My name is Andres Tortola. I was born and raised in Guatemala. I’m 27 years old. I am married to Jamie Tortola, and we have a 9-month-old son called Sebastian. In 2017 I got an international scholarship to study Counseling at Clarks Summit University in Pennsylvania, and that’s when I moved to the United States. I graduated in 2019 and have been pursuing a career in coaching since.
How & why I became a MAI Missionary
|In a moment of uncertainty about our careers and purpose in life, we had shared our concern to a dear group of friends that led us to contact Imago Dei Soccer. I am passionate for soccer and how it can be used as a tool to reach others for Christ, and my wife is a Sports Ministry major with the heart of a leader and also a servant. Ever since we met we wanted to be instruments that God used to pour into other people’s lives, and for a couple of years we struggled finding what that purpose was. When we heard about the work Imago Dei Soccer is doing, our hearts lit up and we knew God was calling us to serve through this ministry.|
I 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, I participated in and coached Imago Dei sessions. I continued to play at a high level at powerhouse Messiah College and was blessed to earn several awards: 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 my collegiate summers I spent time playing and working for the King’s Warriors Soccer Club of the PDL (semi-professional). I have also spent a few summers running the Wesleyan Soccer Camp and helping with pre-season. I was invited to preseason with a few professional teams, but my passion for sports ministry and coaching drew me away from those opportunities and to Imago Dei. I also serves on the Wesleyan Varsity Boys Coaching Staff.
How & why I became 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.
I have lived in the North Carolina Triad area for all my life. I played soccer for Piedmont Triad Football Club from ages eleven to eighteen. After graduation I attended University of South Carolina Aiken where I played soccer for a semester before transferring back to the area and attending University of North Carolina Greensboro. I am currently a junior there studying Marketing with a minor in Psychology.
How & why I became a MAI Missionary?
When I was sixteen and seventeen I went to Sao Paulo, Brazil with the Charlotte Eagles on a youth tour over the summer. When I came back after my first tour, the whole game of soccer had been changed for me. I learned that soccer is a platform in which you can share the gospel with the world. God taught me how to play with freedom and for an audience of One. But most importantly my eyes were opened to how to be a Christian who happens to play soccer instead of a soccer player who happens to be a Christian.
When I played in college, I forgot all that God had taught me over those summers. I placed my entire identity in how I played. I could feel Him calling me away from the game so I transferred schools and believed soccer would be out of my life forever. However, God had a different plan for me. As soon as I placed soccer at His feet and was willing to give it up, He blessed me with tons of coaching opportunities. I soon realized that coaching was my passion. I took an internship with Imago Dei Soccer in order to pursue that passion. Through that opportunity, I was able to once again use the platform of soccer to share the gospel. And I will continue to share the gospel through the beautiful game as long as He is willing.