Alumni Called to Serve Abroad
Currently serving in Asia, the couple began a life of service after graduating from Bethel (he in finance and economics, she in international studies and child development). Their time at Bethel prepared them for their current work.
“Bethel loved us and [we] thought that there are many others [who] need that love,” Jorge says.
Development work, coupled with soccer, was a logical next step for Jorge. The soccer season and a trip to South Africa were two things he enjoyed most about being a student.
“Bethel soccer is the place where I learned lots about God and with Thiago’s example, I learned that it’s more than soccer – soccer is the tool for a greater end/purpose,” he says.
Jorge and Caron hosted the Bethel soccer team this past June – a trip led by Thiago Pinto ’05, ’07, Bethel’s head men’s soccer coach. (Read more about the most recent trip here.)
From 2010-2012, the couple worked in a Mexican orphanage. Caron cared for babies and kids under 14 years old. Jorge worked with young boys, helping them learn responsibility and how to succeed in school.
In 2013, they settled in Asia, where they are today. They have sponsored kids to go to school and trained locals to use soccer as a tool for social development, among other things.
About 18 months ago, they started a program in a maximum-security prison teaching soccer to 25 Muslim boys from 15-20 years old (14 are in for major offenses). In just a year and a half, Jorge and Caron have been able to take the boys out to games and tournaments, and have been able to share positive life values.
Jorge recently noticed that the real transformation in the boys happened after they had served their sentence.
“So we just registered to start our own non-profit foundation and rented a house for the boys when they get out of the prison [to] help them to transition from prison to real life,” he says. “They are afraid to go back to their villages and get killed.”
This house provides a safe place for them while they finish high school and complete internships that provide them with skills to become self-sufficient.
“God has done it all,” Jorge says. “God has always provided just enough to keep going and opened doors in places people told us it’s impossible.”
While they don’t know what will be next for them, they keep their focus on the present and pray for help from anyone with the heart to serve or who would like to be part of this project.
Jorge and Caron are Bethel’s Young Alumni of the Year for 2018.
*Last names removed to protect their privacy.