Category: Outreach

A TMC tradition: Summer soccer camps — By Kinley Kane

SoccerEach summer the TMC men’s soccer coach Jim Rickard and about 10 to 12 selected players from the men’s and women’s soccer teams come together to run two five-day soccer camps for kids 14 and younger. Campers arrive each day at 8 a.m. and then spend seven hours doing soccer drills, tactics, lessons and scrimmages. Aside from the sport components, they receive Bible time, a lunch meal in the cafeteria and an hour of swimming at the Hotchkiss dorm pool.

“Our camps started in 1987, my sophomore year of college,” Rickard said, “Why do we do camps? One reason is to get the community kids on campus. I would say 30% are Christian kids from the local churches and about 70% are unchurched kids. It’s a way to expose the community to The Master’s College and who we are. That’s why we take time each day of camp to have Bible time where we talk about the gospel with them.”

In addition to the ministry opportunities, summer camps such as the soccer camp give the college players a way to earn money during the summer in a coaching position.

“What is unique about our camp is that we have our college players training the kids and so not only do the kids have the chance to talk about soccer knowledge and skills but they are getting to interact with our players and seeing the college level athlete in a Christian,” Rickard said.

Natatsha Coyle, a senior on the women’s team, has experienced coaching at four camps with Rickard. She started working even before her freshman year.

“It was so neat. I got to meet a ton of people from the guys and girls programs and get familiar with the school before I came in,” Coyle said, “After working the first camp I definitely looked forward to each summer because of the camps. It was a lot of hard work dealing with so many kids but it’s really rewarding in a lot of senses. The younger girls who come to participate really look up to us as older athlete’s and women. It’s really fun for them to see and meet us college girls as well as provide examples for them with what they could be and what they can do in the aspects of improving their skills but also just having an absolute blast with the sport.”

Rickard has seen college players grow as they coach. They learn valuable lessons by having a plan each day for training and teaching tactics and technicalities.

“The best part is just seeing the college players interacting with young people and sharing their enthusiasm for the game of soccer,” Rickard said. “The camp provides our college players with a professional interaction to a coaching level. It’s fun and I hope to see most of them at one point coaching after college.”

As there is a coach-to-college-player interaction there is also a college-player-to-camper interaction.

“My favorite memory from the camps was seeing how quickly the kids grew close to each of us,”Coyle said, “By the end of the week at pool time they would start to chant each of our names getting us to jump in the freezing cold pool…It’s so cool how something like that can be the highlight of their week.”

Rickard was a coach for the summer soccer camps when he played for the men’s team. Sitting on one of the shelves in his office is a soccer ball that was given back to him from a former camper at the time, who had received the “player of the camp week” award. This ball is covered with faded autographs by Rickard and his college teammates.

“It was super cool that he had kept it and gave it back to me 17 years later.” Rickard said.

By Kinley Kane

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Team London off to evangelize Muslim community — By Stacey Schuett

London GoPutting together a Global Outreach Team is a long process involving dozens of students and 20-30 different locations. At the end of every spring semester at The Master’s College, King Hall is frequented by students putting together final pieces for their trips ahead. Yet there is more beneath the surface of fundraisers and the jokes dropped in chapel.

About 25-30 locations contact Dr. Lisa LaGeorge, Director of Global Outreach, each year requesting teams. TMC is able to send teams to about 10 of those destinations. This year one of them is London, England. GO Leader Lindsey Mullin, a senior at TMC, says her initial reaction to London was a surprise. She thought it couldn’t be a missions trip because they wouldn’t be living in huts and it is already an English speaking population.

“I didn’t even know London was an option,” she said.

Matt and Kimberly Davis, alumni of TMC, were described by Mullin as a missionary couple who have a heart for London and its people. Striving to use their gifts to further the gospel there, the Davis’s have been working with the London City Mission, affiliated with around 100 organizations, one of which is a coffee house, run by believers seeking to engage the Muslim community.

“The goal of our mission is to establish better relationships between London City Mission and the actual people in East London,” Mullin said. “Establishing connections with the actual people and the families is a lot harder.”

Barboza, along with his seven teammates, will be holding after-school programs in the park next to the coffee house teaching young children how to play soccer. They will also host theater and arts camps. In addition, the team plans to play soccer pick-up games with Muslim men who frequent the park.

“I am excited for their opportunity to participate in some drama activities.” LaGeorge said. “They will be able to really see how that would work out in a ministry context.”

Alex Barboza, a junior, sees the strategic possibilities of where they are going to serve East London, he says, “Is somewhere in the 90th percentile of Muslim population.”

When the team began learning about their trip and the population, they were given helpful tools for evangelizing. According to Barboza, John Azar, head of the Arabic community at Grace Community Church, spoke about the culture.

“He was telling us different things about Muslims and Allah. The one name Allah isn’t, is love.” Barboza said. “And that will be a great tool to reach out to them, showing them that our God is love. They don’t really understand what they read. They just read it and believe it.

La George has worked with almost 135 teams, 85 of which have been under her leadership. Working with so many teams of students has given LaGeorge the opportunity to observe lives change as they see the work of God through their stories.

“A lot of times students underestimate the work of God in their lives. They can’t see how God can use their story.” LaGeorge said, “It’s the word that’s the power and the Spirit that works through the Word. It’s not your story that is the powerful thing.”

To LaGeorge, seeing students come to this realization is why she sits in her office everyday.

GO Team leader applicants go through an interview process, once they are accepted, LaGeorge determines their strengths taking into account their majors and their specific skill sets. Then, with the information she builds, she pairs them with a student who “has not similar but complementary vocational training.”

In regards to the team itself, LaGeorge stresses that teams are put together with consideration of who will work well together and as young people “who have a heartbeat for the vocation and a heartbeat for the location.”

Gender poses a problem for LaGeorge at times, there are not many young men who apply for GO trips, “I want to make sure we have about two guys, my preference is three guys to go with every trip.” LaGeorge said. “But it is much easier to spread out the young women”

LaGeorge recalls a team a while back that worked with refugees from the flesh trade in Thailand,

“We had 8 spots, and 17 woman who applied for 4 of those spots,” she said.

LaGeorge, Barboza and Mullin are aware of some specific challenges they may face on their trip. Issues stretching anywhere from getting caught up in the tourist mentality of London, to dealing with the quirks and habits of each individual. Sarcasm is something Barboza sees as a possible challenge.

“I think sarcasm will be our biggest thing” Barboza said. “We know when to be serious, but we are a really sarcastic group so hopefully that doesn’t affect us.”

Mullin believes the group gets along well. She says it is encouraging to see how the group takes certain situations, whether funny or serious.

“Seeing that willingness and the cohesiveness has made being a leader so much easier,” Mullin said.

GO teams have a large financial need they must address. Each team comes up with creative ways to raise money to meet these needs. Team London leaders Sam Hebert, a junior at TMC and Mullin met with their teammates to brainstorm ideas deciding which ideas most marketable to students and faculty on TMC campus.

Team London camped outside the Music Recital Hall at North Campus during TMC Theater Arts Great Expectations performances, selling coffee and snacks. Held a night of music at Honu, a local coffee shop that donated a percentage of their proceeds from the event. Attendees of this particular fundraiser said the line for drinks was out the door of the coffee shop throughout the night. They also held a fundraiser at Cold Stone. At the time of the interview, Mullin calculated the donations they made to about a thousand dollars.

“As a leader it has been super helpful to see how supportive the whole campus is of the GO program.” Mullin said. “To know that even while we will be several times zones away we still have a great support system back here is super encouraging.”

As the team prepares for weeks leading up to their departure, they remain thankful, hopeful and excited for the trip ahead.

“The Lord has been really gracious with our team.” Mullin said.

Barboza expressed that he is looking forward to using the gifts the Lord has given him as a tool to share the gospel. All the while, praying that even when are tired they will continue to keep their eyes focused on the Lord.

The team will be having a landing party on campus the evening of June 10 to publicly share their experiences and pray for their time in England.

By Stacey Schuett

College evangelism society pursues Great Commission — By Katelyn Walter

BibleStudents of The Master’s College Evangelism Society gathered on Thursday night to evangelize at College of the Canyons to fulfill the Great Commission.

Formed over three years ago, the TMC Evangelism Society gives students opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Newhall and the Valencia COC campus. Those who participate gather every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:45 p.m. in the Gazebo on the TMC campus and carpool together to the chosen location.

After praying, the team split into groups of two or three and passes out gospel tracts. Students look for opportunities to share their faith with people they see and use the tracts as conversation starters.

The TMC Evangelism Society also meets every Friday afternoon from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. for evangelism training in the Biblical Studies Center. Senior biblical theology major Andrew Felts leads the training, and topics include general apologetics and how to evangelize to people of various religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

“Our goal for the evangelism society is to equip TMC students to be faithful ambassadors of Christ,” Felts said. “Regardless of whatever major you are, whether you’re Bible, science, business, we’re all called to obey the Great Commission of Christ in Matthew 28 to go out and make disciples.”

Students see the importance of evangelizing and fulfilling their God-ordained mission.

“I wanted to go…because we are told as Christians to go out to the world and to make disciples of all the nations, and also, I believe that by going out and speaking the Word, I’m bringing glory to God,” said junior Biblical Counseling major Sean Kim.

“I don’t normally end up saying that much, but it’s good to watch and learn and to have a firmer understanding of the gospel,” said sophomore communication major Alexis Sudol. “And it’s really just an encouragement for me with other nonbelieving family members and friends to be able to witness to them.”

The response from the believing community refreshed the TMC Evangelism Society.

“We actually got a response this semester from a Christian at COC…and she was really encouraged and blessed by what we were doing in sending tracts there. We’re grateful for that,” Felts said.

Many Christians are timid about sharing their faith with unbelievers, but those who went and evangelized had a reassuring message.

“You don’t have to be like George Whitfield,” Kim said. “God has you at the right place at the right time, and He uses humble people. I don’t know everything, but I know the one nugget of truth: the Gospel. That’s all we’re called to do. So be encouraged and don’t be scared. Don’t fear; the Lord will be with you.”

By Katelyn Walter

TMC to host Special Olympics athletes — By Jonathan Wais

special20olympicsThis summer, The Master’s College will be hosting athlete delegations from The Faroe Islands, Malaysia, the Philippines and El Salvador, that will be competing in the 2015 Summer Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles.

The Special Olympics are an international program designed for people with mental or physical disabilities to compete in athletics. The World Games are returning to L.A. for the first time since 1972 and will be the largest humanitarian sports event in the world this year.

Over 100 host towns surrounding L.A., including Santa Clarita, have been selected by the Special Olympics to host over 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries to help acclimate them to life in the United States.

The Master’s College was originally contacted by the Special Olympics host town program to see if it was available to house athletes. After processing the information and working out their schedule, the college committed to opening campus housing to athletes from the four countries.

TMC Director of Global Outreach, Dr. Lisa LaGeorge, is handling most of the logistics involved in hosting the athletes. She formed a Global Outreach (GO) team composed of students to serve before and during the World Games.

“Because we’ve sent a disability team the last several years it seemed like a good year for us to work with Special Olympics here,” LaGeorge says. “This was one way we could not only reach into a disability community but we could also reach into our community.”

GO leaders Chris Sue and Annie Ownbey, as well as the rest of the team, are raising funds to help cover the cost of housing the athletes. Before they arrive, the team will prepare housing for the athletes, who will stay in Hotchkiss Hall. The GO team will also do everything from packing gift bags to interacting with the athletes.

Ownbey is among those looking forward to volunteering.

“People don’t really want to volunteer because they’re afraid of working with them or how they are going to interact with them,” Ownbey says. “That’s why I love it, because it’s a way for me to love on and show them that people actually care for them and ultimately God cares for them.”

Along with other activities prepared by the City of Santa Clarita, The Master’s College will organize and host a two-hour, carnival-type event for the athletes consisting of a series of stations with a game at each one. Volunteers from the college and community will help with the stations, which will feature various activities, from a shuttle run to agility games.

The 14th edition of the Summer World Games begins on July 25 and continues through Aug. 2. During this time, the GO team will do whatever the Special Olympics staff needs help with and witness some of the competitions first hand.

“There’s no doubt there’s some good athletes and pretty competitive individuals and it really is a joy to watch them enjoy what they’re doing.” says The Master’s College Athletic Director Steve Waldeck.

Waldeck, whose youngest son plays on a local Special Olympics team, was one of the earliest supporters of the college’s involvement with the World Games athletes. His belief regarding interacting with people who have disabilities is to treat them as uniquely designed individuals.

“If we look through it with the lens that God doesn’t make mistakes and He’s created each and every one of us, He’s formed us exactly how He wanted us to be.” Waldeck says. “To treat someone with that kind of focus, [that] this person was uniquely made by God and to treat them with that love and dignity and respect is paramount to go into that situation without fear of the unknown.”

By Jonathan Wais