Sharing Olympic-sized Faith Stories
On February 1, 2014, the Barna [Research] Group reported that Americans believe professional athletes influence society more than pastors “by more than a three-to-one margin.” Because athletes have so much influence in our culture, Athletes in Action strives to reach these men and women with the gospel, help them to grow in their faith, and then help them share their faith with others. I (Karen) recently had the privilege of interviewing four-time-Olympian Lauryn Williams about her relationship with Jesus. After writing her story, I posted it online so that anyone looking for information about Lauryn or her sport can find it, and you can read about it here. It was announced yesterday (2/8) that Lauryn will be pushing the #1 bobsled at Sochi driver and fellow believer Elana Meyers! Read about it here.
Free App for Winter Olympians’ Stories
AIA and The JESUS Film Project are partnering to bring the faith stories of Winter Olympians directly into the hands of smartphone users. Through the FREE Jesus Film Media app, videos of the Olympic athletes will join a library of more than 66,000 video clips in some 1,100 languages.
Download the Jesus Film Media app now by going to app.jesusfilmmedia.org on your smartphone or search “Jesus Film Media” in the app store. For more information, go here. You can also use this app to share the JESUS Film itself with people in over 1,900 languages which comprise 91% of the world’s languages.
We value staying in touch with you. In the next few weeks, like many families we will be dropping our home phone number. Please make a note of this change and use our cell numbers. You can find them by using the link Feb 2014 below. If YOU have changed numbers, would you let us know by calling or sending an email soon?
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Feb 2014 to print a hard copy newsletter.
At the recent global sports fall retreat, our team of thirty-four staff members celebrated how God was changing lives and touching hearts of people around the world. One example was the college student who described a tour’s impact on his life like this:
Imagine similar stories repeated after 33 mission projects with competitive teams and sports clinics through seven different sports in more than 20 countries! AIA offers uncommon opportunities for athletes to share their love of Jesus and sports through cross-cultural ministry. Each project enhanced opportunities for ongoing ministry through outreaches and humanitarian aid, and each one helped students learn to share their faith.
It was my (Rick’s) privilege to serve these teams by assisting their missions’ projects, running the AIA team blog site, and managing communication roles for global sports ministry. One of my latest projects was developing materials for our teams during our 2013 Fall Retreat mentioned above. To God be the Glory! Your prayers/support help make this happen!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Nov 2013 to print a hard copy newsletter.
With your partnership, AIA is taking the gospel into the most difficult mission fields and making a difference. Thank you.
“On Saturday, Mom called. One of our relatives committed suicide. So I returned to my small village to honor my family. My brothers and I were approached by local Muslim leaders about why we “betrayed Islam” and became followers of Christ. They pressured us to change our minds. Last year, I was forbidden to attend another relative’s funeral. Funerals are a good chance for Muslim leaders to preach anti-Christianity, scare people and isolate those who accept Jesus.
“Before the traditional Islamic goodbye ceremony, three leaders took me and my brothers aside again to ask us to deny Jesus. We said our decision was made to follow Jesus. Again, they asked us not to attend the funeral. We agreed, but I went to the grave site. About 500 men attended (only men can go). As usual, the Imam declared the Bible had been changed and the Koran was given by Allah as the only true holy book.
“Then he turned to my father and announced to everyone that his sons betrayed Islam and became followers of Jesus. My respected father is now shamed by us. I told my father I was sorry. I can imagine how his heart is broken. Later my father asked, ‘Is it true?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He then asked, ‘Is this more important than life?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ My father replied, ‘Then don’t come to my funeral when I die!’
“Please, pray for my father and those Muslim leaders with the prayer of blessing, I really want them to know Jesus.”
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: to May 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.
Stories from Global Sports East Africa Jan 2013 Golf Project
One of the team’s most vivid memories is from a one-hole golf course outside Nairobi, Kenya where 30 children from the Kibera slum received golf instruction and hope. Despite living in the slum, they gained hope because Athletes in Action (AIA) shared a vision for changing their lives through sports. Golf is very popular in East Africa, and it’s a great platform for teaching discipline and life skills. The children also get out on a beautiful course in the Kenyan countryside every Sunday! Our team taught, played, laughed and shared Christ with these children, so dearly loved by God. That day the angels sang when several placed their faith in Jesus. Five of “the least of these” had their names added to the Lamb’s book of life. Amen! The day ended with a one-hole tournament with all the children cheering and following down the fairway. What a beautiful sight to see! The project also blessed the children with golf clubs through our players and donors. It was a special time all the way to the last putt. This is how AIA’s Global Sports is changing lives throughout the world by supporting our teams like this one in East Africa. There’s much more. Did you catch “Taking it to the next level“?
You are making a difference by supporting us as we develop and manage Global Sports communications. Thank You!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: to Mar 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.
Several years ago, God gave a vision for sharing His message of salvation through sports in East Africa. Our staff responded by faith, and we witnessed the love of God at work, reconciliation and ministry in schools and health clinics changing lives in many settings, not just sports.
In January, AIA Global Sports was back in Uganda developing golf and other local ministry efforts when God decided to “take it to the next level”. We received word that an official from the Ugandan Olympic Committee (UOC) wanted to meet. At the meeting, the UOC representative announced Uganda wanted to invite Athletes in Action (AIA) to be the first official partner in developing their Olympic efforts over the next three years.
God has opened the door to assist Uganda in the development of their Olympic efforts in at least seven sports. In doing this, AIA will be able to share God’s love and message of salvation with thousands of men and women. According to AIA’s Global Sports Director,”We will help build expertise in athletes and walk along side them in the struggles they have on a day-to-day basis.”
Would you please pray for our work in Uganda as well as our other 2013 Projects? Together, we are making a difference by helping Global Sports staff and volunteers coordinate these projects and connect with those athletes, coaches and adults whom He wants to join us.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: to Feb 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.
It is when you are there that we are able to serve the Lord and join His work of reconciling this world to Himself. Your prayers and your support were an integral part of the ministry of Athletes in Action’s (AIA) Global Sports in 2012. Because we share a passion for connecting people to Jesus Christ, together we are getting a glimpse of God’s kingdom. Thank you so much for allowing us to serve with you!!! You are part of a worldwide caring community making a difference around the world each day. Let us encourage you today with a three-minute video showing ministry highlights, and let the Lord remind you that with Him, nothing is impossible. Take a look:
As we start 2013, take a minute to rejoice in the fact that we have the privilege to make a difference around the world in the lives of men, women, and children in 27 countries by fielding 34 mission projects. You can get an overview of our 2013 projects courtesy of the Sports Performance Team by double clicking on the image, and you can print out a copy to pray over.
My role as Communication Coordinator for Global Sports will place us (you and me) in a position to support each of these projects. We will be assisting hundreds of men and women to experience the Lord working through them as they share the love of Jesus Christ. In the coming months, Karen and I will be sharing more about these projects. Thank you for playing a vital role in the ministry of AIA Global Sports.
The sun was shining brightly through the windows the morning of the 6th day of the International Coaches’ Academy. Each day began with Team Time (a devotional).
The discussion on this particular morning was about how we see our relationship with God. People were invited to share their thoughts in small groups. As you might expect, there was quite a variety. All were great examples of God at work in their lives, but Samuel’s stood out to me. Samuel’s focus was not on today, but where he wanted to be. During the discussion time, he struggled to clearly communicate his desire. He walked up to share with the group and had only a blank piece of paper. It was clear nothing was written or drawn on it, unlike everyone else’s. It was truly God breaking into his world. Samuel held up his paper and said, “This is what I want: to be pure. I want to have a clean heart.”
This is not a desire born of man. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” But God supernaturally revealed to Samuel his own sin and need for forgiveness.
You are vital to this mission! Your prayers and support of AIA Global Sports and our ministry makes this possible. Together, we are helping fulfill the Great Commission as people like Samuel are reconciled to God and become conduits of His love and mercy in their parts of the world.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Nov 2012 to print a hard copy newsletter.