Eric played for Concordia University Wisconsin
1. How did you learn about the Kenya tour?
The first time I learned about AIA in general was from two of my college coaches. We were on a road trip and they asked me if a tour was something I would be interested in going. It seemed like a great opportunity so I said yes and they really worked out getting me connected with James Bolin. Once I was in contact with James, I learned more about the details of the tour and the great things that would come with it.
2. What was your initial mindset before attending?
I was nervous for a lot of different reasons. Basketball wise I was nervous because I was coming from a much smaller school than everyone else so I wasn't sure I would fit in. Also, I was nervous because you don't know what to expect. You meet your team in Ohio and practice for a couple days and then you literally fly across the world with guys you've never met. Before the tour, I had never travelled internationally so that was nerve-wracking, but it was amazing to see how God can bring strangers together to build something special.
3. What is one thing you learned from being a part of the tour?
There is so much that I learned from being a part of the AIA tour it's hard to pick one. I would say that I learned how valuable relationships are. I still talk to my teammates and coaches from the tour and we all have a bond for the rest of our lives. I even keep in contact with some of the Kenyans I met while we were over there. So learning how important relationships are was one of the many lessons I took with me. Along with that, I learned how to be comfortable with my faith. Before the tour, I never really shared my testimony to a group of people, I honestly didn't really know what my testimony was. I gained a lot of confidence with my personal faith when I saw that there were other athletes who loved both basketball and the Lord and were comfortable being a Christian athlete.
4. Was there anything you were surprised on learning about yourself while attending?
I was surprised at how well I clicked with everyone on the trip. Before we were all strangers, had different experiences and came from different backgrounds. I thought we would only relate through basketball and God, but it was much more than that. We really learned about one another and I found out that I was just like a lot of the people on the tour which was something that surprised me.
5. What is your current profession?
Currently I am playing professional basketball in Ireland.
6. How has God played a role in your life to date?
God has played a major role in my life to date because I wouldn't be here without Him. My faith has brought me places I never would have imagined and I am very grateful to God for blessing me. Now that I live in Ireland, I have a great opportunity to continue to build my relationship with Christ along with spreading the Gospel to another part of the world.
7. What would you say to someone considering tour?
I would say go for it with an open mind. At first it seems like everything is very daunting and scary, but just be open to the opportunity to let God work through you. Once I put away my own expectations and just let it happen, God really took over and made my experience one I will never forget. Everyone I have talked to who has been on a tour said it was life changing and for me, that couldn't be more true. I would go on another tour in a heart beat.
8. Fun story that happened on tour?
There are so many great stories that happened during the tour it's hard to choose. We were on the safari near the end of our tour. We were at Nakuru National Park and were up on a cliff and some monkeys had come up on the railing. Then all of a sudden one took off and jumped right into one of our vans looking for some food and when it found nothing, it jumped right back out. I had never seen anything like it. I'll be honest, I got scared and ran away a little bit so I didn't see the whole thing happen, but it was a hilarious moment for us all.