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Dave and Carolyn Urban

Dave & Carolyn Urban

Position: CEO | Director of Staff Care (Charlotte)

Biography:

Dave and Carolyn are originally from the Philadelphia area and moved to Charlotte in 2013. Dave spent over 20 years in the field of higher education overseeing enrollment and building strategic partnerships with various different organizations. Dave also co-founded and is partner in Charter Oak Research, which has provided marketing, research, executive search, strategic planning, and consulting services to over 50 clients, including Christian and private schools, colleges, and seminaries in addition to several other business organizations. He holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration from Eastern University. Carolyn graduated from Eastern University and spent 11 years coaching the women’s lacrosse team there, prior to stepping away to raise their three children.

How and Why did you become a missionary?

Dave started playing soccer at the age of 5 and had the privilege of being coached by his dad until going off to college. The foundation of teaching he received had a significant impact on his life. During his college years he came to know Christ as his Savior through the environment of his college soccer team and went on to coach himself at both the HS and Collegiate level further preparing him for a role that he did not know would be in his future. When the opportunity came up to be a part of the ministry of MAI, who’s mission is to glorify God and see lives transformed by sharing the message of Jesus Christ through the global environment of soccer, it was a natural fit. Carolyn also has a background in sports, having coached Women’s Lacrosse for 11 years at Eastern University. The mission of MAI is what drew her in because she saw first hand the impact that sports can have on the lives of players through the environment of a team. Carolyn has the privilege of serving in Staff Care in the Charlotte office.

Dave & Carolyn Urban

CEO | Director of Staff Care (Charlotte)

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David and Lola Sanford

David & Lola Sanford

Position: US DIRECTOR

Biography

David is married to Lola Sanford and they have two sons. Lola is a professional Christian Counselor. Mitch serves with MAI through International Tours and is the head coach and GM of the Lady Eagles elite team. Luke and his wife, Margaret, and their sons, Cliff and Kai live in Marion, IN where he is head coach of the Indiana Wesleyan University Men’s Soccer Team.

David coached at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC through the ’80s and ’90s. He loved using the environment of the sport to mold and impact young men for Christ. His WCA teams won nine State Championships and were nationally ranked several times by the United Soccer Coaches. David was NC High School Coach of the Year three times, United Soccer coaches Southeast COY twice and United Soccer Coaches National Private High School COY once. He is a member of the NC Field of Honor with the NC High School Soccer Coaches Association and is a member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame. David also served as the Middle School Principal his last ten years at WCA.

When MAI opened the office in Charlotte in the early ’90s David connected immediately. While at WCA he would coach teams on Charlotte Eagle International Youth Tours to Europe and traveled with the Men’s pro team to Jordan, Israel and Gaza. He joined the MAI Board of Directors in 2003 and served five years before the board challenged him to come on staff full-time. The Lord confirmed that call and David and Lola moved to Charlotte in 2008 to take on the role of US Director.

In addition to his state-side responsibilities, David serves sports ministry initiatives he and Mitch started in Kenya in 2006. They travel annually to train new coaches and develop existing ones. There are now an estimated 800 teams using the game to express the Gospel of Jesus to their youth and surrounding communities. David also travels to Central and South America as well as Africa and Europe to help MAI train leaders and coaches.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

My joining MAI as full-time staff was a long process. By connecting with the Charlotte Eagles leadership, coaches and players to help impact my players at Wesleyan Academy I formed strong relational bonds. I then began helping take International Youth Tours. The next step was serving the ministry through the Board of Directors. Finally, the Lord called us to move to Charlotte and I have been in my ‘sweet spot’ in ministry here with MAI.

I love the community I serve with at MAI and enjoy a great partnership with an incredible financial and prayer support team made up of dozens of individuals and families that make it possible for me to serve with MAI.

David & Lola Sanford

US DIRECTOR

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Graham and Lori West

Graham & Lori West

Position: International

Graham & Lori West

International

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Mitch and Holly Sanford

Mitch & Holly Sanford

Position: International

Biography

  • Leading international ministry through soccer with MAI since 2005
  • Currently helping MAI partner with ongoing sports ministry in Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, and Germany.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

My initial experience with MAI was on a Charlotte Eagles youth tour to Sweden and Denmark in the summer of 1997. I followed that up with another Sweden-Denmark tour in 1999 and a tour to Holland in 2000.

I then joined MAI after college as an intern to help run a short-term trip to Holland in 2005 and have been involved with the Charlotte office ever since. I officially joined staff in 2007.

My desire to become engaged in full-time sports ministry was the result of the impact that my tour leaders and coaches had on me as a high school and college player. I hope that I am able to have the same influence on young people today, encouraging them to invest their talents into the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

 

Mitch & Holly Sanford

International

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Paul and Robin Shedd

Paul & Robin Shedd

Position: International

Biography

Paul’s parents were missionaries in Bolivia and Chile.  At the age of 15, Paul moved back to the States to continue his education.   Robin grew up in the Peruvian Amazon Basin as an MK. Both accepted the LORD as their personal childen as children. They met at at Ben Lippen School in Asheville, NC. Paul attended Wheaton College and Robin recieved her RN degree at West Suburban School of Nursing. Tied the knot in 1976.

They lived and worked (Paul as a Spanish teacher and Coach-Robin as a Nurse) in Chicago, Tanzania and St. Petersburg, FL.  They have been blessed with three children: Erin, Dawn and Matt; 3 wonderful in-laws; and 6 grandchildren.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

Growing up as missionary children, Robin and Paul very familiar with mission life.“Although both of our experiences were positive as MKs, we did not feel GOD’s calling us into full time missions until we were in our 40s.  Paul took his high school soccer teams on missions trips 4 different summers. In 1997. we traveled with the team where Robin grew up the Peruvian Jungle.  After that we answered GOD’s call and joined Missionary Athletes International in 2000. Over the last almost 18 years we have learned that GOD is always faithful in the good times and not so good times. He has faithfully provided His love, encouragement, grace, mercy and financial support through our awesome support team. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!”

2000-2009-Served in California with the Southern California Seahorses. 

  • Robin: Working in the office, hosting PDL players in our home; preparing team pre game meals and other events.
  • Paul: Coaching and Discipling players on Seahorse teams; Local Outreach-Hispanic, Camps, Clinics; helping lead team tours to Japan, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay.

2009-2017-Charlotte Eagles

  • Robin: Caring for her Mom in our home; support ministry activities
  • Paul: Cross Cultural Ministry Coordinator; Disicipling and Coaching Urban Eagles’ players; developing Church Centered Sports Ministry (CCSM) curriculum; teach and help develop CCSM ministries in Peru, Kenya, Honduras, Charlotte, Cuba

2017-2018-Tallahassee, FL

  • Robin: support ministry activities
  • Paul: Empowering the recently arrived Congolese Refugees through  soccer, Bible Study, tutoring,etc..; vision casting and training in CCSM ministry in Tallahassee, Colombia, Honduras, Cuba, Peru; prayer ministry for MAI

We give GOD ALL THE GLORY FOR ALL HE HAS DONE in our lives and others around the world since joining MAI in 2000. We look forward to keep seeing God transform lives in the future!

Paul & Robin Shedd

International

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