“My daughter Polly and I moved to the United States eight years ago, and shortly after Polly was diagnosed with autism. As a single mom with a daughter with autism, I was determined to find a place in the community where my daughter would be accepted. That is when I found out about the Spiritual Resources Ministry at Bay Area Christian Church. I was completely blown away by how eager and caring the teachers at SRM were. During my first service, I saw a group of students with special needs being recognized for their exceptional work and I was moved to tears. At that moment, I knew I had found a place where my daughter and I would be accepted for who we were. I later studied the Bible and realized that a relationship with God was able to give me the satisfaction I had been searching for in so many other places.
One month after becoming a Christian, I was eager to give back what God had done for me. I was inspired by the E-soccer program in Alameda and wanted to start the same program in the Philippines. That month I reconnected with my teammates from my university in the Philippines and told them my ideas to start an inclusive soccer program there. My former teammates, who are now professional coaches and sports broadcasters, helped me to make this vision possible. Not everyone in the Philippines accepts people with special needs, so E-soccer brought the idea of inclusion to the community.
In 2013 we held the first session of E-Soccer in the Philippines. This April E-Soccer has become an official program at my university in the Philippines and will begin holding weekly sessions. It is inspiring to see how God has made our lives count even on the other side of the world.”
-Caroline de Vega