Miraculous prayer heals soccer player

After suffering a serious kidney injury, Hernan takes the soccer field for the first time in two years.



Keaton Moore, Writer

The Eagles’ match with the University of Great Falls on Sept. 2 proved to be more than just their first victory of the season. For sophomore midfielder Hernan Sotelo, the game against the Argonauts marked his first game back since a serious kidney injury kept him on the bench for two years. However, his recovery did not come from the hands of a surgeon, but the hands of God.

An Early Passion

Hernan’s passion for soccer started when he was seven years old, and his father inspired him to pursue soccer in college. Already familiar with Biola, Hernan’s talent caught the attention of Todd Elkins, the Eagles’ head coach, who suggested that he spend a year at junior college and transfer in.

On the word of his future coach, Hernan spent his freshman year playing for the Santiago Canyon College Hawks. However, his rookie season was cut short by an injury that cost him the next two years of soccer.

“I was going up for a header and some guy… kneed me on my side,” Hernan said. “After a couple minutes I got up and started playing, but then I went home and started peeing blood.”

A Servant’s Heart

Even after he transferred to Biola, Hernan visited a number of different doctors and specialists, seeking answers, but finding none. Battling frustration and unanswered questions, he dedicated himself to serving the Biola men’s soccer team off the field, even if he could not contribute on it.

“Even though Hernan would have rather run springs and do bear crawls all practice long than be injured, he still managed to come to every practice with a willingness to fill up waters and fetch balls,” said True Tamplin, junior forward.

During the 2016 spring semester, it seemed as if only surgery could heal Hernan’s kidney, but that came with a year of recovery and another soccer season missed. As Hernan came to terms with the reality of surgery, a classmate offered to pray for him after class. Not knowing what to expect, he agreed and she began to pray intensely for God to heal his injury.

A Classmate’s Faith

“She started praying for me, and I have never heard a prayer the way she prayed for me,” Hernan said. “We were in the middle of a hallway in Sutherland and all of the classes had just gotten out. She started speaking differently, to the point that I actually felt uncomfortable.”

Two weeks later, Hernan’s uncle asked about his injury. Though he still had noticed blood in his urine 11 hours earlier, Hernan went to the bathroom to show his uncle how serious it was, only to find that his urine was crystal clear. Two years of frustration and being unable to play soccer were finally over for Hernan because of God and the faith of a classmate.

“I saw the girl who prayed for me and asked her if she truly believed that I would be healed,” Hernan said. “She looked at me and said ‘Yes.’”

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