48 – 0, Not the Big Story!
Team USA’s on-the-field performance wasn’t the biggest story of game. Their off-the-field and between-the-whistle character was the true story. They helped Team China up after hits and always had a positive word for them. They slapped hands with kids and signed autographs. One of the more powerful moments came during halftime, though. Team USA invited Team China to meet up at midfield and prayed for them. The moment wasn’t planned. It was spurred on by an injury to one of Team China’s players.” (Team USA: Rock Stars for Christ)
Can you image an entire football team playing for Christ? Catch more about their adventure as they participated in the Football – World University Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.
This is just one post among over 700 to-date in 2016, from 35 mission projects on AIA’s Team blogs. “That the world may know” from John 17:23 is the heart of AIA’s Team Blogs’ purpose. We are called to “declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3)
In order to accomplish God’s desire to share His marvelous deeds and the gospel, today’s reality requires us to do so digitally through websites and social media platforms. Our strategic opportunity is that the message can go directly to over 90% of those under 40 through their smart phones!
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support that allow us to help lead these mission teams as they share their faith through projects around the world. You can also make a difference by helping us share what God is doing through our Basketball fall tour by following and sharing their project in your digital world today. Their project runs into early November and can be found at Here.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.
Click the following: October 2016 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.
In addition to leading AIA’s Team Blogs, I had the privilege of serving with the Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp (UTC) this summer. Erin, our director, captured our team experience:
“My team would arrive around 7 and I’d lead them in a staff meeting and prayer time, work on all of the logistics for the day and watch the Lord do His thing in these athletes’ lives until very late into the evening. My whole staff team operated on very little sleep and poured themselves into these athletes all week. I was reminded that all of the planning and hard work that went into this week was worth it. Twenty-three athletes made the decision to trust Christ as their Savior for the first time and are committed to go back to their teams and apply the principles they learned throughout the week. #UTCXenia!”
Over three months, 72 stories were published about the HS UTC. You can witness what God Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp .
This summer has been quite eventful! Our family witnessed two big events for Ellie and Elizabeth.
On July 30th our family celebrated the marriage of Ellie to Austin. God blessed their day with great weather at the outdoor wedding in Mt. Sterling, OH.
A few weeks ago, we rejoiced as Elizabeth started a new chapter in her life, one that’s exciting for all students, but exceptional in Elizabeth’s case.
Most of you know Elizabeth suffered from an extremely bad concussion and missed a year and a half of school. Through much prayer, God’s grace and very a talented concussion medical team at the University of Pittsburgh, Elizabeth is now attending Ohio University. Praise God!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.
Click the following: Sept 2016 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.
Would you like to be a part of the 2,500-member prayer team who intercedes for Olympians by name?
Prayer team members will be sent the names of five Olympians along with information about their sports and their countries. Click here to join.
There are many ways AIA will be impacting Olympic athletes in Rio this summer: we will have chaplains available to minister to and pray with athletes, we will hold chapel services, and we will distribute our new Struggle and Triumph sports Bible and our new Struggle and Triumph film which is available in 25 languages. You can see and share the 34-minute film for free by downloading The Jesus Film app on your mobile device. This high-quality film features the stories of four Olympic heroes from four different countries who have grown in their faith in Christ through the struggles they have faced.
Another free resource we have produced is the Struggle and Triumph devotional series available on YouVersion Bible app for mobile devices and pc’s. You can share this 33-day devotional series with young athletes and anyone interested in the faith stories of Olympic athletes. Karen edited these devotions and wrote some of them, too. Because of your partnership with us, we are able to serve the body of Christ. We appreciate you!
This is a very exciting summer for us. In addition to our regular work of managing AIA Team Blogs (Rick) and writing and editing (Karen), Rick is also blogging with our Ultimate Training Camps for high school students and Karen is discipling and coaching interns who are preparing to serve with AIA for the next year.
In family news, we rejoiced to watch Elizabeth graduate from high school, which is a miracle we continually thank God for; we are preparing for Ellie’s wedding to Austin Church; and we recently learned we will be grandparents to Erica and Parrish’s first child.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: AIA Newsletter July 2016 to print a hard copy newsletter.
Mobilizing His People to Engage in the Great Commission
AIA’s vision is to see Christ-followers on every team, in every sport, in every nation by using the platform of sports so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus; in other words, the Great Commission found in Matt 28:18-20.
“I am forever grateful”
Ashley was the athletic trainer for the Thailand volleyball tour last summer. She not only cared for the team’s physical needs, but was a great example of someone mobilized to fulfill the Great Commission. It’s hard to tell who benefited more- those she ministered to or Ashley herself. God is doing this across ten other AIA sport teams as well. (Ashley on right)
Ashley in her own words: “God completely rocked my world through this whole experience….God wanted to grow me in ways I could have never imagined. He wanted me to take a step of faith, trusting only in Him. I am so glad that I decided to take that step of faith… I am completely in awe. God returned me to Himself through this trip….. This experience is something that came at the right time for me, right after graduating. It has shaped my thoughts going forward with my life and career. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.”
Do you remember how Will ended his story? (See October Newsletter)
“I’m so thankful for all the amazing things God did in us and through us. Say “yes” to any sort of mission … But I also want to encourage you that you don’t have to travel across the world to make a difference. Wherever you are, you can bring glory to the Lord.”
Making a difference together!
You can make a difference from your computer, tablet or phone. Start by liking our Facebook page Rick and Karen Rogers and share our posts with your friends. Why is this so critical? (Get the big picture)
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Nov 2015 to print a hard copy newsletter.
“Let me tell you about my journey (really God’s) halfway across the world. He brought together a group of basketball players from around the country and took us to the Philippines. We knew we would be playing against university and professional teams and doing mission work, but we all discovered our plans pale in comparison to the plans God has for us.
“From the start, we discovered a brotherhood no one could have anticipated, clicking as if we had known each other for years. We were able to go so much further than surface level conversation and shared life together as men. We discovered what it means to be a man of God’s kingdom through His Word and the experiences He took us on. God grew each of us closer to Him and to the life He has for us.
“Sharing the love of Jesus in Manila in a prison, an orphanage, a school and a hospital opened our eyes to what life is really about. Many of us discovered our “why”-our foundational rock on which we will build for the rest of our lives. We discovered we can use our gifts and passions to bring glory to God. Using our play as our worship and our worship as our play, we can use basketball or whatever we do to be a spotlight for Jesus.
“Although our team found success in our games, we were playing for something bigger than the scoreboard. It was so cool to fellowship with the teams after our games and share laughs, God’s love and the gospel story. It was counter-cultural in the realm of sport. It’s amazing that each one of us went on the same trip, did the same activities, and yet God worked in different ways in everyone. He marked us in ways that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
“Personally, I came back with a renewed sense of purpose. God spoke to me and opened up my eyes to see where He is leading. I’m sure all my brothers have stories and experiences that would never have happened if they hadn’t taken this flight of faith to the Philippines.
“I’m so thankful for all the amazing things God did in us and through us on this trip. I encourage you to say “yes” to any sort of mission journey that God presents you with-there is truly nothing like it! But I also want to encourage you that you don’t have to travel across the world to make a difference. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you can bring honor and glory to the Lord and together, He will use us to change the world!” ~Will
Your support enables students like Will to experience God in new ways.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Oct 2015 to print a hard copy newsletter.
Healing: We are delighted to tell you Elizabeth is finally recovering after almost three years of headaches, dizziness, nausea and exhaustion. She will start her senior year next week and will graduate on time with her class. The U. of Pittsburgh Concussion Clinic put her on the road to recovery. The director hadn’t ever seen a patient work as diligently as Elizabeth has! Thank you for praying! God has graciously answered. Please pray she’ll continue to recover and for strength as she returns to school.
Next week Aaron starts his sophomore year in high school, Annie returns to EMU for her sophomore year and Ellie begins her senior year at OSU. Erica started her job as a social worker and recently became engaged! Andrew continues work in NYC as a value-added arbitrage of web traffic (don’t ask—I don’t know what it means either), and Emily is working and pursuing certification to teach English in Korea.
CRU15: Last month, Rick and I attended our biennial staff conference along with 5,000 other staff members from Cru ministries all over the U.S. It was a wonderful time of connecting, worshiping God, hearing challenging messages from godly men and women and learning about exciting new strategies to reach the world with the gospel. The theme “Together” focused on ethnic oneness and partnering with others to spread the gospel. Here is a five-minute update we saw at Cru15 about several Cru ministries:
AIA’s Ultimate Training Camp is featured in the third segment. It was our first partnership with Cru City, and it was held at AIA’s Total Athlete Complex in Xenia, OH, where Rick serves. We’ll share more in subsequent newsletters. Ultimate Training Camp is featured in the third segment. It was our first partnership with Cru City, and it was held at AIA’s Total Athlete Complex in Xenia, OH, where Rick serves. We’ll share more in subsequent newsletters.
Digital Strategies: In June, we introduced AIA’s new digital strategy to more effectively reach those we minister to. Our reasoning: 1 Corinthians 9:23, “for the sake of the gospel!” We must reach the current and future generations where they live! The most exciting part is you can literally join us in sharing the gospel and life-change stories.
Check out the digital/social media platforms on the left. If you are on Facebook, please like our ministry page and start following Athletes in Action’s Ao1 page. You can partner with us by sharing AIA’s ministry with people in your network.
Thank you to everyone who helped us attend CRU15!
For those who still want to help, go to https://give.cru.org/0530568
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: August 2015 to print a hard copy newsletter.
Imagine walking when your brain’s ability to process sensory input lags behind, like when audio and video are out of sync on your TV. Imagine an unstable world where focusing the words on a page is nearly impossible and you have no down dial for volume or brightness; where there are unrelenting headaches, dizziness and nausea, and your heart constantly races 50% faster than normal because your nervous system is just trying to keep up.This is the life our 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth has lived for the past two years since suffering a concussion playing field hockey.
Since then she has endured testing and treatment from many doctors and therapists and has tried meds, therapies and treatments we had never even heard of. The past several months have been filled with appointments and exercises we are to do with her. At this point, school is nearly impossible for her since she can’t read, use the computer or concentrate for more than a short time without worsening her headache. She needs your prayers.
On Monday, October 13th at 5:00 p.m. we are inviting a couple of pastors from our church to anoint Elizabeth with oil and pray with us for her. Would you join us on that day through prayer and fasting for her? You can fast from a meal, all your meals or anything else you are willing to fast from. Jesus said that some things are only accomplished through fasting and prayer. We are not trying to persuade an unwilling God, nor are we attempting to obligate Him by the number of people praying or because of our fasting; we are crying out to a loving Father who created and knows Elizabeth and has good plans for her.
Please pray for:
- complete healing of Elizabeth’s brain
- Elizabeth to allow God to use this trial for good in her life
- wisdom for the doctors and therapists treating her now
- the provision and direction to seek further treatment for her
Your prayers and support allow us to serve! Thanks!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Oct 2014 to print a hard copy newsletter.