Originally written by Cassidy Ryan
TIU seniors Jono Mullins, Dustin Alewine, Dan Johnson and Tom Kenney are setting out this summer to bike from Deerfield, Ill., to Orange County, Calif., with a mission to help raise awareness for girls trapped in human trafficking.
The idea of biking from Illinois to California originated from Alewine, who got the idea from his father, who made a similar trip after graduating college. Originally, only Alewine and Mullins were going to make the cross-country trip, but the group soon expanded to include Johnson and Kenney while adopting the moniker Bike4Solution.
What began as a memorable senior trip turned into a lot more when Johnson had the idea to partner up with Bright Hope International, the anti-human trafficking organization that the football team partnered with during their last season. Bright Hope aggread to help organize and fund the trip if the group would raise awareness for sex trafficking along the way. Bike4Solution’s goal is to raise $50,000 for Bright Hope.
“We wanted to make the bike trip bigger than us,” Johnson said. “The football team partnered with Bright Hope in the fall and we liked the organization, so we presented the idea to them.”
According to Bright Hope’s website, more than $32 billion is annually generated by the human trafficking industry. Additionally, 2.8 million people are trapped in slavery in India, and 80 percent of those people are women and children. Once a girl is sold into the trade by her parents, she will likely stay there because she has no education or money.
Bright Hope’s Anti-Human Trafficking initiative focuses on equipping local partner-churches in India with the tools needed to eradicate sex trafficking in their villages. Bright Hope seeks to train the churches to identify victims, facilitate rescues, and provide physical and spiritual restoration. In addition, they also provide the rescued women with an education and job training to aid in a promising future.
None of the Bike4Solution team members have long-distance biking history, but, according to the guys, that just adds to the excitetment and challenge of the trip. To prepare for the two-month, 2,200-mile trip, the team has been training on stationary bikes, averaging around 15 miles per day with one 50-mile ride ber week.
The trek to California will begin on June 12. The team aims to reach Colorado Springs, Col. in two weeks, where Kenney will be the best man in his brother’s wedding.
“After Colorado, we really don’t have any solid timeline. We’re just going to pace ourselves and enjoy the ride,” Alewine said.
Those interested in learning more about the project can visit Bike4Solution’s Facebook page. Donations can be made at bike4solution.org.
TIU’s baseball and softball teams crossed the halfway mark of their respective seasons. See the links below to see how the teams fared these past two weeks.
- Baseball: Grotelueschen collects 3 hits, but Trojans fall to St. Xavier – Apr. 4
- Baseball: Wawrzyniak goes the distance as TIU knocks off Wolves – Apr. 7
- Softball: Trojan softball shut out against Saints – Apr. 8
- Baseball: TIU Baseball overcomes late rally to defeat Concordia-Wisconsin – Apr. 8
- Baseball: Trojan baseball splits with Holy Cross – Apr. 9
- Baseball: Trojans give up pair of heartbreakers to Wolves – Apr. 16
Also, check out the updated TIU Athletics website, complete with larger photos and a more modern design. Expect more updates to come!
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School welcomes Jordan J. Ballor of the Acton Institute, as he presents “A Survey of Bonhoeffer’s Social Ethics” on Wednesday, April 16, from 10-11:30 am, in the Waybright Center on the Deerfield campus.
The community is invited to hear Dr. Ballor as he provides an introduction and orientation to the social ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor and theologian, particularly with regard to his mature doctrine of divine mandates, consisting of family, work, church, and government. Dr. Ballor will explore the relationship between the personal and the social, as Bonhoeffer’s social thought is rooted in his understanding of the doctrine of vocation and “vicarious representative action.” Bonhoeffer’s social thought provides a dynamic and compelling vision of human social life.
On the preceding evening, April 15th, from 7-8:30 pm, Dr. Ballor will speak on the topic of “Why Theology and Economics Need Each Other.” In this talk, he will explain how theologians have often dismissed economics as inherently heretical or, at the very least, highly suspect, and how economists have often forgotten the humble beginnings of their discipline. He believes that both disciplines should renew their commitment to one another for their mutual benefit. Join us in this lecture that will explore the background of the current split between theology and economics, the dynamics of its contemporary expression, and particular promising points of reconciliation going forward.
Both events are free and open to the public. The series is sponsored by the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Hear from Dr. Craig Ott about his recent trip to Nepal and the rapid growth of the church occurring there! Learn about house churches and the leader training in which he is involved.
When: Wednesday, April 9 from 11:30-12:30
Where: Lower Waybright room LL24
*Sponsored by the International Missions Fellowship
Questions? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about the upcoming GSGA Election!
Meet with the 2013-14 GSGA Cabinet on Tuesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. in Lower Waybright LL24.
FREE DINNER INCLUDED!
Positions can also count as full internships and stipends are included, with some as much as $4,000.
Offices: President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Academics, Vice President of Student Life, Vice President of Administration
Please email Kevin Holmen at email@example.com to RSVP and ask any questions.
by Greg Gorham, Sports Information Director
A group of seven players spent their spring break traveling to India, helping those who work to deliver women and children out of human trafficking.
Even in the middle of the off-season, the time around spring break is busy for most college football programs. Players are getting important time in the weight room, coaches are on the recruiting trail, as the team prepares for what awaits them in the fall. The start of spring practices can set the tone for the rest of the season.
Trinity International head coach Kirk Wherritt has gone about setting a different kind of tone around the Trojan program. During the break, Wherritt and seven players traveled to northern India in partnership with Bright Hope, ministering to local churches and the groups working to rescue children from human trafficking.
The team spent time in a region of India where the majority of human trafficking occurs in the country. Overall, there are 13.9 million people trafficked, mostly from state to state inside of India, and 80 percent of these people are women and girls. The Trojans spent time working in a safe house where some of the girls who have been rescued are staying. TIU players not only did some physical work – painting the girls’ school and worship room – but they offered spiritual help as well, sharing their testimonies with the girls and praying for their continued safety and growth.
“The girls and the Anti-Human Trafficking team were greatly encouraged by the TIU team,” said Christy Davis, Family Engagement & Events Manager for Bright Hope. Davis joined the team on their trip, after working with the football program on a fundraising campaign throughout the 2013 season. “They helped [the girls] see that there are godly men; the staff spoke highly of the spiritual depth of the men, the laughter and joy that they spread, and the encouragement that they are not doing this work alone, but have support from brothers in Christ in the USA.”
The Trojans also spoke at various events around the region, as all seven players along with Coach Wherritt shared their testimony at one time or another. The team spoke at a youth rally at a local church, where they not only helped spread awareness of the human trafficking epidemic, but challenged the young Christian men attending to deepen their walk with Christ. Outside of their work with the local Christian churches, the team also spoke at a local university. The TIU players talked about the issue of human trafficking to a mostly Hindu audience, raising awareness of the problem with students and faculty who can potentially turn the tide in their hometowns.
The program’s partnership with Bright Hope began before the start of the 2013 season, when the organization met with the team in the preseason. The objective of the meeting was to raise awareness of Bright Hope’s mission, but the team soon decided to get more involved. A campaign was started to raise $30,000 by the end of the season – the amount equivalent to the cost of rescuing 10 girls over the Trojans’ 10-game schedule.
The result of the trip, Wherritt believes, has made an impact on not only the girls and women that Bright Hope has delivered out of human trafficking rings around India, but also on he and his players as well. Coach Wherritt feels like he has seen a difference in the seven players who made the journey. “Being there, you can’t help but mature.” Simply witnessing the scene of the area’s ‘red light’ district while making their way to the home of a woman who had been rescued had an effect on the team. “To see what you see,” Wherritt said, “one of the guys asked, ‘are we all okay?’, and I said I’m not okay. You can’t see that and be okay.”
The experience has led to a call for action, as the team will continue working with Bright Hope in India. “You get around the girls, you can’t help but feel like you want to protect them, and help to get more girls out of it. There are not a lot of voices for them. If we won’t be a voice over here, then, there aren’t many people that will. We need to actively do something, we need to get involved, we need to join the cause in a greater way than we already have.”
The team is already planning on another visit to India in the spring of 2015, with players who did not make the first trip already expressing interest in travelling next year.
“I think it’ll be really hard to not follow up. The girls brought us a lot of joy, but I think we were able to bring them some joy and some hope, knowing that people on the other side of the world care about them. Some people who haven’t received much love in their lives, to see that others who don’t even know them, care about them. I think brought some hope. To follow up with that will be pretty important.”
While fundraising with Bright Hope and preparing for their trip, Trinity International enjoyed its most successful season on the field in nine years. TIU got out to a 4-1 start, and was nationally ranked for portions of the season before finishing with a 5-5 record, their first time with a .500 record since 2004. The Trojans are working to improve even more in 2014, competing in a tough Mid-States conference that included five nationally-ranked programs last year, including the NAIA national champions.
The difference between Trinity International and most of the rest of the programs in the MSFA, however, is the purpose behind their work. “We want to be a great team, so we can do things like this; so we can have a platform,” Wherritt said. “If we are just a great team and we don’t do things like this, helping girls that are being trafficked, if we don’t do that, then I think we’re wasting it. If you’re given something, what will you do with it? Most of us, myself included, don’t do much at all with it. I want our guys to see that, I’m going to use football for the platform. It’s the ministry God gave me, and it’s my foot in the door to do things like this.”
Wherritt hopes to continue to build a successful program with these re-aligned priorities, seeing their work off the field as more important than what happens on it. It’s a message he wants to drive home for any potential future Trojans he meets with while recruiting. “”I would hope whoever we tell the story about will see that there are things worth getting in the game for, and trying to make an impact, sacrificing money, time and energy for. There certainly have been times where it was challenging, but we can live until we’re 80 and never risk anything, and be very comfortable; but that’s not a way to live, I think. I hope [our work] says that there are things in life that are worth sacrificing for, and hopefully we’re not afraid to take those risks.”
To learn more about Bright Hope’s Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative, as well as their other projects around the world, visit BrightHope.org.
Just one short month ago, the Trinity community was shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of one of our own, sophomore Eli John Kerr.
Eli was an athlete, musician, brother, and son with a heart on fire for God. At the age of twenty, he had made a tremendous impact on the lives of so many in his community. Eli’s faith and love for Jesus Christ was evident every day.
You are invited to celebrate the life of Eli John Kerr during chapel on Monday, April 7, at 11 a.m.
While all are invited, none are obligated, and chapel credit for undergraduates has already been applied. This special service will be live-streamed (http://stream.tiu.edu) and filled with worship, videos, and testimonies of this young man of God. The video will also be available to watch afterward at that same location online.
Note also that Eli’s parents and brother will be in attendance, along with other extended family members, and that a reception is planned for the evening of April 7 from 6–7:15 p.m. in the Lantern Lounge. Please consider joining us there and encouraging the Kerr family.