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Meet Caesar, the soccer star

By Marilee Pierce Dunker
May 30, 2014

Children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!  —Psalms 127: 3-5

Last November I traveled to Sinazongwe, Zambia, to visit with Olivia, one of the gifts God has given our family through sponsorship. Olivia was orphaned by AIDS when she was 2, and her grandfather was struggling to raise her and 15 other grandchildren when Bob and I started sponsoring her in 2005. She is now married, and we sponsor her 5-year-old son, Talent. Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing her remarkable story in God Space. 

But first, I want you to meet Caesar.

I met Caesar when World Vision's Zambian staff took me to a village to see how solar-powered water tanks are making a difference in the lives of the people. The entire village gathered to welcome me with songs and dancing. Then we all gathered under the shade of a huge tree for the traditional speeches. 

I couldn’t help but notice one little boy sitting among the large group of children who had grabbed the closest seats. There is always one face that seems to demand special attention, and even though he was one of the smallest in the group, Caesar had that face! Maybe it was his perfectly rounded bald head or the pointed arch of his eyebrows that made him look like he was constantly surprised. Or perhaps it was the confident look in his eyes that seemed to say that even at 4 years old, there was very little Caesar couldn’t do when he put his mind to it.

Whatever the reason, Caesar had my attention.

After the meeting, Caesar’s mother, one of the village leaders, offered to show me her vegetable garden. We were walking towards the fenced-off area when Caesar sped ahead. In his hands was a ball made from black plastic trash bags, rolled together and tightly wrapped in string. I immediately recognized the homemade soccer ball. 

With a quick look to be sure we were all watching, the little boy dropped the ball and began to give us a master class on how to dribble a soccer ball. Collins Kaumba, a World Vision photographer, captured the entire exhibition in photos. So, it is with great joy that I introduce to you, Caesar — a future soccer star!

©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Meet Caesar.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Caesar takes the lead.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Everybody watching?
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Master class begins.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Footwork is critical.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
So is ball control.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
A pro never takes his eyes off the ball.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
And sticking your tongue out seems to help!
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
And that, folks, is how you do it.
©2013 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
Just think what Caesar could do with a real soccer ball!