We are really excited that our International Support Services team is growing with the addition of Dan Linsz. He will be serving as the team leader and based out of Charlotte, NC.
Dan was born in Ethiopia to SIM parents and also grew up in Liberia. He and his wife, Corrie, met in Wheaton, Illinois, where she grew up. They were married in 1996 and moved to Malawi as missionaries with African Bible Colleges in 1998 to help start a Christian, international school, ABC Christian Academy. In 2000, they joined SIM and went back to Malawi. They were in Malawi for 9 years altogether where Dan was headmaster and then moved back to Charlotte for 9 years where Dan was the Director of Recruitment for SIM USA.
As part of Dan’s job in recruiting he was able to lead multiple Sports Friends teams from Liberty University. The last two times he took a team from Liberty University, he was able to bring the whole family along. As a family, they spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 in Langano hosting Sports Friends church teams. Their boys loved getting to live outside and experience what it was like to live “on the field” and experience Sports Friends camps.
In June of 2016, Dan, Corrie, Tyler (15), Joshua (13), Samuel (11) and Amos (7) moved to Costa Rica for a year of learning Spanish before moving to Paraguay with SIM. At the end of the summer term of language classes, the family had gone to a local park and while they were there, Dan was stabbed and almost killed. For recovery and healing, they returned to Charlotte, NC so the whole family could receive counseling and be surrounded by their church family for support. Dan has spent the last year and a half serving as Executive Pastor at Center City Church in Charlotte, NC.
To get to know Dan we asked him a few questions!
What is your favorite sport?
What’s your favorite Bible verse?
I love all of Psalm 46 and especially verse 10.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love playing and watching sports. I love reading. And I absolutely love hanging out with my awesome wife and boys.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A professional basketball player
What do you love about working with Sports Friends? I love God and I love sports. Our family is a sports nuts family. We’ve had the privilege of living overseas and seeing the power of sport (especially soccer) and how it can be used as a bridge between cultures. Sports Friends goes a step further. The vision of Sports Friends is so simple yet brilliant. To equip churches in Africa, Asia, and South America to make disciples of youth, their families, and their communities through strategic sports ministry. I love that we use sports as a tool to make disciples of youth, their families, and their communities.
What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten while working overseas? Where do I start? So many times I’ve eaten things having no idea what they were. I once ate a 1-2 inch ant. It was ginormous and tasted awful!
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who is interested in doing overseas ministry? God doesn’t need you. That sounds funny, doesn’t it? It’s true though. But as a Father, He loves you and loves having you involved in what He’s doing. Remember that your purpose in overseas ministry is to join in what God is already doing in that place, so look for what that is and who He is already working in and through. Remain humble to what God wants to teach you about Himself as you go.