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Carter and Rachel Robbins

Carter & Rachel Robbins

Position: High Point, NC

Biography

Carter grew up in High Point, NC and attended Wesleyan Christian Academy, earning awards such as All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State. During Middle and High School, Carter participated in and coached Imago Dei sessions. He continued to play at a high level at powerhouse Messiah College and added to his already impressive resume: 3 time All-Conference, 2 time Conference Defensive Player of the Year, 3 time All-Region, 2 time National Champion, 2 time NCAA All-American, and 3 time D3 Soccer All-American. During the collegiate summers he spent time playing and working for the King’s Warriors Soccer Club of the PDL (semi-professional). Carter has spent the last few summers running the Wesleyan Soccer Camp and helping with pre-season. He was invited to preseason with a few professional teams, but his passion for sports ministry and coaching drew him away from those opportunities and to Imago Dei. He also serves on the Wesleyan Varsity Boys Coaching Staff.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?              

I grew up around the Charlotte Eagles through youth tours and being involved in the Urban Eagles. Through these opportunities, I fell in love with sports ministry. My passion for ministry led me to study Cross Cultural Ministry in college and to currently pursue full time ministry. I have always loved what the Charlotte Eagles do, but I felt called to the High Point area. I’m honored to be apart of God’s work through MAI and Imago Dei Soccer Academy in High Point, NC.

Carter & Rachel Robbins

High Point, NC

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Courtney Hara

Position: Japan - Short term mission trip

Biography

Courtney grew up in Southern California. She began playing soccer at the age of five and continued to play until her sophomore year of high school. She unfortunately had to stop due to a handful of concussions, but continued to love the sport of soccer. She grew up playing left defense and center midfield.
How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

During my senior year of college, I was given an amazing opportunity to travel to Japan for the first time. It wasn’t until this trip that I began to acknowledge, accept, and embrace my Japanese heritage. It was during this trip that I was able to personally experience the importance and beauty of being a steward of one’s culture. After that trip, I knew very clearly that Japan was a place that God had placed a part of my heart in. I then began asking God for an opportunity that allowed me to glorify God as the person that He made me to be. And soon enough, God made a way and connected me to Seahorse Soccer where I am excited to be using my experience playing soccer and sharing my faith!

Courtney Hara

Japan - Short term mission trip

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Sherwood Harry and Lauren

Harry & Lauren Sherwood

Position: High Point, NC

Biography

Born in Bristol, England.
Came to America in 2008 on a soccer scholarship at Bryan College, Dayton, TN.
Moved to High Point, NC after graduation in 2012 to coach at Wesleyan Christian Academy.
Married Lauren Bowling (Charlotte, NC) in the summer of 2014.
Lauren now teaches at Wesleyan Christian Academy.
2 younger sisters, Mum & Dad live back in England.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

I love soccer.
I love the concept of using sport to learn about life.
I love that sport can mean everything, but is not everything.
I love how sports can bring people together that would never have met otherwise.
I have come to love how transformational coaching can be, and I would love to share my love of a game and impact lives through a simple sport.

Harry & Lauren Sherwood

High Point, NC

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Masa and Chie Yokota

Masa & Chie Yokota

Position: International

Biography:
Masa and Chie have two children Joe(12yrs old)and Jen(2yrs old). Masa accepted Jesus when he was 18 years old at word of life Bible camp in Schroonlake NY. This is where Masa met Chie for the first time.

God opened the doors for him to study abroad. First he went to Word of life Philippines for 6 months to learn Bible and English.

He went to Word of life NY for 2 years.

He went to Israel college of the Bible for a year.

He went to Grace college for 2 years and Seminary for a year and half to finish his degrees in Intercultural ministries.

Chie accepted Jesus when she was 13 yrs old through a missionary from Indiana.

She went to Lancaster Christian high school and went to Word of life Bible institution.

She went back to Japan and worked at mission organization for a year and went to Israel college of the Bible for a year.

Summer Seahorse Visit!
We had a team from Seahorse America share the good news to our community. We had great feed back from local school and kids and parents.

It was our first time to visit Joe(our son’s school) for fellowship. The principal of the school really liked our visit and asked us to visit their school again for English lessons.

It is just amazing to see how God use the team to open the door to the community.

We just had a Bible camp in Nagano Japan for the very first time. 43 people joined the camp!

33 kids plus 10 adults. Missionary from Australia shared the gospel to campers and parents. Not yet Christians were so open to the gospel, and believers were so encouraged by the message and fellowship at the camp. The camp was the place where Masa and Chie got married 14 years ago and it was only two of us when we use the place for wedding, and thank God that we were able to go back to the camp with 43 people for Bible camp.

Needs and Prayers
It will be our financial needs, we will still need 1,500 dollars monthly to be able to keep this ministry going.

Our goal is not keep this ministry going but let Jesus shine in this community. Please pray that we will be sensitive to God’s lead and call for this ministry and do whatever we can for God and this community.

Masa & Chie Yokota

International

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Steven & Suzannah Mattocks

Position: International

Biography

  • Born 9/21/1970
    One of 6 sons of Larry and Linda Mattocks
    Graduated from Calvary Baptist Christian Academy (Meadville,PA)
    Attended Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA for one year
    Graduated from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA
    Played collegiate soccer at Geneva
    Gave my life to Jesus Christ at age 11.
    Married Suzannah on Dec. 27, 1997
    We have three children (Steven Jr., Caleb, Hannah)

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
On the way back from my first mission trip (an MAI trip to Russia in 1993), the tour leader (Rick McKinley) said MAI was starting an office in the Czech Republic. When he mentioned the office needed workers, I sensed the Lord God moving in my heart to join MAI and work in the Czech Republic. Following the trip, I spend several months praying and seeking counsel from older believers. I applied to join staff. The mission accepted me in 1994, and in 1995 I went to the Czech Republic. I served with the original MAI team to Czech from May 1995 to September 1997. That Fall I came home for a furlough. During the furlough I married Suzie. Together we raised support for 3 years, and we returned to Czech in 2000. We moved to Pisek, a city in the southwest region of Czech. While in Pisek, we worked together with the Elim Evangelical Church. In 2008 we came back to the US for another furlough and for some more education. I finished my school work in the Fall of 2010, and then we spent time searching for the Lord’s direction. After a period of time, we sensed the Lord leading us to stay with MAI and stay in Northwest Pennsylvania. Since that time, we have been helping local churches with soccer ministry efforts.

Steven & Suzannah Mattocks

International

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Tom and Jodi Gerlach

Position: Nashville
Tom and Jodi Gerlach:

Biography
Tom grew up in Delaware, and played soccer at NCAA Division II Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. He later played semi-professional soccer with the Knoxville Impact, and went on tour as a player with the Charlotte Eagles in 1995. After graduating, Tom assisted the women’s program at Tusculum College in 1993-1994. Tom has coached in high school for 25 years and holds the TN state record for consecutive state championships. He has 3 years coaching experience in the WPSL and holds a United Soccer Coaches “National Coaching License”.

Tom is currently the director of soccer at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, TN. He coaches both the high school girls and boys teams, as well as overseeing soccer down through the academy.

Tom has been on staff with MAI for 8 years as the Director of International Youth tours. He has led 8 youth tours to Brazil in the summer. “My passion is seeing American teenagers using their skills on the soccer field to glorify their Savior and Lord. By being vessels for the Lord, not only do the lives of the Brazilians change, but the lives of the American teens do, as well.”

Tom and his wife, Jodi, have two children (Bennett and Addison) and reside in Nashville, TN, where he teaches Earth Science.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
My life was drastically changed when I went on tour as a player, and I saw that some of my own players could have the same experience if I was able to provide that opportunity for them. Through connections with the Week of Champions and my college soccer coach Stephen Jones, I was able to contact David Sanford and pursue my passion for sports ministry.

Tom and Jodi Gerlach

Nashville

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Tom and Olena Merchant

Tom & Olena Merchant

Position: International

Needs and Prayers
Christians and churches are in constant debate about how they (we) should be acting during this incredibly difficult time in Ukraine. Prayer alone? Humanitarian support (medics, food distribution, go to and participate on the “maidan”, fight, speak out, stay silent, be passive, be active…). If the gov’t does not change, the people will suffer long and serious repression. Ukraine needs a miracle. The country needs Christ.

Biography
Grew up in Maryland
Grace Brethren Christian School – Clinton, MD – graduated 1990
Liberty University – Cross-cultural Studies – graduated 1994
MAI tours and camps in USA and Europe since 1989
Full-time MAI staff since 1997
1997-1999 Chicago
1999-2003 Moscow, Russia
2003-2007 Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
2007- Rivne, Ukraine
Married Olena Forsyuk (Merchant) 2001
2 daughters – Michelle and Melody
Partnering with and assisting the Christian Football Club “Nadiya” (Hope) and supporting soccer ministry in Ukraine

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
I joined tours to Denmark, Norway and then Russia and all over Europe. I also worked some camps in the States before focusing on Russia and Ukraine. God showed me that I can and should use the skills and talents that He has given me to serve Him and society. My life has been saturated with soccer and God has inserted me into the Slavic map. Pray for these people. Life here is not all about fun and games. It’s tough. People have eyes but do not see; ears but do not hear. And many seem to prefer being blind and deaf. But there still are some honest seekers and youth that need God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins.

Tom & Olena Merchant

International

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