SSBG

A worldview is a set of claims that purport to be based on ultimate reality.

Wheaton Academy Soccer Mission

Posted by ssbg on January 22, 2006

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For months, Wheaton Academy boys soccer coach Chip Huber talked about how his program and school were going to make a difference for countless people with HIV and AIDS in Africa. After months of talking about it, Huber and Co. got that opportunity earlier this month. They headed over with soccer balls, uniforms, money and countless other donations to help a number of towns and villages. Find out more in Huber’s notebook from his two-week trip:
Jan. 5
We are here! We flew in this afternoon to sunshine and temps in the 80’s. We will be getting wet as it rains often during this time of year. We are all doing well – tired and stiff – but thrilled to actually be here. The travel was good, except for the five-hour delay on Tuesday night getting out of Chicago because of United’s computer shutdown. We had a great German dinner in Frankfurt and will be sleeping well at the Holiday Inn Lusaka tonight.
We just returned from a great visit to the World Vision Zambia national office here in Lusaka. Five of their senior management team folks have been on the Wheaton Academy campus. We learned a bunch about what they are doing in response to the AIDS pandemic here. They are a gifted, godly and a courageous group. One of the things they told us was that just about every person in this country is either infected or affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. When I asked the whole group of them whose families had been personally affected, all of them raised their hands. They have a great calling and passion to provide spiritual and physical healing. They prepared a great itinerary for us. We head off to our first ADP (Area Development Project) in a community called Kapaluwe tomorrow. We will be in a soccer tournament with other teams, visiting orphans, and be part of an AIDS ARTS project initiative with students at a school. It will be a full and exciting Friday.
Jan. 6
Wow…what a day. We went out to the Kapaluwe ADP project run by our friend Everest, who went to Wheaton Grad School with me. We spent the morning visiting people living with HIV/AIDS and others who are taking care of AIDS orphans in this community. Their stories are heart- breaking, but there is hope. We brought them a bit of food and prayed with them. One story example…we spent time with Mavis, a 32-year-old widow and mom of a 10-year-old that is HIV positive and been quite sick. She contracted the disease from her husband before he died. She walks three to four hours each month for her ARV treatments.
We then saw children doing AIDS skits, drawings, and plays and music at a school. We also visited some clients in the micro-loan enterprise work WV is doing in this community and then played in the “Wheaton Academy Cup.” We played two soccer matches against local teams. We lost 2-0 in the first game and then won 2-1 in PK’s to take the third-place trophy. Stephan Leman was a high scorer in the tourney. We won on the seventh penalty kick with literally 1,000 people from the community surrounding us behind the goal and around the 18 yard box. It was surreal. More fans than any of our state tourney games in the past two years in a rural community in Zambia. The children rushed and jumped up and down with us when we won that match. No soccer experience has been more meaningful.
We are tired, a little sunburned, and ready to eat. We travel tomorrow to Kitwe and will see the medical clinic site where construction has begun and visit some children sponsored by WA alumni.
Jan. 7
 

We traveled to the Zamtan ADP today, which was a six-hour drive. This is where the WA schoolhouse now runs and the medical clinic we partnered in is being built. We ate at the Hungry Lion restaurant, which is Zambia fast food on the road. We had a chance to meet Ryan Souders’ sponsored kid, a first grader that was wearing an orange Wheaton College shirt today. The impact of sponsorship is remarkable in a child’s life. Ryan’s little guy is an AIDS orphan who lives with five other siblings with their grandma in a small hut as both parents died of AIDS. WV is building them a house right now. The kids in Kakolo are chasing our bus yelling “DO IT” and they love the chance to be with us. Their energy and spirit offer hope and the future here in the midst of the AIDS pandemic.

We are anxious to go to church in Kakolo Village and will spend the next two days with our friends here. Lots of rain today. Rain is simply an answer to prayer here. It makes a life or death difference with the crops.
Jan. 8
Hello from wet Zambia. We went to church in Kakolo Village this morning. Sat on little benches and were welcomed warmly in their small building. We then visited Maggie, a little 9-year-old girl whose only living relative is her great grandma (all family members died of AIDS). We met them in 2004 and were thrilled to see them in their new home. Their story is featured in the national WV videos, as they used to sleep under a plastic tarp to try to escape the rain.
We spent the afternoon in Kakolo playing with kids. We are talking hundreds and hundreds of kids who chase our van as it drives in and out. They are the future, and we can’t wait to see them in the schoolhouse tomorrow. We play another soccer match tomorrow afternoon.
Jan. 9
With the help of a number of organizations throughout the Chicagoland area, Wheaton Academy was able to donate soccer balls, shirts and numerous other items to children.

We spent most of the day seeing what we have raised in resources that has now become reality. It is pretty powerful to see God take your dreams of faith and use hundreds of students to change the reality now and future of a community in desperate need across the world. We drove into the Zamtan village to visit the work site for the new hospital, which we raised resources for last year to build the maternity wing. The construction team was busy digging to get the foundation poured in. We went over a scale model with the WV staff and one of the engineers. Hunter Long grabbed a pickaxe and jumped in the ditch to with the work team. The medical impact will be staggering. So many children born without this awful disease, so many parents treated with ARV’s who can live to stop the immense flow of orphans. The future life change is remarkable. People will come from so many places to this facility. It is targeted to be finished this summer sometime. We also saw in Zamtan a recreation center where AIDS education material was on the blackboard and preschool kids that are malnourished are fed.

We then drove into Kakolo where we walked into a completed schoolhouse with children sitting in desks singing in English to us (a sign of education). It was emotional, especially for Ryan and Stephan and I as we saw our dream from Nov. 2002 fulfilled. The vision and participation of so many people over the years will direct the 240 children going to school in grades first through fifth there. We presented school supplies to the teachers and were sung to, watched dances and heard a speech from students and community leaders. We then each planted a tree behind the school as a symbol of the physical and spiritual growth that will happen in this building and community in the generations to come. One day we might sit with our kids under those trees and tell them a story about how God did something thru and in us that connected the church of Jesus Christ in a radical way across continents.
We played another soccer game and won again in penalty kicks with our goalie Joe Selvaggio being the hero. We say we are now over .500 in Africa! We presented balls and to all the teams and gave jerseys from Libertyville High School, socks and gospels of John to our opponents. We also took pictures with our Chicago Fire and Wheaton College balls. We gave a soccer ball to a boy named John, who gave us his ball he had made with plastic garbage bags in exchange for a new WV ball.
And yet in the midst of hope there is overwhelming grief – a funeral was held in Kakolo today for a child that died last night. Another child dies this morning. In Zamtan, four kids died last week, including two who were HIV positive. Tony Frank met a lady whose home has been funded by BP employees in Warrenville who has lost her husband and one of her own kids to HIV, and she herself is positive. Her desire is to get her kids in this new home before she passes away. So many of the kids who mob us every day are visibly malnourished, clearly sick, and perhaps dying.

To be honest, my reaction is terrible sadness, anger at my own and so many people’s apathy to the needs of others around the globe. The specific needs shared by WV staff in our devotion time with them are huge and real.

    

We leave our friends at the Zamtan ADP in the morning for Sinazongwe where we will see the impact of wells and hold a soccer clinic for kids on Wednesday.
Jan. 14
Hello again. Sorry for my lack of communication. We’ve not been able to email due to a lack of computer access due to location and even a power outage. We spent some great time in Sinazongwe, a more rural ADP community. We learned of the incredible evangelism and discipleship work going on with children thru a coalition of teachers from various communities trained by World Vision staff. We played soccer at a local school, put on a clinic for their kids, and Matt Taylor talked about abstinence and Ryan Souders shared his testimony. All in a Zambian public school – very cool. We did win the game 1-0 on a great goal by Ryan. We stopped to meet my homeroom’s sponsored child Peter (what an amazing thing to connect with a boy across the world whose picture is on your desk) and then traveled to Livingstone.
We saw Victoria Falls, an absolutely unreal site, and then played a game called Netball with a group of girls who are working as sex workers in this town to provide food for themselves and their families. Very outside the box, but a life-changing things for many of us. We heard one of their testimonies as to how a WV program had helped her get out (five kids with a dad who dies of AIDS) and Dave Underwood shared his testimony. We also played a soccer match (tied 1-1) and handed out uniforms and balls and prayed for these guys trying to get out of some of the same things the girls were struggling with – quite an eye opener.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Huber at chip.huber@wheatonacademy.org.
For more pictures go to:           www.pbase.com/jimtaylormd/zambia
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