Thank you to our sponsors!

EPro Insurance

Calendar & Results

Africa 2013 Mission Trip

Heading home and other fun facts

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 22nd, 2013

Uganda is a beautiful land full of beautiful people who are in the middle of restoring communities. We have been able to see this taking place in Kampala (in Nairobi as well) and especially in Gulu. 3 years ago when we worked on the farm the Chapel was still a pile of bricks knee high. Yesterday (Sunday) we sat in the completed Chapel of the New Foundations Church on the farm with a packed house and a lot of singing and dancing. Roxanne and Jenny led worship and had the entire congregation yelling/singing. Jeremiah followed with a sermon on Nehemiah, the rebuilding of the wall and the community and how the story of Gulu parallels that story in many ways. Christine Adams and Alison Glasco shared parts of their story with the congregation and I couldn’t have been more proud of their willingness to encourage the church body in this way.

Following church we went to a local village SOI is strongly connected to: Lajwatek. We worked in this village on our last trip in 2010. At that time the people responsible for the work being done in the village were women. There were no men, at least none that were sober. Three years later the village is thriving with a day care, men who serve in leadership and strong women still leading the way. It was both a wonderful experience for us and necessary for them to see us back, to grow the relationship, to see the progress.

Village People

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 18th, 2013

It’s bittersweet that our time in Africa is coming to a close- actually, it’s more bitter than sweet. We’ve been transformed, challenged and loved in deep and meaningful ways. We’ve eaten grasshopper, laughed a lot, played and coached more soccer than we thought possible and nearly every person has shared a testimony, the gospel or an encouraging word. In fact, that has been one of my “highs” of the trip- hearing the hearts of these young women as they share. Between yesterday and today we had 10 people share in one capacity or another: Kelsey Steck, Lauren Dorr, Amanda Diesen, Caroline Moe, Kaci Mexico, Kat Durham, Alison Glasco, Sarah Hardin, Angela Brown and Alison Hensley. All of them powerful. All of them unique and different.

Yesterday (Friday) we spent the entire day on the farm! Some of us “slashed” tall weeds, others leveled dirt and some cleared brush (Dan built a gate by himself…obviously). While all of those things were very exciting the best part of the day came at lunch and I happened to be able to work in the kitchen with some of the women (Nini, you would have been proud). When I say “kitchen” it’s a rather loose term for an outside hut with two small areas for pots to sit atop a wood fire while they cooked for 45 people. It’s incredible and incredibly humbling to see how resourceful they are and how little we truly need. The food was amazing and the effort they put in (for 4 hours) was not lost on us.

A soccer ball, 500 prison inmates and a header goal

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 16th, 2013

It’s good to be back in Gulu! It’s good to be on the farm, good to be with the Acholi people and good to get our hands dirty. Sports Outreach in Gulu has developed 40 acres of land into a wonderful farm (Koro Farm) modeling sustainability for the rest of the people in Gulu. The vision for the farm is incredible and we are thankful to get to be a very, very small part of it. We split up into four groups today: one group did farming, one did construction, another worked at the school with the children and one group made home visits to families in the “bush,” greeting them with encouragement and prayer. It was a full morning followed by an extraordinary afternoon. The afternoon experience is best told by Jenny Martinez as she was one of our speakers today. She writes below…

We pulled up in the van and looked through the door to the Gulu prison. Steel doors, thick bars, and a dirt courtyard were our first glance at our next few hours. To some of us it was exciting, a new world we knew nothing about. To others of us, it was terrifying. Either way, I don’t think we could’ve anticipated the experience of the next few hours.

Crossing the Nile

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 15th, 2013

We made it to Gulu! It took 6 hours, 3 stops (one over the Nile), 6 Baboons and a lot of potholes but we made it. After some pineapple and banana at the hotel we made our way to the Koro Farm. The farm is amazing: it’s 40 acres of banana, corn, pig, cow, goat, living facilities, a sanctuary, a classroom, a soccer field and an incredible vision.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the upcoming days…tomorrow morning we head to the farm for morning devotions followed by some work in small groups and finishing the day with prison ministry.

Kristi Kiely

*love you mom.

Out-running a bull

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 14th, 2013
Kibuli slum

Today was our last work day in Kampala before heading up to Gulu tomorrow morning. We opened with morning devotions with the SOI staff. Angela Brown spoke on John 10:10, Missy Robertson spoke on our identity in Christ and Dan Ribbens spoke on the very nature of God being good. As excited as we are to head up to Gulu we will miss the staff in Kampala as they have encouraged us in Christ, in our playing ability and in the way we love others.

We left the office headed to the field for another training session with the good news team. We tried to show them more of what we do, which included Roxanne Love taking the entire group of 40 people through some weight training (planks, squats and burpees)- see below.

After lunch (always pineapple and Chapati-it’s like nothing other) the girls split up again into 4 groups to work in the slums. The purpose of today’s work was to see the feeding program and to run clinics with the children. The feeding program is a big part of what SOI does here: they provide 1 meal a day to the kids they’ve identified as the ones in most need. Here is a brief overview of each of the slums:

Bwaise: 3 players, 4 balls and 70 kids. It was interesting to say the least.

Kibuli: they got to see the feeding program in full and despite being low on energy pulled it together for a great clinic.

Katwe: For those of you who are familiar with Phiona and the chess program (Queen of Katwe) this is the slum she grew up in. Alison Hensley took some lessons from Phiona’s brother as he shared with us about how chess has taught him how to problem solve.

Nateete: Denae Crump out-ran a bull that was chasing her but they were able to make the clinic work anyway, bulls on the field and all. Most satisfying was the moment they got to the field and one of the SOI staff members had 40 kids lined up in a plank, a movement he had only learned that morning.

Grasshoppers and Victory!

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 13th, 2013

Greetings from Kampala!

I return with good news…we won our match today! Before I fill you in on the game I want to take a minute to fill you in on all of our time here in Kampala.

Lets go back to Saturday which was our first full day in Kampala. Saturday is typically a slum work day for the SOI staff and this past Saturday was no different. We began the day in 4 different groups at 4 different slums for some good-for-the-soul manual labor. Most of us worked in the trenches to help with the irrigation. Following our work we ate lunch and prepared for our afternoon “match” with the Good News Team (the team of SOI). Thankfully our match turned into a training session/mixed game because they are very good. For most of the girls it’s what they noted as the high of the day for them: being connected through the game of soccer with people from a different part of the world who love God.

Sunday was church and as anyone who has been to Africa knows, church can last the better part of a day. The best part is that we were able to return to the same church in the slum we worked in on Saturday. We were able to serve and work alongside the people in that community and then worship with them…and worship we did. The girls described church in Africa as: free, joyful and lots of dancing. Most of the groups had to at least introduce themselves, some had to sing and some chose to dance on stage (Kaci Mexico and Kelsey Steck) with the worship team. It was a beautiful thing to get to worship in and with a different culture. After church and lunch and a brief rest we spent the afternoon training in preparation for our game on Monday.

Tall reeds, 250 kids and a goat

Submitted by: Kristi Kiely - May 13th, 2013

Greetings from Kampala!

I apologize for the delay in between posts…we made it to Kampala and it’s taken 3 days to get internet. A lot has happened since I last posted and I will take a short minute to fill you in now but there will be more to come later.

Our last day in Kenya (Friday) we were on our way back to the Mukuru slum and were prepared to run a clinic for the school children and play a match following the clinic. I asked Arthur (SOI staff member in Kenya) how many kids he expected at the clinic. His response: 20 or 30 because the children are in school but maybe some more when we get there. 2 hours and 250 kids later (mind you, we had 20 balls for 250 kids) we completed a successful clinic. Following the clinic we were to play against the SOI team in Kenya comprised of both men and women. I asked Arthur where the boundaries of the field were and he pointed over the rolling hill, through the reeds as tall as my thigh and marshland to a cone in the distance. I looked at the girls and said, “here we go.” After the kickoff whistle a goat roamed onto the field but we kept playing. The only moment we had to stop the game was when goalkeeper Lauren Dorr came out 100% for a one v. one in the marshland and ended up with half of the marsh in her eye. She was a trooper and kept playing (Max you would be proud). When I asked her after the game about it she said it was worth it. The goalkeeper for the other team had come up to her with great respect and one request, he said, “train for me, play for me and pray for me everyday.” It was a playing experience like no other. Following the match we spent some time sharing with and encouraging the SOI team before scrambling to make it to the airport on time.

On to Uganda

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 11th, 2013

After a busy couple of days in Narobi, Kenya, Westmont Women’s Soccer has made its way to Kampala, Uganda. Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely reported by phone that there is limited access today to the internet, but she looks forward to giving a full report in a day or to.

“Yesterday in Nariobi we played against a team comprised of both men and women,” said Westmont head coach Kristi Kiely. “The match went well.

“Afterward, we traveled safely and smoothly to Uganda and were greeted by Sports Outreach Institute’s Good News Team. We worked today with them in the slums of Kampala and then played a game with them that we enjoyed very much. For some of the players on our team, it was one of their first experiences understanding God through soccer.”

“Tomorrow, it is back to the slums for worship with the same people we were with today, “In Africa, worship can be an all-day experience.”

The team will remain in Kampala for another three or four days before moving on to Gulu.

Next Page »

View All News Archives