Smith Bids Adieu, Elects Not to Renew After 5 Years
When Justin Smith came on to the board of Soccer Chaplains United back in 2016, it was with some reluctance. Father of a large, young family; an anesthesiologist with a busy practice; and a highly involved church member and later church elder, Justin knew he didn’t have a whole lot of time on his hands. But ever since his own soccer-playing and college days at Baylor University, Soccer Chaplains United was the kind of ministry that he and his wife Emily wanted to get behind and support.
Some of the highlights during Justin’s five-year tenure with the board include helping Soccer Chaplains United go through a brand change and re-launch in the fall of 2017. He helped the board transition from a 2-year tenure rotation to 3-year rotation. His input was critical as the organization has looked to navigate COVID-19 and other medical and health challenges and protocols for the past couple of years. And Justin’s work in the medical field on interdisciplinary teams has helped continue to inform the practice and work of the chaplaincy as the organization sought clarity around having counselors as part of its direct service work.
Beyond the organizational highlights, Justin and his family have made several mission trips — to Africa and to Juárez, Mexico and have been part of handing out soccer gear donated through Soccer Chaplains United and working alongside different church partners and families and friends in those nations.
One of my favorite memories, goes back to 2017 — it was the first time for me to take my family to Juárez, Mexico on a mission trip with the church and the Smith family. As a general rule, all of the food for the mission trip participants is prepared on the church grounds where we stay to prevent illness, etc. However, Justin and I got away with some of our friends to a local taco stand and managed to taste some more “authentic” food (see the picture below). To be honest, we were all a little nervous that we might get sick, but I am glad that Jesus was looking over Justin’s shoulder as he and I ate! 🙂
In the last few years, Smith has stepped up to take on a larger role as elder of the church where he and his family worship, Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church. Cherry Creek Presbyterian continues to maintain their financial partnership with Soccer Chaplains United.
It was great seeing the Lord grow this vision into what it is today!Justin, on his time with Soccer Chaplains United
We are thankful to Justin and Emily and their family for their time of service and for their ongoing support of Soccer Chaplains United!