Principles Matter


Deverin had decided to play basketball for the glory of God, but now he found he couldn’t play at all.

Christian athletes often struggle to combine Deverin in AIA jackettheir faith with their sports. Deverin, a lean, 6’9” basketball player is no exception. When the opportunity arose to put basketball and his new faith together by going on a tour with Athletes in Action, Deverin wasn’t sure he wanted to, but a persistent AIA staff member convinced this former atheist, now a new Christian, to apply.

“I had not counted on God capturing my heart during training camp and changing me.”

During training, Deverin learned The Principles, AIA’s curriculum giving athletes a biblical framework in which participation in sport is an opportunity to worship God. Each of the five principles focuses on a story from the Bible and applies it to sport and competition.

As he competed, Deverin experienced the power of Principle #1: Audience of One, which emphasizes how to worship God while participating in your sport. He learned that God alone is worthy of worship, especially on the ball court where his performance becomes a thank you gift to God.

Determined to be a witness to his teammates on his campus when he returned from the AIA tour, Deverin began to apply The Principles. Then, unexpectedly, he injured his shoulder, a devastating blow for any athlete. But God did something totally unexpected. Rather than use Deverin’s stellar performance on the court, God used his injury and inability to compete to reach Deverin’s teammates.

As Deverin recovered, Principle #4: Hurtin’ for Certain took center court. This principle focuses on God’s purposes for our trials. Because Deverin trusted in God‘s sovereignty, the door was wide open for him to share his faith with his teammates. Then things started to change on his campus. First, his teammates started to attend campus Bible studies, then other athletes from other sports teams, until the group went from 20 to over 200 athletes by the end of the semester.

In Deverin’s own words, “The trip with AIA made me realize what living your faith looks like…It taught me to be humble and surrender myself to God.

Your prayers and support allow us to serve!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page  (latest news on Elizabeth’s condition) and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  Nov 2014 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

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Once we know…


Have you ever experienced meeting someone who expressed compassion or care without any strings attached? Your world,June 2014, Darvin sharing gospel at least for a brief period, might have been transformed. Imagine further that this person traveled thousands of miles to meet you. How would you feel? If you’re like me, you would be wondering what was going on.

Amanda, Kristen, and Gabriel found themselves expressing compassion to a young man recently in Puerto Rico. As he realized they were expressing true compassion, everything changed. Kelsey and Grant were also sharing with four young men, and by the end of the conversation two of them accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

June 2014, Amanda, Kristen, GabrielThese students were part of AIA’s Extreme Challenge project to Puerto Rico – one of 15 missions projects currently underway or recently completed. They are experiencing what it means to be connected to Christ and live out 2 Corinthians 4:6; For God who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Just as Christ has pursued them, they are now pursuing June 2014, Kelsey and Grant
others because of Christ’s love in their lives. The lives of these student athletes have been transformed as well, and they are experiencing an authentic relationship with Christ!  You can click on either image her them tell their story.

These are two of countless encounters for over 400 athletes/coaches serving in 30 countries around the world on at least 35 projects, touching thousands of lives. Together we and you are assisting them by training them on how to share what God is doing through their projects this summer for others to see. See more about these stories at “Fishers of Men” or visit AIA’s Team Blogs.

Your prayers and support allow us to serve with them!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  June 2014  to  print a hard copy newsletter.

Give Them a Voice


Do you remember the summer you were 20? Patrick’s and Aaron’s will be unforgettable! They have never met, but together they are about to take the biggest step of faith in their lives!

Why?Aaron, BKB Basketball

“I want to learn more about ministry and experience it. It’s new to me compared to how I grew up. I want to bring this experience back home and use it in youth ministry…. I can’t wait for it.” (Aaron)
“I am looking forward to being the Sports Information Director for our team. I want to connect with the other players and with basketball players around the country (of Mexico). It’s a trip of faith. I can’t wait to spread the word of God Patrick, BKB Basketballand faith in Mexico!” (Patrick)
They will be joining eight other basketball players and AIA staff for two weeks later in May. Listen yourself at Basketball – Mexico or click on that link on our team blog.

Patrick and Aaron are not alone. They are just two of about 500 athletes, coaches, trainers and volunteers who will be traveling this summer to experience God using their lives to impact thousands with His love and message of salvation through their love of sports.

How can you make a difference?AIA Team Blog Logo

The same way Karen and I are! Pray for them and give them a voice to share what God is doing through their lives and the bold step of faith their team is taking.
You can place the following URL http://teamblogs.athletesinaction.org/ into your web browser favorites and read a blog posting each day. If it encourages you, you can share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.

Your prayers and support allow us to serve with them!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  May 2014   to  print a hard copy newsletter.

We may not win another game…


“We may not win another game this year, and I may be a horrible coach,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said, “but if any of Scott Drew, Baylor Coach Quotethese guys leave without knowing Christ, that will be the real loss.” “Winning the game of life is a lot more rewarding than a 40-minute basketball game that’s so temporary,” he said. “To have an opportunity to help be a part of an impact on a young person’s life is the best feeling.” Coach Drew and a team of folks who love, care for, and coach the Baylor men’s basketball team witnessed five players give their lives to Christ and publicly proclaim their faith through baptism! They have been serving with the team for years, seeing a victory here or there and patiently impacting lives by living out their faith. This year, God has chosen to put them in the spotlight. “We don’t force anyone. We had players that came from different religious AIA Basketball Breakbackgrounds,” Drew said. “Our job’s not to judge, our job is to serve. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy. I don’t think we ever make people feel awkward or different or embarrassed that they don’t have the same beliefs or faith.” AIA staff had the privilege of being involved with the team as well. In one quote, Foxsports.com shared that one of the players told a chaplain ”he was miserable and didn’t want to live according to his own plan anymore. A summer trip with the Christian basketball organization Athletes in Action had planted the idea of “playing for God.”

Catch more at “Baylor’s ‘extraordinary’ season has left lives changed” or see another story at “Scott Drew and Baylor best-kept secret left in NCAA Tournament”.  

Your prayers and support allow us to serve with them!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:   April 2014 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

It’s all about showing up!


For the last three years, Dawn has had roomGirls basketall lay up in her life for only basketball, her boyfriend, and school. Basketball has been good to her by providing an education. Not as much can be said for the boyfriend. Livia, an AIA staff member, has been an athletic trainer at Dawn’s college for the last two years. During that time, Livia has cared for Dawn and her teammates physically, emotionally and spiritually while building relationships with the team and conducting Bible studies.

Dawn has been attending the Bible study the whole time it has been available, but she was only going through the motions. Livia decided it was time to share her Girls basketball dribblingtestimony and the gospel with Dawn before she graduated, so they scheduled lunch together. As they sat down to eat, before Livia could even begin, Dawn blurted out, “I need to have Jesus in my life.” Livia could hardly believe what she was hearing. It turns out that Dawn and her boyfriend were driving on a highway through a bad snow storm when their car spun out right in front of an 18-wheeler; but through God’s grace, the truck completely missed their car. A few more inches and they would have been hit by a 35,000 pound truck. God gave Dawn a glimpse of her own mortality, and because Livia had been sharing the love of Christ with her, Dawn knew exactly whom she needed to talk to. Livia then had the privilege to share the gospel with her, and Dawn prayed to receive Christ.

God is always at work, and we all have theAIA Hoops privilege of being His messengers. I get to assist Livia and others on her team with their operations and communications. You help make that possible with your prayers and gifts. (The names have been changed to provide privacy.)

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:   March 2014 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

Olympic-sized Faith Stories


Sharing Olympic-sized Faith Stories

On February 1, 2014, the Barna [Research] Group reported that Americans believe professional athletes influence society Lauryn Williams 2, cropmore 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

Jesus Film AppAIA 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.

Celebrating life change around the world / Nov 2013 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:  Nov 2013 Quote

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. Ivory Coast Team 2013 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, and2013 Global Sports Highlights 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.