It all begins with a willingness to make a difference. This willingness is at the heart of who we are. We continually make ourselves available to serve others locally and globally. Long before there was a global vision, there was a willingness to serve a local community; and that is just what we did. A small group of people sacrificed to turn a piece of land at a church in St. Louis, MO into a soccer field that could be used to make an eternal impact. That small group of people enlisted coaches who made themselves available to love and serve youth players and their families. Opportunities arose throughout the city to serve refugees through weekly neighborhood outreach and professional players through chaplaincy meetings. Soon we found ourselves sending players and coaches overseas on missions experiences.Little did we know at that time that what was happening in St. Louis would become a model for transformation in cities everywhere. All because of a willingness to make a difference.
Tyler grew up in Minnesota and played college soccer at St. Louis University before being drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tyler ended up signing with Saint Louis FC and found himself in a group hosted by our chaplain. It was a place where he could ask tough the questions of life. Over a period of months Tyler was deeply impacted by the group and signed a new contract in Hartford, Connecticut. His transformation gave us favor with the expansion team in Hartford. We now have the ability to offer chaplaincy for that club for years to come.
Dan is now an assistant coach with one of our youth teams. His daughter made one of our teams and he offered to help our Head Coach. Our Head Coach welcomed Dan to volunteer. When our Team Talk time came at practice Dan would always walk away to pick up cones because he hated that principles we were sharing. Over the last year Dan has come to love this time, even saying that it is now his favorite part of practice. His daughter is growing as a leader and their team finished top of the league in the spring and has won two tournaments this fall.
Fred is from Congo, and came to the United States as a refugee. He saw the need to serve his people by bringing an experience that felt like home. He has begun soccer programming in the community and we have given him tools to make his programming more effective. This includes our collection of Team Talks, soccer equipment, friendly tournaments, and providing scholarships for refugees to participate in our summer camp program. These youth players are memorizing truth and growing up to be the leaders in their community.
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