Women's Soccer News & Highlights
February 07, 2014
Eagles to Return to Africa in 2014
“The opportunity to return to Zambia is great for our program,” head coach Dan Mouw stated. “I love that our players will have the chance to share a common love of the game and will be able to see the work of the church in Africa. Players who went on the first two trips shared common experiences that brought the group closer together and, in many cases, were life-changing.”
While in Zambia, the Eagles will be hosted by Eric and Corie Thuma. They are working full-time with Push the Rock in Zambia. Corie (Brant) Thuma was a four-year starter for the Eagles at left back and was one of the key individuals in inspiring the trip to South Africa in 2008.
“In her freshman year, Corie and some of her teammates suggested that we should travel internationally as a team,” Mouw related. “When I asked where we should go, they came back with ‘Africa.’ So three years later we went to South Africa. The trip was a tremendous adventure that brought our team closer together and was influential in helping our program take a big step forward in 2008.”
This year’s group has been working since last year in fundraising for the trip. Players and many family members worked a week in a concession stand at the US Open at Merion this summer, and are currently gathering support for their ‘100 Hours of Service’ fundraiser. The idea of the 100 hours of service, according to Mouw, is to gather support of friends and family for the trip while investing time in the local community. Each Eastern player is asking for support per hour worked by the team. The team intends to give 100 hours of service through the department's relationship with City Team Ministries.
“I think the 100 Hours project does a couple great things,” Mouw continued. “Our players are able to bring people into partnership as they travel, we are brought closer together as we serve, and we are able to provide some benefit to those in need in and around our community.”
While in Zambia, the Eagles will play games against local teams, engage in sports ministry through youth clinics, and will be able to see the work that the local church and missionaries are doing as Zambians respond to their everyday challenges of poverty and disease. Zambia, like many nations in sub-Saharan Africa, is highly susceptible to fluctuations in the world-market prices of key export commodities and has experienced tremendous loss from the spread of HIV and AIDS.
In addition to playing and serving, the Eagles will have the opportunity to observe a malaria research clinic in Macha and to see some of the natural wonders of Africa in its wildlife and Victoria Falls. With many of the current roster enrolled in programs in the health sciences, the clinic could prove to be a highlight in seeing how science can work in community development and the spread of the Gospel.
Eastern Women’s Soccer will be hosting youth play days and a Goalie Wars day to help raise funds.
Updated: Thursday, 22 May 2014