Seven Olivet Tigers’ football players recently provided much needed help at The Village of Hope
near San Lucas, Guatemala — marking the program’s first ever overseas mission trip. Joining the players for this trip were four of the team’s coaches and their wives. Village of Hope is in the foundational stage of becoming a place that serves orphans with disabilities.
During their time in Guatemala, the group focused on providing manual labor for various projects that will make it possible for the organization to open its doors and help these children. Projects included working on the perimeter wall of the facility and digging a hole suitable for a new septic system. The Tigers also took time to visit with families and play numerous games of soccer with children and adults. Making an impact off the gridiron
Two years ago, when Keegan Block (sophomore, linebacker, Caddo Mills, Texas)
was recruited, Olivet’s coaching staff first became aware of the needs that The Village of Hope had. Keegan’s family was moving to San Lucas to start this project.
“Our affiliation with The Village of Hope is much more than just a trip overseas,” Head Coach Brian Fish says. “Having people there who are connected to our program is important. We hope to develop steady support for them.”
Opportunities and experiences that go beyond the football field are important to Olivet’s athletic department. “Providing ways for players to help people with real needs is a foundational part of our program,” Coach Fish adds. “We call this bearing fruit, and it’s part of who we want to become as a team and as individuals.”Teamwork and personal victories
The Guatemalans are not the only ones impacted by this trip. “I saw that possessions are not as important as God's love and His work,” said Brandon Ruemler (junior, linebacker, Williamsport, Ind.).
“Since I've returned, I really appreciate things a lot more than I did before the trip.”David Payne (junior, running back, Chebanse, Ill.)
was also moved by the trip. “The people of Guatemala opened my eyes to how we need to be happy with the simple things in life,” he says. “What I think about most is how much we take things for granted.”
“Since the trip, I think differently on how giving really works,” says Ken Moore (senior, tight end, Chicago).
“It’s easier for someone whom has money to give and help with an immediate situation. But for someone to give time, love and expressions of Jesus, those are gifts that last a lifetime.”
Plans are already being made for Olivetians to return to San Lucas next year. Hopefully, by that time, there will be many children experiencing the love of Jesus through The Village of Hope’s ministry.