Athletic Student Profile: Joe Ballah, future medical missionary to Liberia
Waxahachie, TX – October 21, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) sophomore Joe Ballah was recruited by Aaron DeLoach last year to play on SAGU’s men’s soccer team. Prior to SAGU, Ballah played on DeLoach’s club soccer team in Charlotte, NC, for two years. Ballah (#7) is playing as a forward during the Fall 2011 season.
Ballah’s family, originally from Liberia, Africa, was staying in a refugee camp in Guinea, when Ballah’s aunt entered them into a drawing for the chance to move to the United States. His family was selected for an interview and was chosen to receive a one-way ticket to the United States. In 2005, when Ballah was 15 years old, his family was relocated to Trenton, NJ. But, because of gang and street violence, Ballah’s mother decided to send Ballah and his brother to live with family friends in Charlotte. During high school he was invited to play for DeLoach’s club soccer team by a classmate.
Ballah values the spiritual and academic success he has had at SAGU. To him, SAGU is a safe, healthy atmosphere for learning and is a place where he can continue to build a firm spiritual foundation. Ballah says, “Faculty members and the friendly, spiritual atmosphere have helped me become a more positive, Godly person.”
DeLoach and SAGU Counselor Madeline Treviño have ministered to Ballah and supported him during his time at the University. Ballah says, “Coach DeLoach was like a dad to me. He was a role model of what a Christian man should be. He believes in me and always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to.” Of Treviño he says, “She has always been there when I need someone to talk to. She gives me good advice that I don’t get other places.”
Ballah intends to enroll in medical school, become a doctor, and return to Liberia to build a hospital. He would eventually like to be involved with medical missions across Africa.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.