Soccer jerseys take a beating over their lifetime. A jersey must live through rainstorms, slide tackles in the mud, grass stains, and tugs and yanks from overeager defenders.
But where do Grace jerseys go when their moment in the spotlight is finished? Where do Lancer jerseys go to retire?
For Grace men’s soccer uniforms, they find new life in Africa. Cameroon, to be specific.
Jordan Cone has served the Lord in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for several years. Cone graduated from Grace and was a standout forward for the Lancers from 2004-07. He even served as an assistant coach with Grace’s women’s team while on furlough two years ago.
He currently works at Yaoundé’s Rain Forest International School, serving as a coach, teacher and athletic director. Through sports, Cone and his student-athletes share the Gospel in a variety of ways.
Cone is also the general manager of Green City FC, a first division women’s club team in Cameroon. When Grace shipped over retired soccer jerseys, Cone knew exactly how to put them to use.
Green City FC now proudly wears their GRACE jerseys on game days, adding their team patch and club name. Cone credits the jerseys for helping develop relationships among the athletes who might otherwise never be exposed to the Gospel.
“We can’t thank the soccer program at Grace College enough for donating jerseys to Green City FC and being part of the ministry here in Cameroon,” Cone said. “The jerseys have already helped form relationships and open doors to further the Gospel.”
Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin added: “It’s a great privilege to assist the ministry of Jordan and his family. Nothing achieved on the field of competition can ever rival the joy of seeing Grace Soccer alumni serving the Lord using their education and soccer skills.”