Matthew 28 Project
“Dedicated to spreading the peace of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the World”
The Matthew 28 Project is an integral part of the mission of Adelphi Christian Academy. Our Lord commands us
to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and
the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This project was created to serve foreign student athletes from impoverished
families and to achieve the following goals:
To present the gospel, providing an opportunity for salvation to those who do not know Christ as Savior
To disciple them in their relationship to Christ as Savior and Lord.
To provide a strong academic, Christian education which equips them to impact their cultures for Christ.
To obtain athletic scholarships to reputable colleges and universities, thus enabling them to fulfill their
To develop a school culture that promotes a knowledge of and appreciation for students from other
To encourage thoughtful conversation and debate, exposing our students to a broader range of ideas and
perspectives as they engage a global community.
To establish host families who possess a passion for Christ and a commitment to The Matthew 28 Project.
To share the unique vision of the project with like-minded Christian schools and with the community.
To develop relationships with donors who are eager to invest in the future of foreign student athletes and
in the spread of the gospel to other nations.
What it is?
The Matthew 28 Project is a program started at Statesville Christian School in Statesville, NC back in 2003. The program
has already expanded to serve more than 25 schools throughout the country. The Matthew 28 Project attempts to
identify potential students from war torn or impoverished nations in an effort to help them attend a Christian high school
in the United States. This allows them to have the opportunity for an American education. It also allows the school the
chance to expose them to their faith in the hope they will take this concept back to their own people. While athletics is
not the sole criteria for being a part of the project it has roots in athletics because that is where our contacts and main
interest from foreign students in this program has come from. We have had students in several different sports
including; Boy’s and Girl’s basketball, Boy’s and Girl’s soccer, Girl’s volleyball and tennis. Athletics is also the most direct
avenue for a foreign student to earn a scholarship to an American college. The Matthew 28 student is required to
possess a skill that will allow them a reasonable chance to earn a future full scholarship to an American college or
university. Foreign students do not qualify for American government need based financial aid, so the skill has to be one
that has the potential to lead to full funding from a University. We feel this is an important component because just to
offer to allow them to attend high school in the United States would not offer much of a long term benefit. By giving them
the opportunity to earn a college scholarship in America, we are equipping them to have a bright future that can enable
them to have a direct impact on the lives of their family and fellow countrymen once they complete their college
education. The student also has to have an acceptable level of English proficiency both in the writing and speaking of
The concept was one that Michael Everhart, the school administrator and John Jordan, the school’s basketball coach
and athletic director, had started eight years ago at Statesville Christian School. Coach Jordan had felt a calling to this
area of missions because it was a basketball coach who had helped him attend a Christian high school when he was
growing up in Raleigh, NC. Coach Jordan credits that gentleman for saving him from going down a path of destruction. It
was through that interaction that Coach Jordan became a Christian. After leaving professional basketball to come back
to the high school level eight years ago, several of Coach Jordan’s foreign contacts had asked him if he would consider
taking a foreign student for his high school team. These individuals explained to Coach Jordan that many of these kids
were from war torn or impoverished areas. Because of their basketball skill, the local professional teams would try to
sign them to a professional contract that bound them to that team for 7 years. Most of the time the contract was only for
a couple of hundred dollars per month, but to a young person whose total family income was less than $500 per month,
this was an enticing offer. Once the young person signed the contract, they were immediately ineligible to ever play
college basketball in the United States. In many cases these pro teams would insist that they quit school all together to
concentrate on their pro career. If the player did not develop or suffered an injury, not only was the contract void but
now the athlete had no education or skill to fall back on. It was at that point that Coach Jordan began to see the
missions impact such an effort could have. He approached Michael Everhart who also shared his vision and between the
two the concept of the program was born. For Jordan’s three years at Statesville Christian, ten students came in under
the Matthew 28 Project.
Growth of a Ministry
From the very outset, it was clear to Jordan that there was a need far greater than what his one school could provide.
The word spread over Europe rapidly and Jordan was getting more and more inquiries from foreign athletes in all sports
just looking for the opportunity of that American education. In an effort to attempt to impact the life of more kids, Jordan
began contacting other schools and asking them if they would like him to help them start their own Matthew 28 Project.
Several jumped at the opportunity and again word spread and schools were lining up to be a part of this dynamic
ministry. To date more than 25 schools from around the country have began a Matthew 28 Project. Jordan continued to
take the Matthew 28 message wherever his career took him. At his next stop, Veritas Christian Academy in Asheville,
NC, he was able to help bring in more than a dozen athletes and help three other area schools start their own initiative.
In the 2009/10 school year, Coach Jordan stepped out on his own and started his own international post graduate
basketball program. The American International Basketball Institute featured 11 players from 7 different countries, all
Matthew 28 kids. This year, saw him take the Matthew 28 Project to Aiken, SC and Adelphi Christian Academy. Jordan
who is now the headmaster and athletic director at the 6th-12th grade school has wasted no time in actively building the
ministry in his new town. In the 2010/11 school year, Adelphi features 9 Matthew 28 students from 5 different countries.
The benefits to the foreign students are easily identifiable; they get the opportunity for an American high school
education and then quite possibly an American college education. These students also get the chance The reward to
the host school and students is just as immense. Because of the athletic gifts these students possess, it allows the local
students a better chance to be recruited in their respective sport. In many instances it opens up playing and promotion
opportunities for these athletes and the school that they would otherwise never be exposed to. The result we have
witnessed in our sports program is that the interest level both from our own students, and students from other local
schools has seen a significant increase. At both Veritas Christian and Statesville Christian the program served as a
catalyst in getting the mission of the school spread throughout the community. This in turn brought in more traffic to the
admissions office from full paying local students. We feel the added excitement and diversity created with the addition of
the Matthew 28 students has also played a role in increasing student retention rates. The program also projects a
snapshot to another part of the world for the existing student body through their interactions with the Matthew 28
students. A practical example of this is with the Greek class at Veritas Christian. In year one of the Matthew 28 students
who came to Veritas was from Greece. It proved to be a real benefit to those studying that language to actually have a
student in class who spoke Greek as his native language. Coach Jordan began the “Adopt an Alien Program” for the
elementary grades at Veritas two years ago, wherein each elementary grade adopted one of the Matthew 28 students
for the school year. The chosen student then goes to the elementary class once every two weeks to read to that class
and tell them stories about the customs and traditions of their home country. The Matthew 28 student also eats lunch
with the elementary class at least once a month. This has proven to be a very popular program and has served as a
great tool in introducing another part of the world to the younger students at Veritas. Most importantly, the Matthew 28
Project allows a school a chance, in their own way to impact the world for their faith. It is the hope that the young people
we bring in through this program will then take the spiritual aspects they are exposed to at their schools and with their
host families back to their own cultures and help influence even more lives for their faith.
The program has been so successful that it brought the praise of the Visiting Accreditation Team during the ACSI
(American Christian Schools International) Accreditation visit to Veritas in March of 2007. Several other schools around
the nation have already adopted the program and with your help we hope to grow the program to serve even more
schools and help even more kids.
How To Get Involved As An Individual –
Fund a Scholarship – Consider donating a scholarship for the Matthew 28 Project in the name of your business or an
individual. You can designate whether you want to see the scholarship go to a local or foreign student.
Host a Student – Consider opening your home to a deserving Matthew 28 foreign student. This involves taking on the
responsibility of food and shelter for one academic school year for that student.
Student Health Insurance Sponsorship – Consider sponsoring the cost of a Matthew 28 Project student’s health
insurance for an academic year. This usually just runs a few hundred dollars per year, however in many cases the
student’s parents do not earn enough income to even be able to help in that regard.
Uniform Sponsorship – Consider sponsoring a school uniform cost for a student for an academic year.
Donation - The Matthew 28 Project is a non-profit independently operated ministry. We accept donations and that
money is then used to help meet the needs of the actual Matthew 28 students themselves.
Steps to getting involved as a school with the Matthew 28 Project.
1. - Establishing if your school is eligible and what your school can afford to do or not to do. In order to be
eligible to take Matthew 28 students, your school has to be registered as a SEVIS school with the Department of
Homeland Security and be able to issue I-20 student visas. To check to see if your school is registered click here. We
have two levels of involvement for schools. You can take totally need based foreign students who come solely from
impoverished backgrounds. These students usually come from families who earn less than $500 per month as a
household. They of course cannot afford any tuition money. They do take care of their own airfare, (or we try to help
them through our need based fund) , student health insurance (Through Compass) and spending money . The other
type of student we try to help is the student whose parents do have some level of income that allows them to pay some
tuition or to offer some financial assistance to a host family. Usually these families can afford somewhere between $2000
- $4000 per year.
2. - The school is responsible for providing a host family for the Matthew 28 student. The host family agrees to
house and feed the student for the school year. Usually families will want to do this without expecting any type of funding
from the school or the student's family. This has been a great source of inspiration for the families at our school. Many
have developed close friendships that continue to last even as the student goes on to college. We have several that
come "home" to their host parents when they have time off at college.
3. - Student selection. We usually like to ask the coach of the sport that the athlete is going to be participating in what
their need is on their team. The reason for this is not just to get them the best player possible, it is to insure that the
Matthew 28 student who is coming in is not taking a playing spot that is already solid away from a local student or that
the Matthew 28 student does not end up not playing because the school already has someone better at that position. I
then provide a specific student or a listing of several students along with transcripts. If the school has an application or
testing process they would like for the student to follow, I then forward that over to them and they fill that information in
and forward it to the school via email. In some cases if the school would like we can arrange a phone interview with the
student and a school official.
4. - The school is responsible for issuing an I-20 form to the student which has to be mailed to the student in his or
her home country. The student then is able to take that to the American embassy in their country to obtain a student-
visa. This usually takes 3 to 5 days from time they receive the I-20 from the school.
5. - Once the selection is made and the student is notified, they will then make their flight arrangements. The school
is responsible for either meeting them at the airport or having the host family meet them there. If possible we feel it is a
good idea once the selection is made to put the student in contact with the host family. This allows both parties to ask
questions of each other, eases the minds of the student's parents and insures a smoother transition for both the host
family and student.
For more information or to get involved, contact John Jordan at 704-253-2006 or email him
|7'1" Catalin Baciu is a native of
Romania and came to America to
play for Coach Jordan under the
Matt 28 Project. Now he is attending
|Pascal Mensah, a native of Ghana
was offered a full soccer
scholarship to Liberty University
after spending two years as a
Matthew 28 student
|Aleks Bodlovic, a native of Novi Sad,
Macedonia became the first Adelphi athlete to
sign an NCAA Division I scholarship when she
committed to play basketball at Florida
International this Fall. Bodlovic is one of 9
Matthew 28 students enrolled at Adelphi this
year. Link to Eurobasket Story