Miss Kim Closes Out Trinity; Moves On and Asks God For More

Apr 28, 2023

It is no secret that enrollment in higher education has suffered as a result of the 2020 pandemic. This past February, the news that Trinity International University would be closing their campus to in-person learning and switching to an on-line only format broke many hearts. For Chaplain Kimberly Beach, better known to the athletes and coaches and campus staff as “Miss Kim,” it more like losing an entire family in one short, swift moment.

I feel like my family was ripped from my hands when the school announced it is closing. But I trust God. He has never failed me. He will not start now. This is not about me and as we approach the final banquet, the “last supper,” with the team I am thinking about how to point them to Jesus, yet again.

Kim, as she reflects on the final days with TIU Men’s Soccer

Perhaps the confluence of several things — residuals from COVID, advances in technology, changes in higher education costs — were behind the decision. For the six years that Kim served as chaplain, she served the team and coaching staff well. Initially starting as “Team Mom” and moving into a more official capacity as Team Chaplain a few years ago.

Regardless of title, though, Kim has served with distinction — whether a home-cooked meal, she and husband David making sure athletes had a ride to church, or painting the school bleachers in the heat and humidity of Illinois in August — Kim has given selflessly of herself for the team and the school. This past season was memorable on several points, as Kim shared with me:

This year we asked players to participate in leading more morning devotional sessions.    The theme for the year was “Finding Jesus in Genesis” and all devotionals were centered around the foundational Christian histories found in Genesis.  We had learned in the past several years that so many students, though raised in church, did not have exposure to the stories we consider common place.  We had success both on and off the pitch this year.  For the first time in years, TIU made it to playoffs, but more importantly, with a smaller team, we were able to be more intentional in relationships with players.  Though we continued small groups and completed chapel credits are required, we also sought to plug players into churches and local groups.

Kim, looking back on 2022 with TIU

In addition to watching Trinity move on from its historical and traditional education model, sell the property, and forego its athletics programs; the new year has brought additional losses for Kim and her family. She and David both saw their fathers pass away in a few week span, the death of an unborn grandchild, layered on top of seeing the student athletes and coaches start to move on and move away made for a difficult season and close to this chapter. However, to Kim’s point, she trusts God and she knows that He will see her through and bring new opportunities, some of which have already begun.

Last September, my son asked me to assist with his high school team at Victory Christian Academy in Valparaiso, Indiana. The coach of a local women’s team has also contacted me about serving with them.

Kim, on the new opportunities that lie on the horizon as a soccer chaplain

Kim and her family have also recently welcomed a new granddaughter just a few weeks ago and they look forward to the June wedding of Kim’s daughter who survived a stroke at an early age and is a reminder of God’s miraculous power and faithfulness.

Supporters are encouraged to keep our chaplains in prayers, especially Kim and her family. Also please pray for Trinity — the coaches, the student athletes, as there is a period of upheaval and transition to new things. And of course, please keep Miss Kim in your prayers as she begins to show and share the love of Jesus with a new group of people in soccer.

Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our work. Our chaplains are not employed or paid by any of the clubs that we serve. Check out our Donation Page with all the different options. Or, simply click the PushPay link below to make a secure, online, tax-deductible gift, or mail a donation to Soccer Chaplains United, PO Box 102081, Denver, CO 80250.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *