For us, being a "Rhino" has a much deeper meaning than just a team mascot. Here's a quick summary explaining "why the rhinos?".
2 facts: Rhinos cannot see beyond 30 feet. Rhinos can run between 30-40mph.
Those 2 facts together make no sense! Could you imagine driving 40 mph in your car and not seeing 30 feet ahead of you?
But what makes the rhino special is that he will not run top speed alone. A pack of rhinos is called a "crash" - because when they get together, they run their hardest, without any concern for what lies ahead. They know that, together, they can run through anything.
What we are trying to do through our BVSA Academies at times seems impossible. Our hope is to lead these boys to break generational cycles of abuse, absence, and spiritual emptiness. Many dad's beat their wife and kids because they have never seen a man in their life who didn't. The root of the problem runs deep.
As we spend the years ahead digging into these communities and attempting to bring life, hope, and grace in Jesus name to these future men, they will need each other in order to stay strong. That's where the rhino concept comes in.
Just like the lead rhino runs hard, leading the pack, encouraging the others to run harder... these boys will look to their "lead rhinos" to push them. While the leaders in the academies will take on that role of "lead rhino" in the beginning, our prayer is that leaders begin rising up within. Then as life's journey moves along, the lead rhino will naturally rotate, allowing various teammates to step up and lead while the loyal crash runs hard alongside them.
For us leaders here at BVSA, our rhino crash is invaluable. We encourage one another, challenge, push, and convict one another. Sometimes we have to call each other out. But we love one another deeply. We share life together and we carry one another's burdens.
Our prayer is that the boys that come through a BVSA Academy will form their "rhino crash" - running hard for Jesus, growing together in their faith, and leaning on one another as they face their
community together... a group of young men who love the Lord and their neighbors, work hard, respect women, and live lives of integrity.
Eventually, may the influence of the rhino crash of buena vista spread like wildfire and have a transformational impact in this place.