Shaped for His Purpose


Meet Kaylyn, one of the new staff members Karen coaches. Kaylyn grew up playing softball and played for both D1 and NAIA teams in college. She coached at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC while she completed her master’s degree in organizational leadership and afterward. Kaylyn will lead a new softball department at Athletes in Action’s headquarters in Xenia, OH.

God has shaped her life for this role through adversity and opportunity. In college Kaylyn went on three mission trips to the Middle East with Competitive Edge International. In her role with AIA Softball, she will recruit for, and lead similar mission trips with softball players from around the US. These trips have the dual purpose of sharing Christ in the places they go and discipling the players who go on them.

While Kaylyn is a very positive person, she has been shaped through adversity. Besides losing her final softball season due to covid, Kaylyn had unexplained hearing loss as a child and had to get hearing aids. Sports was her escape because she was athletically gifted and because listening and speaking on the field didn’t mark her as different. Then when she was a high school junior, Kaylyn developed tinnitus in its most severe form, resulting in anxiety and depression. Medication and counseling have helped, but God has given her a desire to use her weakness for His glory, and He is using her story. Because some of her players deal with anxiety, Kaylyn can uniquely minister to them through her openness about her own journey.

Kaylyn currently disciples the players at the Christian college where she coaches. One of her pitchers recently said, “I honestly forgot how much I loved playing the game. It has been so freeing to just worship instead of being caught up in my performance all the time.” Kaylyn says: “I could not have been more excited for her! Seeing this shift happen in her and knowing the work the Lord has been doing in her life is incredible.”

Right now, Kaylyn’s team is in Kansas City, MO at the NAIA softball World Series. Pray for their witness and pray they’ll play for the glory of God.

Thank you for helping us mobilize laborers like Kaylyn to grow God’s kingdom through sports.   We are grateful for you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  May 2022 hard copy newsletter to print a card copy. 

It would not be possible without …


AIA Catalytic Ministries, the part of our ministry where Rick serves, is a short-term, direct ministry experience to a specific audience that will start or accelerate a movement-building strategy. Primarily, this is played out through three categories: camps and clinics, training and academies, and team building and retreats.

Each part of Athletes in Action has its own distinctive contribution to reaching “every” and creating movements, and no one staff member is responsible for an athlete’s complete spiritual journey. Sam, pictured below, is a great example of this.

As a wrestler in Indianapolis, Sam came to some Indy AIA events. There, he connected first with our campus staff, and later with our wrestling ministry. Our staff were able to connect him with a scholarship, which gave Sam the chance to travel to Moldova and Ukraine with AIA Wrestling. There he shared his faith, presented his testimony in a juvenile prison and  grew tremendously.

Through Sam, our campus staff continued building relationships with the Indy Men’s Wrestling team and organized a community service project for the athletes to do. This increased trust with the coaching staff, and when our campus staff were given the opportunity to present AIA to the wrestlers and share what we are about, 30 of the 40 student-athletes on the team indicated interest in further involvement.

Multiple touchpoints, events, people, and conversations took place for all this to happen. It was a dynamic movement with lots of moving parts, and much of it wouldn’t have been possible without many team members working together to reach “every” through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This Is what AIA Catalytic Ministry is all about.  Spiritual movement is not only taking place on a national scale, but also around the world. Italy, Albania, Croatia, South Africa, Puerto Rico and Jamaica are our partnering countries for 2022. At minimum, each of these places is post-Christian, under evangelized, and characterized by spiritual darkness. We also have a presence in six restricted countries comprising 3,342 unreached people groups.

Your partnership is impacting the sports world both here and around the world so that one day people from every nation, tribe and language will surround the throne of Jesus to give Him glory.  We are grateful for you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  April 2022 hard copy Newsletter to print a card copy. 

He is Working Through it All


One of the ways Athletes in Action leverages the platform of sports to share the good news of Jesus is through large sporting events. For the past 25 years AIA has hosted the Super Bowl Breakfast and the presentation of the Bart Starr Award to a player who exemplifies character on and off the field. The event draws hundreds of sports, business and community leaders who hear about Jesus. This year’s event featured a presentation of the gospel by CBS NFL studio host James Brown. Watch here 2022 Super Bowl Breakfast Online Special on YouTube.com.

2022 Keys to Life Award winner: Allan Houston

 AIA will also host the Wooden Keys to Life Award event (formerly the Legends of the Hardwood breakfast) during Final Four weekend where similar stories will be told about sports, successes, failures, family and faith. Events like these allow influencers in the world of sports and business who may never attend a church to hear the gospel and receive Jesus.

Thank you for partnering with us to reach the nations with the gospel through the platform of sports!

Cru and AIA have 120 Ukrainian staff with one now serving in the Ukrainian army, and many others are serving people in need in Ukraine and in neighboring countries. Some staff members have moved to the western side of the country or to neighboring countries; some have stayed, but all are sharing the hope of the gospel where they are. Our staff in Poland and Moldova have dropped everything to help refugees coming into their countries. You can join Cru and Give, Pray for, or Serve the Ukrainian people at Stand with Ukraine. You can also sign up for a 24/7 prayer chain for Ukraine at this site. Our staff report that shelling is the worst from 2:00-4:00 AM in Ukraine (7:00-9:00 PM Eastern time).

Pray for peace-bringers in this conflict and pray for those leaders who have the power to stop further escalation.

Pray for all our staff in Ukraine and their families and for believers in Ukraine and Eastern Europe—that they will be safe, stay close to Jesus and be a light for those around them.

Pray this conflict ends quickly, justly and peacefully. Pray that many turn to Jesus. Pray that Christians maintain their witness

Thank you for partnering with us to reach the nations with the gospel through the platform of sports!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  March 2022 hard copy Newsletter to print a card copy. 

They dog piled him!


At a recent Athletes in Action Chapel, our AIA Baseball department shared results from their 2021 baseball teams. Athletes in Action Baseball has U.S. teams in three collegiate summer leagues; the Scouts in Xenia, OH, which is a part of the Great Lakes Collegiate League, the Rochester Ridgemen in New York, and a team near Anchorage, Alaska. Tim, the head coach of the Xenia Scouts, shared how he was struck by the number of guys who were growing spiritually on the Scouts team, and that a culture of spiritual growth and authenticity was the norm. He shared this: 

Coach Tim and Cameron

“Cameron accepted Christ in the early morning of July 2nd and has been transformed for Christ. He now knows who his Savior is and where his true identity comes from!

“Another player, Noah, also accepted Christ on July 2nd right before our game started at 7:00 pm. After batting practice, before the game started, I went to get ready for the game and pray. As I walked out to the parking lot, I noticed our Chaplain, Taylor, talking to Noah, one of our pitchers. For whatever reason, I knew that God was leading me to go up to him and just hug him. When I did, Noah immediately started to cry and went limp in my arms. I held him and then looked into his eyes and said “Noah, there is NOTHING wrong with you and our God loves you more than you can imagine.

“Right after that, Noah told us that he wanted to pray and accept Christ into his heart and make Him the Savior of his life. Both Taylor and I were a little shocked, but we could see in his eyes that he was ready! We prayed and then hugged him.

Coach Tim and Noah

“We went on to play one of our best games all summer and won the game. Afterward, we invited Noah to tell the guys that he accepted Christ into his heart right before the game. The team went CRAZY!!! They dog piled him, and all of them started to hug Noah! It was a sight that I will remember for the rest of my life!”

Athletes in Actions Sports TEAM minister to (and through) hundreds of student athletes each summer. AIA’s goal is to teach every athlete to become a Total Athlete, one who is physically, mentally, and spiritually mature.

Through your prayer and financial support, you are helping us to send new Christ-centered laborers to serve in the harvest field. Thank you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  February 2022 hard copy Newsletter to print a card copy. 

This Could Triple Our Impact


AIA is developing a new 100,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose indoor training facility on the campus of our world headquarters in Xenia, Ohio. The Wooden Family Fieldhouse will be named in honor of John Wooden, the legendary college basketball coach. Before he died in 2010, Wooden gave permission for AIA to use his namesake for the new center, and the entryway will include a tribute to the former UCLA basketball coach.

The heart of the fieldhouse is a 40,000 sq.ft. multi-court center for indoor court sports with an indoor team building/adventure course, regulation synthetic turf field, sports performance center, multi-purpose wrestling/training rooms, fitness facilities, team locker/meeting areas, cafe, and conference center. The center will have dedicated space for a variety of activities, including four basketball courts, batting cages, high-rope climbing walls and an indoor field for soccer, flag football and off-season activities for other sports.

Our vision statement which drives us is to see a day where there will be a Christ follower on every team, in every sport, in every nation. Historically we bring in 100,000 unique visitors to the campus each year. Research indicates the new center will triple or quadruple the number of visitors each year according to Eric Nelson, AIA VP of Catalytic Ministries.

AIA has hosted teams and athletes from other countries who stay at the campus and train. Nelson expects the international reach will increase with the new indoor facility. “It’s more than a building. It’s a place where people get the right things to be the best version of who they are,” Nelson says. It’s a place where we can continue to win people to Christ, build them in their relationships with Him, and send them out to reach the world.

Canadian NFL/CFL hopeful Tommy Roadley Trohatos recently trained with AIA at our headquarters in Xenia where he gave his life to Jesus. In his words: “AIA is like a family. It’s really personal relationships, and after that it’s the training part. I chose to train with AIA because … AIA is set apart by their training and leadership/mentorship programs. I thank God for bringing me here. I wanted to grow as a person, and I’ve always wanted to explore my relationship with God. I chose to follow God, and being here helped me grow closer with Him. I want to be someone who inspires others to believe in God.”

Through your prayer and financial support, you are helping us to send new Christ-centered laborers to serve in the harvest field. Thank you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  November hard copy Newsletter to print a card copy. 

Another Missionary Sent


As a coach, I (Karen) work with AIA’s newest staff members while they develop a team of ministry partners so they can report to their assignments as Christ-centered, fully funded and financially faithful laborers in the harvest field. One guy I’ve coached just reported to his assignment at Otterbein and Ohio Dominican universities where he will be sharing Christ and discipling new believers in pursuit of the Great Commission.

Kory & Tessie

Kory grew up in Grove City, OH playing football and running track. He earned a degree in psychology from Miami of Ohio where he had hoped to walk on to the football team, but an injury prevented that hope from coming to fruition.

He says, “God used sports to give me hope of a better tomorrow after growing up in a single-parent, broken home. An injury derailed my dream of playing collegiate sports but led me to faith in Christ. After I placed my faith in Jesus, I was introduced to Athletes in Action and became part of a ministry that was introducing student athletes to Jesus, declaring Jesus as the true hope for a better tomorrow, and helping student athletes to grow in their faith. I believe God is leading me to continue ministering to college athletes through AIA.”

Kory and his wife Tessie are expecting their first child in November. They open their home to families in crisis through My Village Ministries, and Kory is the race coordinator for local Columbus Aruna Runs, which help victims of human trafficking.

“God has given both college and professional athletes an incredible platform through sport, and it is my hope that through my ministry with AIA, I will have the opportunity to share Jesus with them, help them grow in their faith, and send them out to utilize that platform in a way that honors Christ while they are still competing in their sport, and afterwards as they minister to their families, workplaces, and communities.” Kory

Through your prayer and financial support, you are helping us to send new Christ-centered laborers to serve in the harvest field. Thank you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  October hard copy Newsletter to print a card copy. 

Getting a Kick out of the Bible


Athletes in Action staff member Tyler (back right) recently hosted a kicking camp for college kickers, punters and long snappers in which they trained physically, mentally and spiritually. Tyler says it’s his favorite weekend of the year! Due to Covid cancellations last year, the athletes who attended were especially grateful for the faith and community aspects of camp.

The first thing each morning they dug into the Bible. Tyler says, “We were able to teach them an easy concept on how to read the Bible and process it through journaling and prayer. Our discussion time allowed us to process what God laid on our hearts and how we can apply the scripture to our kicking and daily lives. The Biggest WIN of the weekend wasn’t just the fact that every college kicker/long snapper got better, but that every athlete shared in their follow-up survey about how they loved the Bible studies. They felt like they grew in their faith, and they want to continue a weekly Bible study with each other!!! I am so excited to continue pouring into these kickers and to help encourage them to grow closer and closer to our Savior.”

I felt encouraged in several ways and I wanted to share those with you: Being coached by you and coach Kornblue is such an honor. Being coached by men who value the person > player is so important, and you guys don’t just say that, you live it out. There’s a huge difference there. There’s nobody else I’d rather be coached by or help coach the younger generation with. The eternal perspective and mission is everything to you guys and it shows.”-Ben VonGunten (All-American)

Your partnership is helping us to mobilize Christ-centered laborers to serve in the harvest that is right before us. Thank you!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  August 2021 hard copy newsletter to print a card copy.