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3rd-Grader Tells Coach His Mom Died & He Doesn’t Know Where Dad Is—Before He Can Respond, God Whispers 3 Words

Some people come into our lives for a season, and others for a reason.

Doug Provenzano has coached hundreds of kids through football seasons with West Valley Army Youth Football in Litchfield Park, Arizona. The organization aims to develop young athletes in preparation for high school and beyond.

As seasons change, so do names, faces and athletes. But one “fine young man” came into Doug’s life for an incredible reason.

Five years ago, the football coach met a young boy named Marquise.

“He walked up behind me with a hair cut that was 5 months past due and a big hole in his shirt & one sock on his foot,” Doug writes on Facebook.

Doug Provenzano

“He tugged on the back of my shirt and said, ‘Sir can you teach me how to play football?’”

Doug responded to the boy assuring that he teaches much more than football, before asking where his parents were as the program and football as a whole is quite the expense.

“My mom died and I don’t know where dad is, but my Auntie takes care of me,” Doug recalls Marquise saying.

Before the coach could even dumb up a response, the Lord intervened.

“God spoke to me that second and told me to take care of him in every way. God said to me ‘be a Shepherd.’

The West Valley Army Youth Football is available for students ages 5-14 years old, as it prepares them for sports—football and cheer—at a high school level.

In May, Marquise had his 8th grade promotion, where his time with WVAYF came to a bittersweet close. But one thing is certain, his time with Doug is just getting started.

Doug Provenzano

The Phoenix dad says he never expected that those three words, “be a shepherd,” would have radically changed his life that day.

“The Lord gave me another son who would change me and him for ever.”

He continues:

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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