Journal - July & August 2013




August 14 - Update on Karl's Mom

Joan recently discovered that the hormone therapy has not been as effective against the cancer as hoped.

When her lungs started filling up with liquid 2 weeks ago (due to cancer surrounding her lungs), the doctors were alerted, and she immediately began another round of chemo.

In spite of what the doctors say, she is cheerful and hopeful. She says, " I am grateful for all your prayers and for God's gift of each precious day, as he holds me in his hands!"

Ostrand Grandparent Videos:

- Backyard time (15 sec)
- Reading with Grandma (13 sec)
- 4th of July (15 sec)




August 5 - Soccer That's Not About Soccer

In addition to coaching his former U18 team, Karl is also thrilled about coaching another team of U16 boys.

Karl loves to coach soccer...but here are 3 reasons why it's not about the soccer...

1) It's about the relationship with the players and their parents.

I have been blown away over and over again by those relationships. Just a few examples include...

• I remember when Emme was born. Parents brought us meals and helped take care of Jensen while our family spent time in the NICU

• Emme's heart doctor, whose son I coached, came off the golf course the minute he heard she was born to give us a hug and tell us it would be ok.

• Even now...these parents have offered to watch our 3 kids, stay in their homes and have us over for dinner. These amazing people are like family to us!

2) If it was just about the wins and losses, I wouldn't care about the character development of the young men I coach.

I would only care about winning, championships, getting the next best player and cutting those who struggle. Instead, I choose to invest in the process of excellence and character.

The game is just a tool to mentor these young men in those areas.

I have gone home from many games that we have won, but played without excellence and character...suffice to say, my end of the game speech reflected by disappointment. I have also lost games where I couldn't have been prouder and let the boys know it.

3) I had a parent tell me this month that she was praying I would be her son's coach this season.

His previous coach had belittled him to the point that she felt he was not the same boy as a year ago. He lacked confidence and had put up walls at home. Another player after I had told him good job said..."coach, I haven't heard that in a year." Some of these kids are hurting on the inside and I am honored and blessed for the opportunity to pray for them, listen to them and guide them on the path that they would discover God's love for them and his amazing plan for their lives.


July 11 - Hope Center

Omaha, Nebraska #1 in the nation for the highest poverty rate among African American children. What??!!? (see Omaha World-Hearald article)

Although she is excited to get back to Africa, this summer Julie is volunteering at the Hope Center Employability Academy (aimed at reaching out to Omaha's African American youth). She is helping facilitate small groups - with a focus on setting goals and utilizing strengths.

Shocking Fact: Nebraska has one of the highest school dropout rates for blacks, with graduation rates below 50 percent!

But the Hope Center for Kids is making a BIG impact!

Youth involved with Omaha's Hope Center have a 90% graduation rate (40% higher than average)!

Hope Center for Kids strives to faithfully inspire hope in North Omaha youth and children through education, employability, collaboration and faith.

Hope 's Employability Academy program prepares young people for successful employment. Participants receive academic support; job readiness, financial literacy, and healthy lifestyle choices training; small group mentoring and leadership development; seminars from community business leaders; and a weekly stipend.



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