Wednesday, July 5, 2017

jake committed to play soccer at JU

coach ruiz and marshall talking to jake in the locker room 
when we left for guatemala 9 years ago, Jake had just turned 7.  but even at that young age, we knew he was a gifted athlete.  it actually broke my heart to take him out of basketball and baseball, knowing that he would not be able to play those sports in guatemala! 

not long after living here, he began playing soccer.  it didn't take long for his preferred language to shift to spanish, and his preferred sport to shift to futból.  under the last 7 years of coach Mynor Leiva's training with Los Rinos, he has developed into a great player.  he was recruited by FIFA guatemala's U17 national team as a 14 year old (now shut down because of corruption!), and is currently being recruited by the professional team Los Tigres (U18s).  but Jake wants to go to college before seeing what God has for him next.  and because of limited exposure in the US, we figured he would have to "walk-on" in order to play collegiate soccer.  our hope would be that after his first year he could be awarded a scholarship.

JU athletic departement weight room
sometimes God surprises us with sweet and unexpected blessings.  we were visited a couple years ago in guatemala by a couple that was interested in partnering with us, as their non-profit uses soccer to help young people around the world.  it turned out the husband was a head coach for an NCAA Division 1 soccer program.  after seeing Jake play a couple times as a 15yr old, he offered him a scholarship to come play for him!  even better, since then, the Ruiz's have become great friends.  i was even able to share about Christ at their wedding last year, which was a tremendous honor.

jake with coaches leiva, marshall and ruiz
next fall, Jake will report to training camp (and classes, haha) at Jacksonville University!  we were able to visit the campus recently, and get a personal tour of facilities by head coach Mauricio Ruiz, and assistant coach Armante Marshall.  even more special, Coach Leiva was able to be in jacksonville to share the special day - which also happened to take place on Jake's 16th birthday.  we couldn't be prouder of him - he has truly worked his tail off to get to this point.

he'll live only a few minutes away from his sisters, and not far from his grandparents and other family and friends. we could not feel more blessed.  considering how we thought we were sacrificing Jake's sports career when we moved, this is one of those moments where we praise God for his matthew 6:33 promise: "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."

1 comment:

BettyGene Haller said...

Way to go, Jake!!!! I am so proud of you...Big hugs, Granma