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Cody & Jennifer Snouffer

Position: Urban Director

Biography

Jen and I first participated in MAI as college students in the summer of 2009 through the Chicago Eagles Summer Academy. Both collegiate soccer players, we fell in love with sports ministry. We saw the huge impact “rolling out a soccer ball” could have in relationship building and ministry opportunities. We were married in September of 2012 and now live in a low-income neighborhood in the city of West Chicago. God has called Jen and I to the nations living in our neighborhood. Our neighbors are predominantly Hispanic immigrants and Iraqi refugees, who all seem to love soccer! It is an ideal place to be a soccer player, coach, friend, mentor and neighbor to the people around us. We are excited about the things that God is already doing in and among our neighbors and all that is to come!

How & why did we become MAI Missionaries?

The Chicago Eagles Summer Academy opened our eyes to how soccer can be used as a tool to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We each had felt the Lord calling us to missions and ministry in other cultures. As we finished college, we pursued areas of ministry overseas and God continued to put a soccer ball in our hands. Soccer is a talent the Lord has given us to use for His Kingdom. We love being part of Mission Athletes International, an organization that seeks to train leaders in ministry and equip and empower people to serve through the game of soccer. A game with an impact that changes lives.

Cody & Jennifer Snouffer

Urban Director

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Connor Georgopulos

Position: Accountant, Urban Coach

Biography

I was born in Denver, Colorado and have lived around there my whole life. I have been raised in a Christian family by loving and caring parents with 3 younger siblings. I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old and have been in love with it ever since. I also had some incredible missions opportunities in high school, and on some of them I started to learn how to use soccer as a tool to bring the gospel in a way I had never known. After high school I decided to play soccer at John Brown University, a small Christian school in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. My time at JBU has probably been the best 4 years of my life. I have built incredible relationships and have been on an incredible team that seeks Christ in everything we do, both on and off the field. I also first joined the Chicago Eagles after my sophomore year for the first time. Overall the last several years have been a great time of growth and challenges, and I feel ready for the next step I am taking with the Eagles.I was born in Denver, Colorado and have lived around there my whole life. I have been raised in a Christian family by loving and caring parents with 3 younger siblings. I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old and have been in love with it ever since. I also had some incredible missions opportunities in high school, and on some of them I started to learn how to use soccer as a tool to bring the gospel in a way I had never known. After high school I decided to play soccer at John Brown University, a small Christian school in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. My time at JBU has probably been the best 4 years of my life. I have built incredible relationships and have been on an incredible team that seeks Christ in everything we do, both on and off the field. I also first joined the Chicago Eagles after my sophomore year for the first time. Overall the last several years have been a great time of growth and challenges, and I feel ready for the next step I am taking with the Eagles.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

I decided to join the MAI staff after two life-changing summers at the Chicago Eagles Summer Academy. During this time I felt the Lord slowly changing both my heart and my own plans. I felt a calling to serve His people and kingdom in some way, and I was given the opportunity to do this through soccer with the Eagles. I feel confident that this is where the Lord has me for this next season and that He will continue to do a great work through this ministry like He has already done. I am very excited to join this ministry and the vision that it has going forward and to use the gifts I’ve been given to join them in spreading the gospel.

Connor Georgopulos

Accountant, Urban Coach

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Dan and Naomi Mallard

Daniel & Naomi Mallard

Position: Camp Director, Urban Coach

Biography
I had a great childhood. I was involved in a great church with people who had authentic relationships with Christ. It was normal to be a pastor’s kid. Life was good. Then, in third grade my dad was diagnosed with a glioblastoma. A glioblastoma is a really bad brain tumor, a grade four. He had virtually no chance of survival. It was very difficult for me to see my dad get sick, lose his hair, go to the hospital all the time, and be at friends’ houses all the time. Through all the hard times I began to realize God was really there for me. He never left me. God was directing my path even when I did not understand where that path was leading. After i graduated high school I found myself at a small Christian college called Columbia International University in Columbia South Carolina. I was able to play soccer while I was studying to become an elementary teacher. God changed my plans once again and I ended up finishing grad school with a Masters in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in the future.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
I went on my first missions trip to the Dominican Republic in the 8th grade and discovered my love for kids. The next year I was invited to be a part of a mission trip to Colombia South America with the Charlotte Eagles. There I discovered I could use the sport I love and share Jesus at the same time. I immediately was hooked. From that point on I went on the Charlotte Eagle’s Youth Tour any chance I got. I ended up going on the Youth tour from ’10 to ’13. As I began my life in college I became too old for the Youth Tour and was pointed towards another branch of MAI, the Chicago Eagles Academy. I participated in my first Academy in ’14 and have never looked back. I fell in love with the kids who would come to our camps, and blessed to see their lives changed forever because of Jesus. I found my niche up in the Chicago Academy and I plan to help in any way I can in the future. I love being able to use the sport I love to glorify the God I love.

Daniel & Naomi Mallard

Camp Director, Urban Coach

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Elliot Thompson

Elliot Thompson

Position: Urban Coach

Biography

I have always been a fairly disciplined guy. Both my parents were pretty high up in the Military and raised me with good morals as well. My mom was a Full Bird Col and my Dad was a LT Col.
But I wasn’t raised in a church. Both my parents believed in a creator but never showed me him. When I was in 8th grade on November 30th 2008 I accepted Christ at a church lock-in. Since that night I have considered myself a Christian and a follower of Christ. But it wasn’t until tragedy happened did I realize I was so focused on law keeping rather than relationship. My junior, year of high school my Grandmother was diagnosed with lung caner. A month Later my mother was also diagnosed with lung cancer. Then I broke my foot and needed surgery and then tore my achilles. Then, during my senior year of College my father was diagnosed with Lung cancer. Only 3 months later I tore my ACL, LCL, MCL and meniscus playing soccer. I asked myself: What will law keeping do for me now? What good was being clean and looking clean? Looking back on everything I can clearly see God’s hands parting the waters and protecting my heart during those times, but it taught me a valuable lesson. My “perfect” law keeping would leave no room for Jesus on that cross. God would rather have relationship, than me trying (and failing) at being perfect.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

I heard about the Eagles through one of my coaches and his wife my sophomore year of college. After seeing the affects it had on some of my teammates, I finally decided to give it a go going into my junior year. The experience was life transforming. The community is like the community Paul speaks of in Acts. I couldn’t get enough of it- I truly felt alive and thriving when I was in the Eagles environment. I know this is where I’m supposed to be and there’s no doubt in my mind God is going to be doing some amazing things!

Elliot Thompson

Urban Coach

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Jean & Tasha Desouza

Jean & Tasha Desouza

Position: Urban Coach, Tour Director, Summer Academy Staff

Biography

Jean was born and raised in Brazil, but moved to the US for missions training when he was 22. He played soccer at and graduated from Grace College (Winona Lake, IN) with a degree in Psychology and Intercultural Ministry. He and his wife, Tasha, have four children. Together they served in soccer ministry in Japan for 3 years. Jean joined the Chicago Eagles staff in January 2015, with the primary responsibilities of being the on-site camp director and an Urban Eagles coach.  He now primarily focuses on coaching and discipling the U11 boys on his team, but also helps to lead the Summer Academy trips to Brazil.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

Jean’s first experience with MAI was while at Grace College. His team traveled to Japan with the Southern California Seahorses in 2005. His heart was drawn to soccer ministry, and God called him and his family to serve in Japan from 2010-2013. They helped Masa and Chie Yokota to establish the Seahorse Soccer International Club. Though this experience, God’s call to long-term sports ministry became clear. After Jean joined the Chicago Eagles’ Summer Academy trip to Brazil in 2013, he and Tasha felt led to join the ministry in Chicago.

Jean & Tasha Desouza

Urban Coach, Tour Director, Summer Academy Staff

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Jeff & Margreet Dusek

Jeff & Margreet Dusek

Position: Camp Director

The Duseks

Jeff grew up in Wheaton, IL, attended Taylor Univ. and graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL. He taught elementary physical education for 10 years before attending Ravenscrest Chalet Bible School in Estes Park, CO, one of the many Torchbearers Centers worldwide. He then spent 8 years running a basketball ministry through the Torchbearer Center in Holsbybrunn, Sweden called Fackelbararna. Jeff met and married Margreet while in Sweden and their oldest son was born in Sweden. Margreet was born and grew up in IJmuiden, The Netherlands, a coastal town just west of Amsterdam. She worked in the sales department of one of the largest steel companies in Europe before heading to Bible School in Sweden. While in Sweden, they hosted six different Eagles soccer teams from both the Charlotte and Chicago offices. Since moving to the USA (2002) the Duseks have been working with the Chicago Eagles soccer ministry. Jeff works mostly with the camps and Golf Outing, while Margreet handles the camp registration and general office work. The Duseks have two boys, Wesley (2001) and Luuk (2004)

Jeff & Margreet Dusek

Camp Director

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Joey Waltz

Position: Outreach, Graphic Design

Brief Bio/Profile

After a season of coaching and pursuing a Master’s degree, Joey is shifting roles to be more involved with strategic Gospel work, here in West Chicago. Originally from Staunton, VA, Joey brings a mix of skills and life experiences – having worked in higher education, public service, and, most recently, his local church.

Joey obtained a B.A. from Bluefield College (2013), majoring in Graphic Communications and minoring in Christian Studies. He then completed his M.A. in Intercultural and Urban Studies (2018) from Moody Theological Seminary.

He currently holds a USSF D License.

 

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

From my initial involvement with MAI in 2011 until the present, I’ve had an array of positive experiences with gospel workers who make up this organization – first as an academy participant during college, then as a research partner in seminary. The people I’ve known and worked with for the past eight years are dear friends, devoted co-laborers, and they seem to always look for ways to improve. The thought of engaging people and communities with the intent to communicate Christ during this period of MAI’s history, with the available resources and support staff, is one that excites me very much.

Joey Waltz

Outreach, Graphic Design

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Josh and Charlotte Morgan

Josh & Charlotte Morgan

Position: Urban Coach, Youth Tour Director

Biography
I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN in a Christian home with very supportive Christian parents. I went to Christian private schools all the way through high school, but I never really understood the Gospel. My junior year of high school, one of the former soccer coaches asked me to go on the Charlotte Eagles Youth Tour to Brazil that summer. I accepted his offer because I loved playing soccer and playing in Brazil sounded like a dream. Little did I know that this trip would completely change my life. In Brazil was the first time I ever witnessed the ability to play soccer for the Lord, and that is when the Gospel finally clicked for me. Because of that, on the third night in Brazil, I fully surrendered my life to the Lord and gave everything up to Him. Ever since then, I have been a firm believer in using soccer as a tool to spread the Gospel, and I have obtained a passion for sports ministry. After I graduated high school, I was able to attend Transylvania University in Lexington, KY where I had the opportunity to play soccer all four year, meet a beautiful woman of God that I am lucky enough to call my wife, Charlotte, and continue using my passion for sports ministry to reach others. With the opportunities God has given me in my past, I am stoked to see what He has awaiting Charlotte and I in the future.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
The summer of my junior year in high school, 2013, I went to Brazil with Charlotte Eagles Youth Tour and that was my first ever missions/sports ministry trip. On that trip is where I gave my life to Christ and learned the joy that comes form playing for Jesus. Then the following summer, 2014, I went back on Youth Tour with the Charlotte Eagles to Brazil to learn more about sports ministry and how I could use the sport I have been playing all my life to reach the lost and spread the Gospel. After that trip, I was hooked on sports ministry. As I graduated high school and went to college, I felt like I was too old for Youth Tour, but I still wanted to spend my summers playing soccer and serving the Lord. So the summer of 2015 I decided to go to Germany for a couple weeks with a few guys from the Charlotte Eagles. After running soccer camps in Germany, I felt like God was calling me to sports ministry. So I dropped my plans for an engineering degree, changed my major to psychology, and told God, “Here I am, send me.” Then the next summer, 2016, I was pointed to the Chicago Eagles Summer Academy and I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with the kids in the neighborhood and being able to watch them experience Jesus and have their lives changed. Also, in the same summer, I went to the Olympics in Brazil with a small team from the Charlotte Eagles and used sports ministry to share the Gospel with Olympic athletes, coaches, and fans. It was incredible to see that no matter how old someone gets or how successful they become, their life can still be changed by Jesus. The summer of 2017 I found myself back with the Chicago Eagles to see if this was where God wanted me. I felt at home up in Chicago and knew that was God’s way of telling me that I am home. I am excited to see how God uses me in Chicago and I am ready to serve in any way I can.

Josh & Charlotte Morgan

Urban Coach, Youth Tour Director

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Kay Silveria

Position: Urban Coach, Summer Academy Staff

Biography
I was born and raised in Bristol, Rhode Island with two parents and a sister who love and support me in all that I do. I grew up always knowing who God was, but never knew what it meant to have a personal relationship with him. It was not until I was in 8th grade when I gave my life over to the Lord. That was the first time in my entire life that I realized that I was so broken and sinful and needed Jesus. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, I have found purpose for my life and live in such a way that others can see the joy of Christ in me. I am graduating from Gordon College in the spring and have experienced extreme amounts of spiritual growth over my 4 years. I was able to play soccer while I was studying Recreation, Sport, and Wellness with a concentration in Sports Studies.
How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
Between spending 4 seasons on the women’s soccer team at Gordon College and 2 summers with the Chicago Eagles at the Summer Academy, my life has been changed forever. I have a passion to see others come to know my Savior that I love so much and I believe that can be done through the game of soccer. I have felt a very strong calling on my life to pursue a career in discipling others and seeing the Lord do amazing and crazy things for them!

Kay Silveria

Urban Coach, Summer Academy Staff

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Kieley Leach

Position: Women's Director of Coaching

I had the blessing of growing up in home that served the Lord, but did not learn about a personal relationship with Jesus until college. My first experience with MAI in the Summer Academy brought me to a deep understanding of a life driven by my faith in Jesus, learning how He is the center, rather than just a part.

After I graduated in 2016 from Greenville University, in southern Illinois, with my Bachelors Degree in Special Education, God brought me to my one year residency with the Eagles. Initially, this was to me a buffer year to “figure out what I wanted to do with my life”. But boy, was I wrong in my intentions, quickly learning about my own passion for sports ministry and seeing it as a full time desire.

Following residency, God took me back to Greenville, coaching for a program that gave so much to me as a collegiate athlete while getting my Masters in Education. I gained valuable college coaching experience and also developed a passion for mentoring and ministry for women in this stage of life.

These experiences have brought me to a passion for full-time ministry with MAI and a desire to share the gospel through soccer.

I was introduced to MAI through the Chicago Summer Academy in 2014, going into my Junior year of college. I fell in love with the ministry that summer, not knowing the Lord was changing my heart from a future in classroom teaching to a future as a missionary with the same community who helped transform my faith and taught me so much about a personal relationship with Jesus. My first experience with MAI opened my eyes to how the sport of soccer can be used as a platform to share the gospel and I am thrilled to join staff full-time in faithfulness to this mission.

Kieley Leach

Women's Director of Coaching

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Lauren Cleope

Lauren Cleope

Position: Urban Coach, Summer Academy Staff

Biography
I was born in the United States, but I grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines. I accepted Christ in my heart when I was young, but it never really sunk in until end of high school and beginning of college. I started playing soccer at a young age and had many opportunities to play all over Asia. I attended the University of Northwestern-Saint Paul in Minnesota and played soccer there all four years. I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology.  I was a nanny for an awesome family for 3 years.  And now I’m in Chicago with MAI and the Eagles.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
I participated in the Chicago Eagles Summer Academy in 2014 and I fell in love with the ministry. After the summer, I knew that God wanted me to be apart of MAI. I have always had a heart for people and love for the beautiful game of soccer and God led me to MAI where my passions collided, with the ultimate goal in sharing Jesus with others. I belong to Jesus and I belong on the pitch. I’m glad I found a place where those two met.  I went through the Residency program 2016-2017 with my focus on the Summer Academy.  And I have committed to 2 years on staff with the Chicago Eagles.

Lauren Cleope

Urban Coach, Summer Academy Staff

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Leo & Nicole Medeiros

Position: Chicago Executive Director, Summer Academy Administrator

Thank you! You are such an important part of what the Lord is doing in our ministry! Your prayers, friendship, and support are much appreciated and we couldn’t be doing what we do if it wasn’t for your generosity and obedience to the Lord!

For our latest update, click the following link: https://conta.cc/2ESKZum

 

Leo & Nicole Medeiros

Chicago Executive Director, Summer Academy Administrator

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Owen Banuelas

Position: Urban Coach

BIOGRAPHY
I was born in Mexico and raised in West Chicago. Growing up I knew there was a God, but I did not know what it was like or what it meant to have a relationship with Him. The summer before my senior year was when I committed my life to Christ and thoroughly pursued a relationship with the Lord. To me life is a journey. Faith means everything. I saw improvements in life as language changed, life styles changed, as an athlete I changed. I had the blessing to go to Trinity International University to play and study for a brief time but decided to finish my studies at College of DuPage. I am extremely excited to be working with MAI and the Chicago Eagles this year.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?
I played for the Chicago Eagles during my High school years and really love their values. I’ve been volunteering with the Chicago Eagles for the last 3 years by being a soccer coach for our 6-8th grade boys. Being part of the Eagles has been a blessing. I am blessed with the opportunity to bring the gospel to these young men and to this community. Being one of the first kids in the community that was touched by this organization really helped me to pursue this opportunity and to share what the Eagles have done in my life. I am so excited to be a resident this year.

Owen Banuelas

Urban Coach

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RIck and Janice McKinley

Rick & Janice McKinley

Position: Summer Academy Director

Biography

Rick and Janice have literally come full circle with MAI. It was while Rick was in graduate school at Wheaton College that they first explored the possibility of fulltime work in sports ministry. In 1987, the joined MAI at their original office in southern California. In 1991, they moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to assist in the opening of the Charlotte Eagles, MAI’s East Coast office. In 1997, they returned to the Chicago area, to begin the work of the Chicago Eagles.

Having been a school teacher and coach for three years in Puerto Rico, Rick had seen first-hand the impact that sport, especially soccer, can have on people, young and old. Along with that, Rick credits a couple of Christian coaches with having a tremendous influence on his life.

While in the L.A. office, Rick served as MAI’s National Camp Director. In Charlotte, he assisted Brian Davidson in the opening of the Eagles office, and served for six years in the development of MAI’s largest office. His passion continues to be in training and equipping others in sports ministry.

Rick now serves as the Senior Director of the Chicago office. He has led high school and collegiate teams to more than 20 countries. Rick holds a National “C” Coaching License with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and has coached youth to collegiate level for the past 30 years. He is currently coaching boys U18. Married in 1985, Rick and Janice have four children – Lauren (married to Joe Meekins), Joshua, Lindsay (married to Jordan Langs) and Joe; two grandsons Levi and Grayson, and two granddaughters, Everlee and Makayla. Janice is a registered nurse, but currently working part-time with MAI and fulltime wife, mother and grandmother.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?              

After serving one year with Sports Life soccer ministry, we were convinced of God’s call into full time sports ministry. When Sports Life discontinued operations, we sensed that God was directing us to join MAI. That was in 1987. Since then, we have been blessed to serve in each of MAI’s offices (southern California ’87-’91; Charlotte ’91-’97; Chicago ’97 – present).

Rick & Janice McKinley

Summer Academy Director

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Sam Spivey

Position: Neighborhood Leader, Urban Coach, Videographer

Biography

I was born and raised in Glen Ellyn, IL, and accepted Christ at a very young age. I played soccer starting from the time I could walk. Ended up running cross country and track in College and studying Computer Internetworking Technologies. God brought several people in my life who helped mentor and grow me. They showed me that through sports, God will reach out and touch people in ways I could never have imagined. I found out about Eagles and started volunteer coaching with them shortly after. Through the Lord’s will, I am excited to start my 3rd year with the Eagles and be able to share and help others in many ways.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

God has called me to share the love of Jesus Christ with kids through the game of soccer. I am excited about the opportunity to live among the kids I coach in the Marian Park Apartments in Wheaton. My players are mainly North African immigrants and Indian refugees. Soccer is a great way to meet their needs. With my roommates ET and Connor, we play soccer with whoever wants to come twice a week as well as helping the community out in any way we can. Our door is always open and it has been a blessing seeing God work in so many different hearts bringing them all together to make this work. We are not called to be alone, we are called to be seeking and receiving fellowship, community, friendship and love. Soccer can be used as a tool to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through relationships, love. One of the most influential people in a young person’s life is their coach and the best time to impact someone’s life spiritually is before the age of 18.

Sam Spivey

Neighborhood Leader, Urban Coach, Videographer

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