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Bill & Lisa Galipault

Bill & Lisa Galipault

Position: Office Manager/ Dir. Youth Leagues

About me

I have spent 40 years in sports ministry after my first soccer short term mission outreach in 1980. After coaching for seven years at Nyack (NY) College, my wife Lisa and I joined MAI spending 5 years in the L.A. office followed by six years in the Czech Republic. From 1999 to 2010 I worked with Fellowship of Christian Athletes Global Initiative and then as Pastor of Small Groups and Recreation at Rose Drive Friends Church in Yorba Linda, CA. I returned to MAI staff in L.A. in 2011 with a desire to focus on training the next generation of sports ministers. I am a Recorded Minister in the Friends Church Southwest and hold a Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University.

In addition to supporting me in ministry, my wife Lisa works as a dental hygienist and is active in women’s ministry at church. We have been married for 36 years and have three grown daughters.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I became a Christian at the age of 22 after graduating from college. Initially I was unsure how soccer (which I had played through college) fit with my new faith. A soccer outreach trip to Jamaica, Guatemala, and Trinidad in 1980 with Sports Ambassadors gave me a vision for living out my faith through the game I loved. While attending seminary I coached at Nyack College and took part of my team on a short term mission to Mexico during the 1986 World Cup. It was there that I met Tim Conrad and Dave Irby with newly formed Missionary Athletes International. Tim challenged Lisa and I to consider joining their staff. We saw how my background, experience and desire to minister fit with what they were doing and we joined staff in 1988.

Bill & Lisa Galipault

Office Manager/ Dir. Youth Leagues

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Cody & Jennifer Snouffer

Position: SoCal Executive Director

About me

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. From 2011-2023 we served as Chicago’s Youth Directors – building out an incarnational pathway for families from under resourced communities and surrounding neighborhoods to experience life transformation on the soccer field. Starting in 2023, Cody has been serving as the Executive Director for the Southern California Seahorses. It is our hope to see the Seahorse ministry build a robust training program for future leaders in Sports Ministry, all while giving as many young people as possible opportunities to grow in their faith and sport under a transformational coach.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

The Chicago Eagles opened our eyes to use soccer as a tool to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 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

SoCal Executive Director

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Lauren Cleope

Lauren Cleope

Position: Dir. of Women's Ministry and Discipleship

About me
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.  In 2016-2017, I went through the Chicago Eagles Residency program with my focus on the Summer Academy and from there joined MAI staff.  I served as the Social Media Manager, U17 girls Urban coach, & Summer Academy staff for our Chicago office through fall of 2022. I also was the JV head coach for girls soccer and basketball at Wheaton Academy and was a nanny for an awesome family for 3 years. In the fall of 2022 I moved out to Southern California where I am currently serving as the Director of Women’s Ministry and Discipleship in our Southern California Seahorse office.

 How & why I became 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.

Lauren Cleope

Dir. of Women's Ministry and Discipleship

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Luke Helmuth

Position: Director of Youth Soccer

About me

I spent my first eight years with MAI in the Charlotte office starting as an Urban Eagles intern but growing into roles with the USL 2 team, Residency, and the club. I love playing soccer, watching soccer, and coaching soccer. When I’m not “doing” soccer, I will likely be outside doing some activity, listening to music, or enjoying good food with my wife. Relationships are a big part of my life and carry into the different avenues of ministry I am engaged in.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

I first began to feel God’s calling into ministry after graduating high school but was not sure how or where. I was exposed to sports ministry while in school at Messiah College.  Through being around my college team and experiencing sports ministry both in local communities and internationally, God revealed to me the power sports have for His kingdom. Both of my college coaches had played for the Charlotte Eagles and had experiences with sports ministry through MAI. They pointed me towards the Eagles. After months of prayer and searching, I felt God’s call for me to come down to Charlotte and learn more about sports ministry for a year through the Urban Eagles internship.  I stayed seven more years after the internship, continuing to use soccer as the connection to relationships and discipleship.

Throughout my time in Charlotte I heard little whispers about coming out to the Seahorses. I felt strongly in the unity of MAI and wanted to see Urban and Youth ministries develop in LA and Southern California. In 2021 those whispers grew stronger. After discussions with family and MAI leadership, my now wife and I felt that Southern California was the next place God was calling us. Although it seems like a bit of a restart for us, we are excited about the things God has done and what he will do in the future.

Luke Helmuth

Director of Youth Soccer

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Mark & Debbie Schrock

Mark & Debby Schrock

Position: GM USL2, Director of Cuba Ministry

About Mark

Mark has been involved with the ministry of MAI for over 30 years, first as a Board member before joining the staff in 1993. He continues to serve as the General Manager for the Seahorses L2 team in L.A. Along with a strong administrative background; Mark also brings a multi-cultural understanding with personal soccer achievements, having grown up in Argentina along with a successful collegiate career. We live in La Mirada and have four grown children, three who are married, and six grandchildren.

How and why we became MAI Missionaries

We have had the privilege of serving the Lord through the ministry of MAI since its inception in 1983, first through Mark’s service on the original Board of Directors of MAI and then by joining the staff in 1993. We have been blessed to see God’s hand on this ministry through the years – God’s provision with Godly leadership through amazing Board members. God’s provision of dedicated and committed MAI missionaries and His protection over hundreds if not thousands of players who have traveled with the U.S. and throughout the world to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. We are grateful that the Lord has been gracious in allowing them to witness and participate in this awesome ministry.

It would be very difficult to pick one ministry highlight, but one from the last decade has been the privilege Mark has had in going to Cuba since 2010 to train Christian coaches who are dedicated to seeing Cuba transformed by the Gospel through the platform of Sports. He’s been blessed to see the dedication of the coaches who continue to grow and improve in their efforts to reach their players and community for the Lord.

Our prayer for the future of MAI is that the Lord would grow and protect the ministry for HIS glory and for the furtherance of HIS kingdom – that MAI would never falter in its dedication to His Word and proclaiming the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

Mark & Debby Schrock

GM USL2, Director of Cuba Ministry

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Miranda Starbeck

Position: Women's Director of Coaching

About me:

As a SoCal native, I actually grew up going to Seahorse camps as a kid! I was raised in the Orange County area and played club and high school soccer locally before continuing my playing career at Biola University. Throughout my time at Biola and continuing thereafter, I began to serve with the Seahorse ministry as a summer camp coach, camp director, Urban Seahorses coach, women’s team member and participant on two Japan tours (2012 & 2019).
Over the years I have been blessed to coach players as young as four all the way up to the collegiate level. Without a doubt my favorite part of coaching is the mentoring relationship I get to have with my players, pushing them to be the best athletes they can be but also the best people they can be. I currently work full time as a school counselor at Friends Christian Middle School, which I XABSOLUTEly LOVE! I am SO grateful for the opportunity to be on staff with the Seahorses part time and look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store!

 

How and Why I Became a MAI Missionary:

After an incredible experience co-leading the 2022 Seahorse Youth Tour to Ecuador, I felt the Lord instilling in my heart an even greater passion for sports ministry. After a year and a half of many conversations and much prayer I said yes to a door the Lord opened for me to join Seahorses as a part time staffer. I couldn’t be more excited to see what the Lord has in store!

Miranda Starbeck

Women's Director of Coaching

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Paul and Vickie Gizzi

Paul & Vickie Gizzi

Position: Director of Advancement, Japan Ministry

About me

Paul Gizzi was born & raised in Japan till age 14. His parents were missionaries.  He speaks Japanese & has led MAI’s efforts in Japan for 24 years.  Paul was a goalkeeper at Biola University and then spent four years in the NASL playing for the Seattle Sounders and the San Jose Earthquakes. After that he spent 12 years in education as a soccer coach, Athletic Director and Principal of a private Christian HS in Northern California.  Most recently he has been the director of the Seahorse ministries for the past 25 years.  He was the Head Women’s and goalkeeper coach as well as the men’s keeper coach for Biola University during those 25 years.

His goal is not only to reach the Japanese with the message of Jesus, but to make the experience one of personal transformation for the trip participants. Currently he serves MAI through development, community & alumni relations, special events as well as fundraising and the ongoing Japan effort.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

We became missionaries following 12 years as an educator & administrator in a Christian HS and after four years of playing soccer professionally. The Lord put the burden of being more bold and using our gifts on our hearts in a way that was quite personal & undeniable. As we pursued the opportunity it became more & more apparent that joining MAI was a good fit considering I had played soccer, coached soccer, and had gone on International soccer outreach trips as well as running my own soccer camps. These were the same things MAI was doing & needed a leader for the LA Office. The President of MAI called & encouraged us to consider joining. I tried to “fight” it once I began feeling called, but that’s a losing battle when our Lord provides specific and personal feelings that both Vickie & I knew were too unique to be denied. It has been a journey of faith, and not always an easy one, but one we cannot deny was directed by our Lord & Savior. We are excited and peaceful as we look back at how he has used us both with high level athletes here in LA, and within our International experience of representing God to the Japanese people through the sport of Soccer.

Paul & Vickie Gizzi

Director of Advancement, Japan Ministry

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Skyler Warner

Position: Camps Program Asst. & Club Coach

About me:

I love being active. I have played sports competitively for a very large portion of my life, from soccer to football, basketball, and track and field. I love lifting weights and going on runs. I Love watching sports too as my favorite teams are the New England Patriots and Clippers. I love joking around! I cannot wait to use my love for sports and my gifts to glorify God.

How and why I became a MAI missionary:

My dad connected me to the mission, I was also a camper when I was younger, and I am accepting a part-time position after a very fun summer internship.

Skyler Warner

Camps Program Asst. & Club Coach

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