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From Castle Rock to Addis Ababa, Footballs Bridge Many Gaps

Sep 20, 2018

Soccer Chaplains United believes that out of our abundance, we are to give graciously and abundantly.  This year has provided Soccer Chaplains United with numerous opportunities to send soccer gear across the world.  This story highlights a family’s trip from Castle Rock, CO to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and how a few soccer balls impact the corner of their world.

Sydney Dragovich, 13, writes about her recent trip to Africa. 

In August, my sister, mom, and I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for ten days to visit the children of Hope for the Fatherless (HFTF).  HFTF partners with Believers in Ethiopia and around the world to develop a culture that values and cares for vulnerable children and places them in loving families.  

Hope for the Fatherless believes that children deserve to grow up in a home with a family.  Until the children of HFTF are adopted into forever families, they live together in a family setting.  There are currently two homes that each have ten children, Hope House and Faith House.  The children attend great schools, receive medical care and excellent nutrition, and now have people in their lives who know and love them.  It is a much better situation than the orphanages they came from – after a year at Hope House, the children are healing and growing physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

HFTF also sponsors another ten kids who still live with their moms but are in at-risk situations.  Through HFTF support, these children hopefully can stay in their homes and not have their families disrupted.

During our time in Ethiopia, we mostly hung out with the kids and got to know them.  We ate together, worshipped together, and played together.  Some of the kids speak a little English and loved to practice with us, but most speak Amharic.  With that language barrier, playing together was our best form of communication.  We played board games, jump rope, and lots of soccer!


Ethiopian children and adults love soccer!  The main place for the kids to play soccer is in the street.  The street in front of Hope House is a beautiful cobblestone, but it was not very friendly on the traditional soccer balls they had, which were all pretty beat up!  When we gave the kids the One World Futbols donated by Soccer Chaplains United, everyone was very excited and immediately wanted to play with them.  They love the One World Futbols because, unlike their old ball, it won’t go flat, pop, or fall apart.  It is indestructible!  Thank you, Soccer Chaplains United, for providing Hope for the Fatherless with these amazing gifts!

Remember, when you support Soccer Chaplains United a portion of your gift automatically goes to help projects and requests like this one for Ethiopia. You can give specifically to help cover our costs by making a gift through PushPay — simply select Community from the selectable funds. Your financial gift helps us purchase new soccer equipment, sponsor an individual or organization in an outreach effort, and to cover associated costs of providing Bibles, soccer equipment, and other outreach tools locally and around the world!

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