In an all-school chapel on January 9, Dale Shenk interviewed Femi Hollinger-Janzen (’12), who is entering his third year as a professional soccer player for New England.

Sharing about his faith journey, Femi talked about the challenges of being in a college and professional setting where faith isn’t valued like he experienced at Bethany. Surrounded by many people with strong egos, he appreciates having learned a nonviolent approach to resolving differences growing up. While extensive travel is not conducive to regular participation in a faith community, he does participate in a Bible study with several other players. He also deeply values the community and support he experiences from ongoing relationships with family, church, and Bethany friends/teachers.

He attributes his success to a lot of hard work and dedication, but also to seemingly small things such as learning how to take care of his body (rest and a healthy diet) and playing other sports. He recalls as a junior in high school, Hank Willems and Jim Buller pushing him to not focus exclusively on soccer. Looking back he realizes that playing other sports also helped him develop soccer skills and and helped make him into a more well-rounded person, not someone totally consumed by his passion for soccer.

Responding to one student’s question, he admitted he wasn’t a strong student at Bethany, but at college discovered he was one of the better writers in his class. He thanked teachers for pushing him and sticking by him.