“…and I feel like God has taken me on a very unparalleled journey. I feel like I have learned so much…” Abbey D’Agostino
Hear the rest of the story. (1:42)
Abbey’s response reflects our heartfelt desire at Athletes in Action (AIA) for everyone we have the privilege to serve. Each year our staff and volunteers work with thousands helping them to be all they can be in Christ.
AIA’s Mission: Building spiritual movements through the platform of sports so every player know someone who truly follows Jesus.
Thank you for being a part of our team through your prayers and support. You can also help Abbey’s story encourage many others by sharing this post.
Ready to accelerate your journey? athletesinaction.org
Hear more about others on their journey. AIA Team Blogs
Start or continue your journey? goaia.org
‘Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.’” Eric Liddell
During the 1924 Olympics, England’s Liddell was favored to win gold in the 100 meters. Then the heats were moved to Sunday. No big deal right? Not for Liddell. He reserved Sundays for worship and rest to honor the Lord. Liddell voluntarily withdrew, despite the consequences. Ultimately, Liddell won two medals in the 200 and 400 meters. See Liddell’s story in the movie Chariots of Fire.
Now, eighty-eight years later, Liddell’s legendary character and faith have become the inspiration for the first More Than Gold Legacy Breakfast held at the 2012 Olympics. Athletes in Action co-sponsored the event which honored Debbie Flood and Bryan Clay for their character, sports excellence, and faith in Christ, as the first recipients of the Eric Liddell Award. Several other Olympians also shared.
Depending on your source, 300 – 550 people heard how faith in Christ is far more important in life than medals and fame. Only 300 out of 10,000 Olympians received a medal, but all will be heroes back home. It’s our hearts desire that these heroes will be seen looking up to God as they live out their lives back home.
What appeared to be a disaster for Eric Liddell, God continues to use to His Glory.
In three weeks the world will be focused once again on the Summer Olympics from July 27 through August 12. Approximately 12,000 sports heroes from over 200 countries will be competing in over 300 events for sports glory. Each of them will become leaders in their home countries. AIA staff and volunteers have been preparing for quite some time, but we still need one more piece for our team to be ready.
What’s the missing piece?
Aaron W. Carter 2012
We need prayer warriors who will lift up each Olympian, praying for God to work in the life of each person to accomplish His plan of reconciliation for the world. James tells us that the prayer of a righteous person is “powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) When we fail to pray, we limit God’s blessing by our own weaknesses. James said, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2) Just as Moses prayed in Exodus 32, YOU have an opportunity to save the lives of many by asking the Lord to draw them into a relationship with Him.
How can you make a difference?
Click on Prayer Partner Sign-Up to be given several Olympians you can pray for by name. You will also find resources such as a Prayer Card that can be shared with your friends
at church, and access to AIA’s 2012 Prayer Guide where you can learn more about the ministry strategies being used at the London Summer Olympics. You can even follow along as staff and volunteers share through our Olympic Team Blog.
Last May I had the privilege of serving at an evening filled with real life examples of dedication, love, and humility. It was a celebration of two athletes who shared God’s transforming power in their lives and the journey of learning to live out their faith daily. What a contrast to today’s sports headlines.
Frank Reich, one of the inductees, framed the key to his walk of faith this way; “We have all been watching the news about Osama bin Laden. The other day I saw an interview with a former Navy Seal. He said it is all about the men and the mission. I am here to tell you I feel the same way,” Reich said. “Each one of us has challenges we face all of the time. I am praying every day to find strength and courage through God.” Frank chose to live out his faith daily, and everyone noticed, including Jim Kelly, who gave his life to Christ because of Frank’s example of faith when they played with the Buffalo Bills.
Frank was sharing with over 400 sports fans and professionals, many of whom will likely not be in a church anytime soon.
Please lift up the 2012 Night of Champions (NOC) to be held on May 12th at AIA in Xenia, OH. This year’s inductees will be Tamika Catchings and Clark Kellogg.
Together, we are changing lives just like Frank as we live out our faith each day.
Please review our prayer page and support needs links and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Apr 2012 to print a hard copy newsletter.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino‘s moral failure is the latest high-profile example of why sports ministry is so critically needed in reaching people for Christ. Can we begin to imagine the impact of Petrino’s decisions on his family, staff, athletes, fans and countless others? It will be difficult to overestimate. What’s worse is that moral failures are not isolated to college football; it’s occurring in most sports around the world. Petrino and many other coaches and athletes have become heroes or role models. Unfortunately, Coach Petrino’s choices will serve as a negative example. What if someone had helped him to know and follow Jesus?
This is why Karen and I serve with the Global Sports Team of Athletes in Action (AIA), the sports-based ministry of Cru. Since 1967, AIA has been sharing the good news, discipling athletes and coaches, and challenging them to use their influence to advance the kingdom of God. Our mission is to have a Christ-follower on every team, in every sport, in every nation. To fulfill this mission, AIA is winning athletes, coaches and sports fans to Christ, and they are changing the world.
Since athletes are heroes, those who know Jesus have unprecedented opportunities to be His ambassadors, and WE together with YOU, our ministry partners, get to help facilitate that.
If you want to learn more about AIA, our ministry or how to make a difference, go to Eternal Investments and contact us.
In January we asked you to lift up AIA’s 2012 Super Bowl Breakfast. (Give Life this …) Thank you for being a part of giving life to many and providing hundreds the opportunity to accept Christ or grow in their walk with Him. We praise God so many people will be able to look back at this weekend and celebrate how their lives were changed. Below you will find a quick summary:
- People attending: 2,000
- Decisions made for Christ: 57
- Wanted more info about a relationship with Christ: 340
- Desired to be in a small group study: 172
- Wanted information about AIA/Sports Spectrum magazine: 112
God continues to bless this outreach over the last 25 years. We are thankful for how the Lord has blessed Bart and Cherry Starr, the strength of AIA’s and the NFL relationship, and how the award winners have truly stood for Christ and His character.
John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, experienced his first Breakfast and participated in the program. He said, “It was a great experience for our family and we enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for encouraging me to do it. It is a good reminder also of the opportunities to do so many good things according to where the Holy Spirit leads us. Definitely was fun!”
You can learn more at Super Bowl Breakfast Features Tribute to Several NFL Greats.
“I never really experienced living until I received Christ as Lord,” Neil Konitshek said. When he was 32, God reached into the darkness of his life and provided light. (His Story)
Konitshek was a successful real estate agent in San Diego, but he knew his life was empty. He was invited to the 1988 Super Bowl Breakfast where Joe Gibbs, then head coach of the Washington Redskins, was the keynote speaker. Along with testimonies from NFL athletes, the program included an invitation to enter a personal relationship with Jesus Christ given by Gibbs himself.
Konitshek had no idea what was coming. “At the breakfast, it really hit me. Joe Gibbs spoke about his family and the important things in life. Here I was losing my wife and kids because of my behavior, but I didn’t want to admit that.” When Gibbs led the audience in the prayer, Konitshek accepted the invitation. The next day, he says, he felt a true change in his heart.
Konitshek is currently active in a local church and often participates in street evangelism or outreaches in the city’s bustling nightclub scene. He knows the results might not be seen quickly, but he trusts God is at work. (Source: Teresa Young, AIA Communications)
Please lift up this event and all who attend Feb 4 at 8AM! Countless lives will be changed forever and we can partner in this work.