Jonathan Burke | Goalkeeper
Naperville, Illinois | Eastern Illinois University
Who has been your biggest influence in your faith, and how did that person influence you?
“The biggest influence in my faith would have to be my mom. She has raised me the best way possible, and I believe she's done everything in her power to make life more enjoyable for me. She is very strong in her faith and really believes in being a servant for others. When I see her going out of her way to do things for others, it makes me want to do the same. She has always been a great role model by showing me to view the world in a positive way no matter what happens.”
How does your faith intertwine with your soccer career?
“My family was fortunate enough to go on a mission trip with a non-profit organization to Accra, Ghana. We would bring school supplies and hang out with the kids in two different orphanages over there. My mom was actually the one with the idea to take us. She had already been a few times.”
“During middle school and high school my family and I went on ten trips and loved every second of it. While I was there, I saw kids who had very little but were so happy. Every day, we would play soccer from sunrise till sunset and the smiles on these kids faces was amazing to see. Scoring a goal, getting a new pair of shoes, or receiving a new backpack brought great joy to them. The most fascinating thing about all of it was that they didn’t need material objects to make them happy. All they needed to play soccer was something round to kick and a couple rocks to make goals."
"I think going to Ghana and experiencing the joy these kids have while playing the game helped intertwine my faith and soccer. When I play the beautiful game, I like to think back at my time in Ghana. It was there that I realized that there is a lot more going on in the world that we don’t think about. When playing soccer, it is important to take in every second of it and enjoy.”
What is your favorite verse?
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”