I am super excited to bring to you my new 3 friends from “From Goals to Wells”. I read about them [here] on the Give1Save1 blog and knew they had to tell their story on here. They are ex-collegiate soccer players using their God given talents and passions for HIS good and glory. and really there is just nothing sweeter than that! I hope you are encouraged by their story & it gets you thinking about how YOU can use your passion and talents for the kingdom! Happy Friday!
Anybody can change the world: We’re just ex collegiate soccer players.
We grew up in Apple Valley, CA playing youth sports and staying out of trouble in school–usually. Combined, we have three sets of amazing parents that are each celebrating 31 years of marriage this year (1982 was the year to tie the knot I guess). We are also all the youngest in our families. Olivia and Lucas each have an older brother and sister and I have an older sister.
Our parents all signed us up for club soccer pretty young, around 8 or 9, and from that point on, our futures were set. Almost every night of the week, almost every weekend. Soccer, soccer and more soccer. Not surprisingly, we all went to college on soccer scholarships and even dreamed we’d play after. But someone else had a different plan.
At different points in our collegiate athletic careers we each realized going pro wasn’t going to happen and we were forced to start thinking about what the future would hold. It was scary–soccer was really all any of us had ever been successful in. But at the same time, God was there and he was already preparing us in his own way for the future. So much of this is hindsight. God is always leading us, but we don’t really know where most of the time.
Anyways, in those first few years of college, we all learned a lot about the pain happening in the world around us. We had left the hometown bubble and the realities of the world outside our own lives were becoming hard to ignore. In 2009 Olivia went on a medical trip to Uganda and saw these realities with her own eyes. She experienced the feeling of receiving clean, bottled water while watching villagers drink water that made them sick. And she knew it wasn’t right. In other words, conviction hit. She came back to the states and as she shared the stories of the happy, grateful people of Uganda who don’t have clean water, Lucas and I began to feel that conviction as well. God was calling us to bring clean water to Ugandans. Cool, right? Keep reading.
It didn’t take long before the fear, doubt and ridiculousness of the idea set in. We had a million excuses to say no:
– Why us? Three college soccer players?
– How could we do this?
– When would we do this?
– With what resources would we ever provide clean water to Ugandans?
– This is our one and only college experience, we need to focus on our grades and our soccer careers
– We need to focus on our friends and enjoying life
– We have never run a business before
– Two of us had never even been to Uganda
– We know next to nothing about building wells
But through a series of God-woven events and “coincidences” the wheels began to turn.
1. An amazing friend of ours reminded us that we each have 15+ years soccer experience, including tons of coaching experience–he suggested we run soccer camps to raise money.
2. Olivia’s great uncle just happened to run a humanitarian organization that builds water filtration systems in third world countries–including Uganda.
3. Friends and family donated $1,500 towards the building of our first well
4. We won $1,000 grant to get our first camp off the ground.
Somewhere among the above events, we said yes to starting From Goals to Wells. We said yes to committing countless unpaid hours to putting on youth soccer camps to raise money to build water filtration systems in Uganda. We didn’t say yes because the conviction was so overwhelming that we didn’t have a choice, but because the conviction was there and that was enough. God calls us to live lives of service and lives of contentment. But so often, we live this life scrambling for personal success and achievement in everything we do. We long for recognition, to be important and have a name that people know. What we forget is that we had a name and were known before we took our first breath. We are already recognized. Even if you don’t believe in God, you believe in purpose, deep down we all believe there is a greater reason we are here. If not, then I suppose you shouldn’t even read this story and I shouldn’t have written it, because nothing we do matters, because we are simply a bunch of atoms, stuck together. But what we do does matter.
Our challenge to you is this — for you to know that WHAT YOU DO DOES MATTER. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The way we live as individuals and as a culture immensely influences the world around us. So, how will you make a difference? How will you influence the world around you in way that makes others’ lives happier, healthier, and more fulfilled? It doesn’t have to be about Africa, it doesn’t even have to be about a third world country. There is hurt everywhere. I strongly hope you push your mind to consider yourself more than a bunch of atoms stuck together. And in that push, I hope you realize the power you have to help, to aid, to love and to heal others.
For the last three years, since the summer of 2010, Olivia, Lucas and I have been on this wild roller coaster that’s been beautifully overwhelming and exhausting our young lives. And we wouldn’t change it for anything.
This is a well we built in Otino Waa village near Lira
For more information about From Goals to Wells, visit us in any of the following places: