Do you know what hard work is? That question has always raced in my mind since I was five. The dictionary definition of hard work is a great deal of effort or endurance. I always had dreams and aspirations to do many things. These were things where hard work seemed practical and times where it didn’t make sense. But the one thing that I would always lean on was hard work. I grew up in Africa till I was five, then I moved to the United States.
I first really learned what hard work was just by playing games and having fun around my house. As time would pass on, I learned more and more of what it meant. I think my first real-time learning about hard work was playing competitive sports. Football and basketball, in particular, stood out to me. I just loved how outstanding the players were at their sport and how hard they worked to become the best. The path they paved for themselves was an inspiration.
I kept that hard work in the back of my mind until my sophomore year in high school, as I continued, I focused more on basketball and football fell away. Basketball was my life. It taught me so many skills not just for basketball, but outside of it. It gave me the motivation to keep pushing my boundaries on things when I wanted to give up. This hard work plays part in my story today.
Hard work has pushed me so much, but I didn’t reach my goal for myself: so it was time to look elsewhere. College wasn’t an option, so I thought maybe a gap year. My mother had told me many times about YWAM and I wanted to escape Colorado at the time, so I found YWAM Maui and jumped on a plane, and I was off. The Lord had been wooing me back to Him since I had walked away from Him in my high school years. I arrived in Maui, excited but scared. We got a schedule, and they called these weird workdays “work blessings.”
The first day I worked in maintenance, it was entertaining and I enjoyed myself; cleaning, fixing and, doing the types of things I already knew how to do and enjoyed. I learned so much during my time with YWAM Maui before going home. But once again two years later, the Lord called me back to YWAM Maui to staff, and just like before I am in maintenance. I have been here for about four and a half months and counting, and let me tell you, it has been a rollercoaster of fun, enjoyment and, time spent with others and the Lord. He has been speaking to me and continuing to teach me the hard-working skills I had learned in basketball. Interesting, huh?
But I am grateful for what He is doing and what He is unfolding in this season right now. Hard work has taught me how to become a better man, friend, and worker as I maintain this base in this season of my life.
Written by Andrew Rapier, a YWAM Maui staff member and a part of the Maintenance Squad.