The Johnson Family: The Johnson's followed God's call to Guatemala in August of 2008. As they worked and lived among the people of Magdalena and Buena Vista, the depth of certain issues in the villages came to light. Since then, they began praying for God to begin a ministry to the boys, allowing us to address these deep issues before they became men. Read more. Eventually, God began to shape a vision that would soon become the Buena Vista Sports Academy for Boys. Brock has always worked in the business side of professional sports, which admittedly almost ruined him. He feels blessed to now be coaching and teaching boys who are far from the hoopla and self-absorption of professional sports. The Johnson family serves together at BVSA. Brock oversees the operation of the ministry, as well as coaches. Kerrie helps Walda run the education program, and takes very seriously the role of "team mom." Madi and Brooke have returned to the states to go to college. Jake is a member of the Rhinos. Luciana Andrea is the newest addition to the family, and has made life just a little bit more of an adventure! You can follow or support the Johnson's on their website deepStreamguatemala.com and on Brock's blog.
The Leiva Family: Mynor was the first Guatemalan the Johnson's met when they came to Guatemala in April of 2008. After a couple years of friendship, God would eventually lead he and his wife Walda to leave their careers and become full-time missionaries to their own people. To have a local couple who represents the traits we seek to teach the boys is an invaluable asset. Especially for the boys, Mynor's example as a dedicated man of God, a strong leader with a servant’s heart, and a loving husband, is exactly what they need to see on a daily basis. And as God would have it, Mynor is also an athlete. He and Walda bring a perfect combination to the ministry, as Walda holds multiple degrees, is a computer software engineer, and also a teacher. She too left a promising career to pour her heart into helping these boys, the future leaders of a small poor village in Guatemala. Since joining the Academy, they have had a son (future Rhino!) named Noah, and baby girl, Ava Luna, born May 9, 2015. On a daily basis, Mynor is the head coach of the soccer program, and Walda oversees the education program. You can support the Leiva's by clicking HERE and noting "Leiva Family" in the form. You can also read more about their story, and watch their regular video updates on their website.
Enrique Lopez: Enrique graduated from the Rhinos in 2015. He has been in the program since the day we opened our doors in 2010.
Enrique is currently studying weekends at University Galileo in Antigua, Guatemala. He is the first ever man from the village of Buena Vista to go to college! He's studying Business Administration, and works full-time in the academy in a similar role. He keeps the books, pays salaries, pays the bills, assists in all things administrative, and also helps in class as a tutor.
We could not be prouder of Enrique - not only for what he's achieving with his education goals, but also for the christian man that he has become.
Dennilson Lopez: Dennilson manages the facilities at BVSA. Currently in his final year of the academy, "Nicho" has maintained a high level of integrity throughout his career as a Rhino, and we knew we wanted to keep him on staff. His humble spirit and hard-working attitude are his character traits that everyone notices right away.
Currently, Nicho oversees all of the facilities at BVSA Guatemala. He does everything from maintenance, to cleaning, to general repairs. He is also studying on the weekends to obtain his mechanic certificate. Every Saturday, he trains our girls soccer team "Las Rinas."
Nicho has had a very difficult life; we've been through many ups and downs with him and his family over the last 7 years. Through it all he has developed a strong faith in the Lord, and we are excited to see how God continues to use him.
Darwin Ramos: Darwin is currently participating in our 1-year leadership program. Without question, he is developing into a strong leader. Still a member of the Rhinos, he works for BVSA part-time in the mornings. He assists Dennilson with managing facilities, which includes doing anything from mowing grass, sweeping the gym and classrooms, and washing the team vans.
What sets Darwin apart is his unique desire to serve others. Humble and helpful, he is always the first one to jump when something needs done. Its a quality that has earned him the opportunity to work for BVSA, and as he continues to grow we envision him transitioning into a leadership role.
Darwin is currently 17 years old and an important member of the varsity Rhino's defense.
Allan Marroquin: Allan graduated from the 2015 BVSA class. In that year he was both our varsity MVP as well as leading scorer. But because of his development as a young man, heart for Christ, and for his own community, we knew we wanted to bring him onto our team.
Allan has a promising career as a soccer coach, and as a leader of young men. He now works part-time helping coach the JV Rhinos and assisting in various areas.
We hope to have Allan continue leading young Rhinos for many years to come!
Johanna Herrera: Johanna has been with us as our lead cook for teams ever since we started back in 2008. She joined BVSA in 2012 and has been working full time for us ever since. Johanna and her husband Byron have been good friends to us for many years. They have 5 children.
Johanna is a terrific cook! She loves the boys and is thankful for her job. In addition to running our feeding center ("the training table"), she still cooks for visiting mission teams when they are in town.
Jason Stringer: Jason has been a friend of the Rhinos for many years, and recently joined the team as a full-time missionary. He brings years of pastoral, administrative, and "do-it-all" experience from his time on staff at Savannah Christian Church in Savannah, GA.
Most importantly, Jason brings a humble heart and a bold desire to be used by God in taking the gospel to the nations. He is currently serving in Buena Vista, Guatemala, with plans to help re-open BVSA Travesia, Honduras in early 2018. There, Jason will play a key role in helping lead the day-to-day ministry.
The Foster Family: The Fosters join us from their home church communities of Trinity Fitness and Crosswater Church. God willing, they will arrive in Guatemala on October 1, 2017 for an extending period of training and preparation, before relocating to Travesia, Honduras.
Jeremy and Maria have 2 boys, Alek (10) and Jackson (7), who both love soccer and playing outside. They met in college where Jeremy played tennis, and Maria played both soccer and tennis. They lived in Colorado for 12 years before Jeremy's banking career moved them to Jacksonville, FL. Maria has worked in child protective services, and also as a soccer coach and trainer.
In Honduras, they will work with Jason, Axel, and our local staff as we re-open the academy and get back to sharing the hope of Jesus with Los Rinos de Travesia! They are passionate about sharing the love of Jesus, and excited to see God transform an entire community through its future husbands, dads, and leaders.
We are thankful to have the Fosters join our team. Please pray for them as they take all the necessary steps to raise support, sell/give away their belongings, and relocate their family to Central America! If you would like to support the Foster's, please CLICK HERE.
Axel Mendez: Axel was a member of the first ever graduating class of Rhinos. He won the "Key Player" award that year, meaning he was the most valuable player on the team. While Axel didn't lead the team in scoring, he was by far the most important player on the field. He brought stability, and with Axel on the field, the team was always confident it could win.
More important than his soccer skills, Axel demonstrated a level of integrity that we found extremely unique. So much so that we decided to hire him as an assistant facilities manager and He has worked as an assistant coach.
Axel now lives in Honduras and is in the process of planting the Buena Vista Sports Academy of Travesia, Honduras. Axel will play a critical in the new Academy as we seek to help raise up a new generation of leaders in the village of Travesia!
Board of Directors:
Chris Steed: Chris, Holly, and their boys serve with us in Guatemala and hold a leadership role with the 12x12 Love Project. You can read more about the Steed Family on their website. Chris is on the Board of Directors for the BVSA non-profit in Guatemala.
Mark Schmidt: Already overseeing an Education Program in Buena Vista, the Schmidts have a huge heart for the people of this village. They have existing relationships with many of the BV boys and their families, and their son Elias is a member of the JV Rhinos. Read more about the Schmidt Family on their website. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors for the BVSA non-profit in Guatemala.
Oscar Gonzalez: Oscar is on the Board of Directors for the Guatemalan non-profit of the Buena Vista Sports Academy for Boys. He, his wife Francien, and their 3 daughters, have been close friends with the Johnson's ever since they arrived in Guatemala in mid 2008. They are loved and trusted friends.
Carlos Lopez: Carlos is on the Board of Directors for the Guatemalan non-profit of the Buena Vista Sports Academy. He and his wife Telma are dear friends, and locals to the community of Magdalena (just outside of Buena Vista). There are leaders in the ministry of Love Guatemala, where among other things, they run an art school and cooking school.
Brodie Waters: Brodie serves on the Board of Directors for the state-side BVSA non-profit. He has visited and seen our work here firsthand, and is extremely supportive of the ministries. He and his wife Cindy have been close friends for many years. They live in Jacksonville, FL with their 3 kids, Cami, Kellen, and Kyle.
Paul Moreau: Paul and his wife Kedra have been a part of the boy's academy since it's inception. Not only have the supported its efforts in many ways, but they frequently visit and maintain close relationships with the boys. Paul is on the BOD of the state-side non-profit. Paul & Kedra live in Lake City, FL with their 2 daughters Britney and Valerie.