A Rich Faith

We arrived safely last night at 10:00PM in Entebbe and afterwards we took a short bus ride to our hotel in Kampala. This morning we were served breakfast with a few members of the Sports Outreach team. Following this, we headed to their facility just outside of Kampala to continue the rest of our day.

Upon arrival, the first thing we participated in was a devotional service with all of the members of the Sports Outreach community. This included prayer, worship songs, and a short homily from Leviticus, 2 Kings, and Mark covering the topic of leprosy. Simon Peter, one of the pastors at the compound, explained how each of us have something eating away at us, disconnecting us from God. The only way to be cleansed is through the grace and mercy of Christ in faith. After the service, we were able to tour the ministry to see the good works they have now and their plans for the future

Then we travelled as two groups to a number of homes to understand the stories of families in different communities and surround them in prayer. These visits revealed the authenticity and graciousness of Ugandan culture. It also was a clear indication of the strong faith that many individuals had in weak circumstances.

The team at Sports Outreach cooked us a delicious lunch and we then went to a community called Kawempe for more home visits and a Sawyer water filter demonstration. In introducing the water filters, we were able to connect the filtration of the dirty water, to the reconciliation of Christ’s death on the cross to make us clean and pure. Upon receiving the water filters, community members were more worried about sharing the precious gift of clean water with their neighbors rather than its use for their own families. A separate group went into the heart of the community during the demonstration to visit a few more homes. During this trip, the bond between families and individuals in the slum were unlike any relationship we had ever seen. The dependence and trust of people made the love of Christ evident and alive in the same way as during the water filter demonstration.

We returned to the hotel for a devotion and debrief where we could share how we saw God during our experiences today. The smiles of the Ugandan community touched us along with their authenticity and vulnerability during home visits. The graciousness of the people we came in contact with was telling of Christ’s love as well. Finally, we saw God in the faith-driven consistency of the actions and words of the Sports Outreach workers and people.

Tomorrow we embark on a 7-hour bus ride to Gulu for another aspect of Sports Outreach in Uganda. We ask for prayers for the people we will come in contact with, as well as those we shared fellowship with today. We want to continue to learn and understand how we can best teach and be taught in the communities we will serve.

Daniel, Olivia, and Hayden

Wheels Up to Uganda

Alarms went off and we boarded the Hope bus at 6:20 am for Chicago. We arrived in O’Hare Airport without any complications. Our group was overjoyed to finally start our journey after two days of anticipation. Prior to our departure we spent a majority of our layover collaborating in several games of Euchre. Though everybody claims to be victorious, it has been fun experiencing our teammates completive aspects aside from athletic competition. We are currently in the Detroit Airport awaiting our flight to Amsterdam. Our team is continually uplifted by those we come into contact with. Between conversations in terminals and on the aircraft, the new individuals God placed in our path continue to remind us that everything is perfectly crafted in his plan.

In the next 48 hours, we will be traveling to Amsterdam and then on to Uganda.  These legs of the journey will be new experiences for many members of the team.  As soon as we get to Uganda, we plan to hit the ground running and can’t wait to share our experiences. Thank you so much for your continuous support and prayers through these days of travel.

Noah, Erica, Ali & Maddie

God’s Time, Not Ours

Our trip did not get off to the start we expected. An overheated bus on the way to the airport prompted a change of transportation. Our hope of reaching our plane on time was a man named Tom and his white, unmarked, door slightly ajar van. Nonetheless, it was our last chance. We pulled up to O’Hare praying that the airline would wait for us at the gate, but we missed our window of opportunity by 15 minutes. At this point with not many available options, our leaders exhausted every connection that they had to get us to Uganda. Unfortunately, we were forced to push our flights back to Wednesday. However, this minor hiccup only brought our group closer together.

We drove back to Holland Sunday night and began to develop a plan for the borrowed time of the next few days. After meeting at Phelps for lunch on Monday, we were able to study the gospel of John as a team and watch Queen of Katwe, a movie based on the chess ministry of Sports Outreach in the suburbs of Kampala. Finally, we were blessed with the hospitality of the Droppers Family who opened up their house for us to have dinner and spend time on Lake Michigan.

Today, we spent more time off campus in the afternoon beginning with some time spent in the Word. The rest of the day we spent on the beach and enjoying time together as a group. We were disappointed that we missed our flight on Sunday, but God had others plans for this team. We were able to take advantage of the extra time we had in Michigan and spent it in meaningful fellowship. This time to bond as a team will serve us well as we make the trip to serve in Kampala and Gulu tomorrow.

We appreciate you checking in on our team. We ask for prayers for traveling mercies and a smooth transition for us into the mission field.

Colleen, Daniel, Hayden & Olivia

Making Lemonade

Due to a bus complication on the way to the airport on Sunday, our Uganda team was unable to make their flight. We are rescheduled to depart on Wednesday, August 15 to arrive in Uganda on Thursday, August 16. While our travel delay is disappointing, we’re choosing to make lemonade as we continue bonding as a team in Holland and preparing our hearts to serve.

We’ve been talking as a team that life as a Christian is a journey, but through all things, we know that God is in control and He is good. Our team remains expectant that God is going to do big and mighty things in and through us, and for that, we are grateful!

Meet the Zambia Team!

Amanda Diaz – Softball
Addyson Gerig – Women’s Track & Field
Tucker Gibbons – Men’s Track & Field
Josh Izenbart – Men’s Track & Field
Morgann Kanouse – Softball
Brant Kym – Men’s Track & Field
CJ Otteman – Baseball
Alaina Streberger – Women’s Track & Field
Victoria Swift – Women’s Basketball
Paige Wilmer – Women’s Lacrosse
Andrew VandeBunte – Men’s Track & Field
Laura Tjepkema
Mary VandeHoef

Meet the Uganda Team!

Colleen Burns – Women’s Track & Field
Olivia Jackson – Softball
Maddie Nise – Softball
Daniel Settecerri – Men’s Golf
Erica Slenk – Women’s Swimming
Hayden Smith – Baseball
Alison Sobkowski – Women’s Swimming
Noah Weigle – Men’s Golf
Kirk Brumels
Stephanie Brumels
Caroline Dykstra

Watering the Seeds and Planting New Ones

One year ago, we launched a SEED team to Zambia to partner and serve alongside Poetice.  Lives were transformed as Hope College student-athletes held sports clinics, taught leadership lessons, and provided clean water through Sawyer products.

It is with great excitement that we are preparing to return to their ministry base in a few days to connect new student-athletes with our old friends and build into new relationships.

Read reflections from last summer from head softball coach Mary VandeHoef as evidence that sport changes lives.

2017 SEED Zambia Team in Choma, Zambia at the ministry center for Poetice. 

Off to Zambia!

We’re excited to send out a SEED team on Sunday, August 12 to Zambia to serve alongside Poetice.  “They exist to empower the church to fight for justice. Through transformational development, Poetice pursues physical and spiritual restoration for the widowed, the orphaned, the vulnerable, the exploited, the sick and the poor.”

While on the ground, the team will also partner with Sawyer to distribute water filters to local families and communities connected with Poetice.

View the team calendar for a glimpse of how Hope College student-athletes will utilize their passion for sport to share the love of Christ with individuals around the world!

Check back over the next two weeks to read updates from the team to hear more about their experiences on the ground and how God is on the move in Zambia.

Zambia Team Calendar


We’re Heading to Uganda!

As the calendar has turned to August, we can’t wait to launch our SEED team to Uganda on Sunday, August 12.

While in Uganda, the group will partner in the on-going work of Sports Outreach and distribute Sawyer water filters.

The mission of Sports Outreach is, “to recruit, train, equip and deploy committed Christian leaders in the effective use of sports ministry for the purposes of sharing the Gospel and alleviating human suffering.”

We recognize that sport provides and opportunity for athletes to have a significant platform from which to influence others and we’re excited to see how God uses the passion and talents of our Hope College student-athletes as we serve with Sports Outreach.

Take a look at the trip calendar to follow along with our team!

Uganda Team Calendar

Off to Costa Rica!

Our SEED Costa Rica team left campus bright and early this morning and is excited to serve alongside Push the Rock for the next 10 days!

Thanks for your prayers and support for the team!

Mitchel Achien’g – Women’s Track & Field
Luke Beckhusen – Football
Mason Dekker – Football
Amie Hixon – Women’s Lacrosse
Nick Holt – Baseball / Football
Hannah Huizen – Women’s Track & Field
Noelle Jackson – Softball
Nicole Kruithof – Women’s Track & Field
Mike Miller – Football
Kayla Russell – Women’s Basketball
Arika Tolbert – Women’s Basketball

Trip Leaders:
Kevin Cole
Lynn Cole
Mike Kauffman