eludes the spotlight and media coverage. If you want to transpose it all into a metaphor, everybody is awaiting the tennis final—with spectacular shot rallies, intense emotions, fantastic plays and the shiny trophy raised over the head. Everyone awaits such a display of technical and athletic gracefulness. However, no one fills the bleachers, buys tickets or sits in front of the TV screen with their hearts in their mouths to watch the practice. No one except the coach! But there, in the trenches of learning, which are melted in the endless hours of exhausting and sometimes frustrating practice, the true champions are trained and born. But that is where there is gnashing of teeth when the same strike needs to be practiced a thousand times. That is where determination comes into play when you understand how much there is that still needs to be prepared and perfected, and time seems to fly. The children that we train today at Caminul Felix can become tomorrow’s champions. But in order to experience such a glorious and brilliant moment, those thousands and thousands of unglamorous moments are necessary, when they need to understand why and how they have to learn how to master the art and rules of the game first. And this exercise becomes all the more difficult, as we mentioned above, as today everyone is interested in the moment of victory, in the moment of reaching the top, but not in the sweat, in the effort and sacrifice involved in getting there. To talk countless times about the imperishable value of virtues, to point something out to them and to request of them the not at all desirable effort to do their school assignments, to sit down with them in order to start all over again the math problem that can’t seem to be solved, to advise them once again not to give up but to keep trying, to take them by the hand in order to revisit their past while seeking healing for their traumas—all of these things and other such things are part of the learning process, part of the practice for the game called life, where you never know what strikes will come from over the net. And for that purpose, with your help and with God’s guidance, we teach them to sometimes stand in front of the net, being on the offense; and sometimes to stand on the baseline, being on the defense; or we run on the field alongside them in order to inspire them to play better and better and more and more correctly. Because yes, the true and fulfilling victories which stand the test of time are achieved at the cost of hard work, but also of obeying rules. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that no athlete receives the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules (2 Timothy 2:5). Some seem to explode with every practice, while others move with more difficulty. But even in tennis, not everyone is Federer, Nadal or Simona Halep, but they too were once taught by someone. With every strike of the ball, with every practiced move, in other words with every practice, with every day that you pour yourself into them by teaching them, you feel your power diminishing while they become more and more vigorous, stronger and stronger. We become smaller, but they grow… And that is the most beautiful investment! Dear friends, together we make up the team of coaches, the team of teachers! Thank you for not growing weary and for squeezing yourselves for another year in order to give them the chance to grow, to learn and to develop. And maybe someday, somewhere hidden in a corner of the bleachers of life, we will joyfully and tearfully witness the impeccable game of one or the other of those to whom we are now showing the path to victory.

Sanda & Adrian Soporan, parents in House 5, Caminul Felix 1