When Paul Osborne and Sarah Meckle arrived on campus, little did they know that their relationship with Grace University would not end at graduation. From the classroom to the athletic field, God used Grace University to align the majors and ministries of two young people for lifelong impact.
Paul has been a part of Grace University men’s soccer program since 2002 and has transitioned from player to volunteer to assistant coach to joining the staff this year as head coach.
“Coaching soccer for college-age men at a private Christian university allows me to combine my first and third greatest passions in life,” said Paul. “I desire to establish a consistent, nationally competitive men’s soccer program founded upon genuine discipleship, structured discipline and teamwork.”
During his years at Grace, Paul earned a degree in middle school education and was a key part of the soccer team. He started every match during his freshman season and helped Grace win its first-ever NCCAA regional championship and reach its first NCCAA national tournament. Paul served as team captain and during his senior year he received NCCAA All-Region recognition as a goalkeeper, the only season he played in goal for the Royals.
But soccer is not his only memory of Grace. One memory Paul enjoys revisiting is this. Try to imagine Dr. Eckman and Dr. Dahlquist sparring each other in a world wrestling cage match for the Championship Title Belt. Picture Professor Hauge blindsiding Dr. Linder with a folding chair he snatched from the crowd. What began in a friend’s dorm room, by simply creating custom characters on a wrestling video game for fun, ballooned into a multi-hall activity that spanned a few days, complete with guest appearances from the professors themselves to watch who would win in our Grace staff and faculty simulated battle royal. As providence would have it, the ultimate winner was Dr. Eckman. This of course was announced in chapel the following day.
Sarah arrived at Grace from Rugby, North Dakota, with the same belief as Dr. Eckman that snow is a great gift from God! She majored in elementary education and now teaches math at Millard North Middle School in Omaha.
“I came to Grace because I desired a biblically grounded education. I am forever grateful for the biblical worldview that was taught throughout my classes at Grace,” said Sarah. “I grew in my faith and in the application of my faith. I was challenged to not only know what I believe, but know why I believe it—where is it found in God’s Word. I also found many life-long friends who continue to challenge/strengthen me spiritually, pray for me, and spend time with me just having fun.”
While at Grace, Sarah held class offices, played on the women’s volleyball team, and was part of the SBA intramurals committee. She also worked on campus in the cafeteria, as yearbook editor and was a team leader her sophomore year.
“Some of my favorite memories from my time at Grace were times just hanging out with others on the halls, in the cafeteria, and the lounges,” said Sarah. “One of these fun memories, during the first couple months of my freshman year, is of when a group of girls from my hall went out in the rain and jumped in the puddles!”
Outside of Grace, Paul tries to witness to others by first trying to love Sarah the way Christ loves the church. Second, he is involved in a men’s Bible study and is part of the set up crew at their church, CrossPoint Bible Church in Bennington, Neb. Sarah teaches Sunday School and leads AWANA for the 3-4 year olds.
“As Dr. Eckman taught, every part of your life can and should be a ministry—no separation of sacred and secular! With this in mind I view my role as a public school teacher as a ministry. Finding ways to point others toward Jesus through my actions,” said Sarah. “Also, I believe every spouse has an opportunity for marriage to be a ministry—learning to be submissive to my husband’s leadership and how to best encourage him spiritually.”
The Grace University family is thankful for alumni like Paul and Sarah who are living out the mission to be servant leaders in the home, church and world!