2012 was the first year that TruthFC sent soccer equipment to Uganda and across the border into Africa. This trip was through True Impact Ministries, a small non-profit that focuses on providing child sponsorship, special building projects, and medical clinics in Uganda. This ministry was started by Susie Stewart and her husband, Andy after a trip in 1999.
On this particular trip in 2012, A team of 21 people set out to Uganda March 24th through April 6th. The team members come from Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina, and even Oman! We raised funds for a school building in the impoverished village of Kigalama. While in Uganda, we helped with some of the construction of this school and spent time with the school children. We visited other Maranatha Christian Schools and also the two orphanages we serve in Naama and Wandawa. Some of our team members are sponsors who had the chance to meet their kids! 100s of pounds of donated items were brought for people in need. At the end of the two-week trip, the team headed to Paraa Safari Lodge at Murchison Falls for the tourist part of the trip. It was an amazing, memorable time for our team members, serving the people of Uganda in a tangible way.” (True Impact Ministries). The soccer gear TFC sent was a part of that 100s of pounds of gifts and the local people we deeply blessed by this group’s generosity.
Jayla Elstad was connected to CARE Africa in 2015, soon after TruthFC was officially filed as a 501(c)3 non-profit. Elstad was speaking at a women’s conference in Arvada, CO when someone came to her asking to bridge the connection in getting soccer gear to Nigeria. After some emails were exchanged a partnership was created with CARE Africa. CARE Africa is an organization whose mission is “investing courage into the exhausted and voiceless” (@CARE Africa). In Nigeria, they help to serve local people in a variety of ways and use soccer equipment as a tool for outreach. Sometimes newer equipment is sold at store that funds the ministry and helps people to make wise decisions in what they purchase. Since TruthFC has been connected to CARE Africa, soccer equipment has been sent to Nigeria yearly and used widely for ministry outreach.
In 2017, a man in Georgia reached out to TruthFC about collecting soccer for his upcoming medical trip to Haiti. In may emails exchanged, he decided to collect the gear himself under TruthFC’s name but made sure that his gear collection was up to TFC’s quality. This was the first time a team had offered to collect the gear on their own, under TruthFC’s supervision. After collecting the gear, cleaning it, and then packing it up, him and his team were ready to go to Haiti.
In Haiti, the soccer gear was widely accepted as ‘football’ is widely accepted among Haitians. Many of the youth watch and play soccer while cheering for the respective country’s teams. While providing medical, the group used soccer as tool to reach out to the youth, keep them busy, and bring in more people. The trip leader said, “The kids are the ones that usually need “something” to keep them busy and interested while they are not in school. Soccer is a great way to do that locally…”
The trip was largely successful but a deeper message was shared beyond the giving of soccer gear. In an email sent to the executive director, Jayla Elstad, the team leader expressed this. He wrote:
“I don’t need much other than you to help keep the message going and allowing us going on these trips the ability to make the connection between going on a medical / building mission trip to why we are bringing so much soccer equipment and gear.
I will think about it some more, but your story is fantastic and it shows that no matter how old you are or what you do “day to day” you can make a global impact and change the lives of others around the world.”
It has been such a blessing to be working with TruthFC for the past 2+ years. Jayla visited our church – Christ the Shepherd Lutheran – in Alpharetta, GA in the summer of 2016 and introduced us to the mission and ministry of TruthFC. Ever since, our family has been working with TruthFC by collecting gear, offering business leadership advice, praying, and expanding the fundraising base to include options such as Thrivent Financial Services’ “Member Choice Dollars” program through which Thrivent Members are able to direct funds to charities of their choice. This is part of Thrivent’s mission – to help Members live generously through the gifts with which they have been entrusted.
This fall while visiting the Elstads in Colorado Jayla asked me to serve on the TruthFC Board and I am excited, honored, and humbled to do so. Currently the Board needs 2-3 additional members to fill vacancies that begin in 2018. Candidates with various non-profit business backgrounds, ministry experience and/or a vision for missions should reach out to Jayla.
In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." TruthFC aims to fulfill the Biblical Great Commission by both serving children/youth and providing a ministry through which children/youth become directly involved in Christian Ministry and Mission in a very hands-on way.
Amazing and even overwhelming (my cup overflows) are the gifts and blessings we have each been given through the birth, life, and death of Jesus that we are celebrating at Christmas time! At TruthFC we celebrate with great excitement as we look forward both to Christmas and the goals that the Leadership Team and Board have set for 2018. Among the goals are:
May the truth, love and peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus be in your hearts at Christmas and all throughout the year!
Hello from Hannah! Your new Communications Director of TruthFC. As most of you know TruthFC has been 100% run by Jayla! Once it become a non-profit Jayla put together a board of adult friends and leaders who invested their knowledge, resources, and time into TruthFC. The “family” role has only been to encourage and listen to Jayla. Sometimes we gave her ideas and sometimes she even asked for our help washing and packing gear. However, it has always been a priority of hers to look people in the eye and tell them this is HER ministry and it is not run by her parents! Well, after 1 ½ years as a full-time college student, athlete, and coach, Jayla has finally reached out to her family
for help. Roger, Jonah, and I are super excited to jump into the day to day roles of TruthFC to which Jayla has recruited us and be a part of something we have loved and admired for the last 8 years. Jayla will continue her role as CEO and will be making all the decisions. She is finally deciding to delegate and let go of some functions after having built TruthFC to its current size. This is a difficult transition for her. With the help of her family and new board members, TruthFC should see amazing continued growth in 2018. We would love to see your involvement too!
2017 was a spectator year with Jayla’s first 2 solo mission trips where she was personally handing off the gear to the people in both African and South American communities. This opportunity changed Jayla’s heart and you can read all about it on our website. Furthermore, we received some incredible feedback from gear that was sent to Uganda. It is hard to believe that something as simple as a soccer jersey can bring someone to a saving faith in Jesus Christ! TruthFC is an incredible ministry that God is using to change lives both here and abroad, and we are so blessed to be a part of it. Thank you for your prayers, love and support!
We started a quarterly newsletter! If you would like a copy send us an email and we can mail you one!
--A thank you letter from President Jayla Elstad--
Dear Friends and Family,
I want to begin this letter by thanking each and every one of you. Without your support I would not have been able to witness the power of God in both Tanzania and Peru. Without you the lives I saw changed may not have been changed. You were the difference maker in making these trips happen. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everything you gave whether financially or just your prayers made a huge difference and this letter is to tell you how your gift made a difference in the lives of many.
My role in both these trips was different than what I expected it to be. While I was hands on serving, I was also filling the role of the photographer. Because of this role I was able to experience more than I could have ever imagined and had an in-depth look into the lives and stories of many people. Photography is something that has played a big role in my life for some time now and it is something that I want to use in the mission field one day. Being the photographer of these trips helped to give me a taste of what that might look like. It is amazing the connections you can make with just a camera.
Now through my lenses experience let me tell you about Tanzania. Tanzania stole a piece of my heart that I know I will never get back. The country as a whole, especially the people, is so very beautiful. This trip was conducted through my school, Colorado Christian University, and there were nine of us total. The majority of our trip we spent evangelizing and developing relationships with those around us while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. We also spent time volunteering at a school called Stella Maris in Moshi. While both of these experiences were very different they were both very impactful.
TruthFC, the non-profit I manage, partnered with us and gave us soccer balls to give to Stella Maris. The school children loved having real soccer balls to play with. It was a touching moment to see the joy on the children’s faces when we pulled the balls out to play with. Many of the children also enjoyed taking photos with my camera and going through my photos. They thought that is was the coolest thing. These children find joy and love in the smallest things and their smiles are contagious. I wish more than anything to return to them and the mountain I called home.
On Kilimanjaro we were able to serve our guides and porters in a way that they had never experienced before and through this we were able to openly share the gospel with them. At the end of our fourth day on the trail we gathered them together and shared the passage from John about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. We then continued to wash their feet. None of them had ever experienced anything like this on the mountain and there was a small number that were even moved to tears. Many of them also pulled out their phones and took videos and photos to share with their families and friends. One individual, Haji, was very touched by this act and we later gave him a Bible that once received, he began to read immediately. Even our Muslim guide shared his experience with many people and told us that the last time someone had done something like this for him was when he was a child. Afterwards all around the camp we could hear the name Jesus get mixed in with their conversations and I know that God is still at work in all of their lives.
**On a side note, everyone on my team made it to the summit and it was one the best moments of my life**
Just 10 days after I got home from Africa, I left for Trujillo, Peru. This trip was through Corazón de Esperanza and TruthFC. Here we worked with a youth transition home, an orphanage, a church, and much more. Every day of the trip had a new focus and a new group of people to work with. We did everything from painting trash cans to setting up a women’s event to making bracelets with orphans to giving soccer balls to kids on the street.
Personally, it was a huge trip to see the impact that TruthFC has around the world. TruthFC had partnered with Corazón de Esperanza in the past but this was only the 3rd trip that I have gone on with TruthFC. On this trip I got to meet young adults and children that had received soccer gear in the past, some of which still had the gear. Not only that but I was able to hand out the gear myself on the streets, in the orphanage, and in the youth transition program. Seeing the joy and thankfulness in the eyes of all those people has encouraged me to continue with TruthFC and set new goals for its growth.
Without you none of this could have happened. You made an impact in so many lives, including mine. I cannot wait to see where God takes me next and how He continues to work in the lives of those that I met. Thank you so much for all of your support
If you would like to hear more about my experience check out my personal blog mystoryinthemakings.blogspot.com
Thank you again for your support and love. May God bless you abundantly!