What happens when an 11-year-old boy from Oklahoma dreams big…not just for himself but for others? Landon Lee, now 12 years old, just recently returned from a trip to Haiti with Mission of Hope. Landon’s trip was his 12th birthday gift, and he graciously took his parents with him on his mission to serve the people of Haiti, specifically kids his age whom he had never met in a country he had only heard about through his uncle, who had served in Haiti on several medical missions trips following the earthquake.
Landon is a sports lover, and baseball is his main love, but he is just one of those kids that loves everything about sports. As Landon started to focus on how he could help in Haiti, he realized that kids in Haiti love soccer and that they might not have the equipment to play soccer like kids in the U.S. So starting on his 11th birthday, Landon began asking people to donate towards his goal of gathering soccer equipment for the kids in Haiti. Former teachers, his church, church friends, and family donated money and gift certificates, enough so that 250 pounds of soccer equipment traveled with Landon and his parents to Haiti!
Landon and his family were able to join with other teams when they arrived at MOH and participated in village time, kids clubs, and the painting of a school. They knew that most likely they would not be able to share in the distribution of the equipment as the Village Champions would be determining how to distribute the equipment and Mission of Hope is very careful of supporting indigenous mobilization. However, Papitass, one of the village champions and an excellent soccer player himself, was able to set up a soccer game and asked that Landon and his parents be there. Landon was able to see his dream and hard work come to fruition as the equipment was passed out to the kids. Even better, he was able to play soccer with them and see the kids playing with the equipment and wearing the clothing he had donated! After playing, a coach of some of the kids thanked Landon and asked him if this was a one-time trip or if he would return for a visit. Landon assured him he would be back!
Landon was able to see a dream come true. Even more, he lived out what Papitass so clearly stated to the kids that received the equipment: “Sometimes people serve, and sometimes people just want to hang out and have fun with you to show God’s love.” A 12-year-old boy shared God’s love in an amazingly tangible way, but also in the way that evidences he understands what Mission of Hope is all about. He loved every man, woman, and CHILD! Thanks Landon for sharing your heart and cleats!