Liberty University

02/21/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/21/2020 16:52

NFL's Carson Wentz discusses building faith in hard times

February 21, 2020 : Jacob Couch/Liberty University News Service

2017 Super Bowl champion and current Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Carson Wentz opened up about his personal faith and his heart for the people of Haiti in front of a capacity Vines Center crowd at Friday morning's College for a Weekend Convocation.

After an opening video highlighted Wentz's professional football success, Liberty's Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development, David Nasser, joined Wentz on stage for a question-and-answer session with the NFL quarterback.

Nasser kicked off the conversation by asking Wentz about his faith. The 6-foot, 6-inch signal caller told the student body that he grew up attending church but was primarily focused on obeying his parents, which resulted in behavior modification rather than heart transformation.

Following a successful high school football career in the state of North Dakota, Wentz enrolled at North Dakota State. At his first week of football practice there, one of his teammates directly asked Wentz if he had read the Bible. Shortly afterward, the two peers began to read the New Testament together.

'I dove all in and had some amazing guys who discipled me and mentored me,' Wentz said.

It was during his first three semesters at college that the now world-famous professional athlete realized that he grew up 'good' but that good was not enough.

The discussion moved to Wentz's current tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles and his relationship with former Philadelphia quarterback and teammate Nick Foles.

'He is a dear friend,' Wentz said of Foles. 'I wanted him to do his best and help us out.'

Foles' opportunity to help the Eagles came during a painful time in Wentz's life. Late in the 2017 season, Wentz went down with an ACL injury that sidelined him for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs to follow. Foles took the reins and never looked back, leading Philadelphia to a magical playoff run that ended in a 41-33 defeat of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Now Philadelphia's sweetheart, Wentz went on to explain the difficulty of watching his team play on while he stood along the sidelines. He had become more outspoken about his faith with his teammates that season and was faced with the opportunity to practice what he preached.

'I had been through injuries before but never to that magnitude,' Wentz said. 'It hurt my heart every time. I had to practice what I preached.'

After talking about football, Nasser invited Carson's wife, Addison, to join her husband on stage to talk about the couple's heart for missions.

Addison interned with Mission of Hope every year while in college and eventually met Carson while both were on a trip with the organization in Haiti. The Mission of Hope Organization and the Wentzes partnered with LU Serve Friday afternoon to package 200,000 meals.

The Wentzes have partnered with their church in Philadelphia to start a food truck that gives free food to those in need. The couple has also funded the construction of an athletic complex in Haiti, as well as a ministry in North Dakota for children who have suffered life-threatening illnesses.

Friday's College for a Weekend Convocation concluded with a Nasser vs. Wentz trivia game that centered around eagles. Wentz came away victorious, which resulted in one of the campus dorm areas, the Hill, being awarded a free Philly Cheesesteak dinner next Wednesday evening.