This past summer, two Trinity College women’s soccer players took a leap of faith as they followed God’s calling to sports ministry. Kailynd Tubb (Psychology ‘22) and Sarah Davis (Business ‘22; MA Bioethics ‘23) fulfilled their service learning requirements by joining the Chicago Eagles, a ministry based in West Chicago that uses the global game of soccer as a platform to transform lives and share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Each summer, Chicago Eagles recruits college athletes from across the United States to serve on a two-week international trip before returning to Chicago to continue their youth soccer ministry. Tubb and Davis joined a group of 23 other athletes and traveled to Colombia to serve a soccer club through construction projects, building relationships with Colombian teams, and coaching local kids. “Traveling to Colombia reminded me of just how big God is,” Tubb said. “Whenever I travel internationally, it always amazes me to see how vast and diverse God’s creation is. This puts my life in perspective and is humbling to me.”
CONNECTING THROUGH SOCCER
Soccer is a core piece of Colombian culture, which gave the group a unique position to interact with the local players. “We incorporated soccer into mission work through using soccer as the medium to connect with the local Colombian people. Although we didn’t speak the same language or come from similar backgrounds, we shared a common passion for the game of soccer,” Tubb said.
While the opportunity to serve internationally fulfilled the service learning requirement that each Trinity student must complete, it meant a lot more to Davis and Tubb. “It wasn’t just about fulfilling a service learning requirement,” Davis said. “There is so much more to serving than going through the motions.” Service learning projects were created to provide students with opportunities to serve in ways that they might never otherwise be exposed to.
“We were there to simply tell them how much Jesus loves them and show them that love in our own actions.”
Upon returning from Colombia, the group began local ministry as they coached kids from the Chicago area during seven weeks of soccer camps. When asked about her coaching experience, Davis said, “We used soccer to connect with the kids, and then used that connection to point them to Christ. We were there to simply tell them how much Jesus loves them and show them that love in our own actions.”
The Chicago Eagles are committed to more than soccer and kids; they focus on building community and creating rich relationships that will last. “We were given only a short amount of time to live together and build relationships with each other, but they have proved to be some of the most impactful friendships I have made. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the teammates and coaches I met this summer,” Davis said. The group spent almost every moment together. They used their time to build a rich community based on their shared love for soccer, ministry, and Christ.
“The whole experience taught me that the gifts that God has given me can be used to glorify him.”
“One of the most impactful moments from the summer was the last week,” Davis said. “I was exhausted, and the kids I was coaching that week were difficult to connect with, but at the end of the camp three girls on my team decided to follow God. I was able to have conversations with each of them and walk them through giving their lives to Christ. We were also able to connect them and their families to a local church.”
Looking ahead to this summer, Davis will be returning to serve with the Eagles. She will be joined by Zoe Villont, who is currently a sophomore in Trinity’s Criminal Justice program. They will be traveling to Brazil to serve missionary partners of the Chicago Eagles and returning to Chicago to host soccer camps. “I’m looking forward to cultivating relationships with those who will be a part of the Chicago Eagles,” Villont said. “I’m also excited to dive deeper into my faith and grow closer to God throughout the entirety of this summer.”
“The whole experience taught me that the gifts that God has given me can be used to glorify him,” Davis said. “He gave me the opportunity to step into the lives of young kids and tell them about his love for them. I will never forget those conversations, and I’m so thankful that God allowed me to come alongside his work in their lives. I’m looking forward to seeing how God continues his work this summer!”