Perfectly Chosen!


Ashley, an AIA staff member, just returned from a Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 9.18.22 AMvolleyball mission trip she directed in Asia. At the end of their trip, the team of college students took time at a hostel to process and debrief the week: the good, the hard and the divinely inspired.

As the director, it was special for Ashley to look back and to hear the team examine and share their stories, laugh about funny things that occurred and prepare together to head back home, different from this experience. “We talked about what God showed us that we want to take home and bring into our everyday lives.”  “This group was unique and perfectly chosen by God.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 9.18.37 AMGod chose this team for His purposes in each of their lives and on their mission field, but that’s just one project. We watch God do this 30-40 times every year! Three projects have already completed His purposes in 2017 and two are in the field with many more to come.

God hand-selects each team, and every one is different. Just ask the AIA staff members who direct each trip, and they will tell you the stories of how God knits together and designs each team uniquely for His purposes.

Some team members are well-known for their abilities; some Ao1 Imagedon’t yet know the Lord. Most want an opportunity to make a difference in the world, regardless of their skill level, by trusting God to show them how to worship Him through their love of sports. Normally, the team members have never met before, but they finish their project with a lifelong bond. Everyone ultimately learns it’s all about serving for an Audience of One.

Each team has a number of roles that must work together to accomplish their mission. Among them are those who ask the Lord for wisdom, protection, and guidance as the team prepares and goes into the field. Here is where you can join over 30,000 others annually who follow/pray and share AIA’s projects. By visiting, praying and sharing AIA’s team blogs on Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 1.31.36 PMsocial media, you can be not only part of our ministry team, but that of 30 to 40 others as well. We can only imagine how God will use your prayers and sharing in your world and for these teams. Click the image to visit.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following: March 2017 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.

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The Power of US!


In our last newsletter Why We’re Here, we shared why AIA repurposed athletesinaction.org. One reason was to provide encouragement and material to help believers impact their world with the light of the gospel and make a difference in the lives they touch.

The body of Christ is also in a historic position. Today, over two billion people have smart phones. We can reach them directly with unfiltered material, but as always, it’s up to the body of Christ to take the message to them.

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How does this work?  On November 23, 2016 athletesinaction.org posted “7 Habits of a Grateful Athlete.” The post was seen 20,000 times. It has also been reposted a few times, because it contains timeless material.  Two weeks ago, a few people shared the post AND why it resonated with them,  some on Facebook, others by email.  The difference was their testimony about why the post was meaningful to them.

Here are just two examples:

“I had this article emailed to me this morning by a close friend. It’s a short, but powerful read on “Grateful Athletes”. If you have a free moment, take a minute to read it. These are some of the exact things we’re trying to teach to all of our wrestlers from Kindergarten through Seniors every day. For those of you who don’t know who the lady is in the photo, that is Helen Maroulis. She is the first US female to ever win a gold in Freestyle wrestling, which she did this last summer in Rio.”

“Grateful athletes.  This article touches on a lot of the conversations the coaches touched on this weekend.”

This process happened over and over because the post was relevant to them and they took a moment to share it with their family, friends, and coworkers.  The post has been shared 13,000 times and seen over 109,000 times.

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That is the power of US, the body of Christ working together to impact our world by sharing God’s word and wisdom as we live our lives.  Join the team by following us on Facebook or visiting athletesinaction.org.

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world!  Thank you.screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-3-56-54-pm

On the family front, please pray for Karen’s family.  Karen’s father went home to be with the Lord last month.  You can read the piece written by Karen on Facebook by searching Paul Gohmann, Sr., 1931.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following: February 2017 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.

Why We’re Here


It seems we are constantly bombarded with news of immoral, destructive actions by famous sports personalities. As believers in Christ, we wonder how to respond and how we can discuss these issues in a way that reveals the light of Christ.
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People usually get this news digitally, since 72% of Americans get their news on mobile devices. Half those people will read at least a portion of an article’s content. Then those questions come to mind.

aia-digital-bottom-menu-nov-2016Just like you, Athletes in Action (AIA) has been witnessing our culture’s moral decline and its impact. In late 2014, God gave AIA the vision to make a difference in today’s digitally-driven world by assisting the body of Christ to have a relevant answer that will bless everyone, thus drawing people to God’s ultimate answer, a personal relationship with Him! Read more about this initiative at athletesinaction.org/about and athletesinaction.org/its-time.

Early in 2016, athletesinaction.org was repurposed to be a light for Christ on the world’s digital hillside. (Matt 5:14-16) AIA publishes daily devotionals and a weekly Under Review piece addressing a relevant issue in the world of sports like:

Why Athletes Underperform for Coaches Who Use Fear

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(10/30/16) While fear used to be the sole driver behind Halloween, over the decades it’s become an event that ranges far beyond simple boogey-man tactics.  

Depending on your age demographic, halloween is an opportunity to dress up to get as much sugar as possible, give away as much sugar as possible, or, on college campuses, an opportunity to dress up vixenly to garner attention from the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our sports culture today, I would argue that fear is often still the primary driver at every level of play among coaches trying to motivate performance. It’s really time for this to change….  Read More

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Each piece on the website prompts readers to think more deeply, share their thoughts, read other relevant material and get biblically sound help.

Karen and I are both part of a small team of staff who are contributing to this effort. In just nine months, athletesinaction.org has had over 500,000 digital conversations with people from over 200 countries!

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world! Thank you.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following: November 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

48 – 0


48 – 0, Not the Big Story!

Team USA’s on-the-field performance wasn’t team-usa-football-china-storythe 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)

dagostino-instagram-post-imageCan 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!fall-tour-team-photo

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.

23 Changed Lives


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:

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“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 .

Family News

Walking Ellie to AlterThis 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.

Ellie, Austin, Karen
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.

Elizabeth at OU

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.

Healing, Cru15, and Digital Strategies


Healing: We are delighted to tell you Elizabeth is finally recovering after almost three years of headaches, dizziness, nausea Elizabeth, Aug 21, 2015and 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, cru640x360CRU15:  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:

Ministry Update Cru15

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.

 

Concussions, graduations, teenagers, and dependence


Family Life

Concussion, Therapy, College Graduations, Teenagers, Dependence. These words sum up the Rogers family experience.

June 2015 Word MapConcussion & Therapy: While Elizabeth is better, she has significant retraining for her brain ahead. The journey will be very difficult, but doable according to the doctors.

College Graduations: We rejoiced to see Erica graduate from OSU and Emily from Tiffin U., both magna cum laude. Emily is working to obtain a TESOL certification to teach English in South Korea and Erica started with Franklin Co. Social Services the week after graduation!

Teenagers: For most of you, no further explanation is needed. Life is full of school and social activities, and of course, driving almost everywhere.

Dependence on the Lord: We (Rick & Karen) have been living a Romans 5 experience, teaching us that suffering produces good results in us when we will choose to trust the Lord through it. Suffering leads to endurance and on to proven character, resulting in hope, thus preparing us for future service.

Ministry Life

Karen: She continues to write and edit written, and an ever-increasing amount of digital content for AIA. She has been discipling and coaching a group of interns who will be sent into the harvest field with AIA this fall.

Rick: He moved in a new leadership role focusing on digital communications. In order to reach those under 40 with the gospel or pursue/equip those in the sports world, you must do it digitally. If you don’t exist on websites, social media or email, you don’t exist! When people have questions, they find answers through “Google” or through relationships on social media. Digital communication is the 21st century equivalent to the Gutenberg Press in fulfilling the Great Commission. Rick is co-managing content for AIA’s athletesinaction.org, Facebook and Twitter pages and administrating AIA’s Team Blogs.

You are a vital part of this ministry, and we are grateful! The best news of all is our partnership can grow significantly in the coming years. Stay tuned!

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:   Jun 2015 to  print a hard copy newsletter.