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.
“I want to accept Jesus! It’s the most important thing I’ve learned here.” Mike (not his real name) just finished his first Athletes in Action, (AIA) International Coaches Academy. When asked about the most important thing he learned, he replied “I want to accept Jesus!” Mike and twenty-eight coaches were flying home the next day. They had just completed two weeks of training in coaching philosophy, teaching techniques, principles of leadership, team development, finding sponsorship, and “building the infrastructure” of a successful basketball program. But more importantly, Mike caught the eternal message of the academy–that Jesus loves him and gave His life so Mike could experience eternal life with purpose! Very early the next morning, AIA staff and sixteen coaches witnessed Mike’s baptism. Larry, who also accepted Jesus during the academy (formerly Muslim) also exclaimed, “Next time it will be me getting baptized.”
Watching the life-changing transformation of these men as they accepted Jesus and as Mike was baptized is like witnessing the first Easter weekend. That is what Jesus gave us that first Easter. Thank you for helping make this possible for Mike, Larry and all the men and women whom AIA has had the privilege of assisting this year.
You can learn more about the our last International Coaches Academy at Two weeks that … and Academy Inspires Coaches …
Watch for a special Easter posting to share with your friends!
Two weeks ago we shared about AIA’s 4th Annual International Coaching Academy and asked you to “pray for openness to the truth of Jesus, for those who do not know Him to personally surrender their lives to Him.” Thank you–your prayers have been answered! At the start of the academy everyone was challenged to love one another. Each day, through activities that included team times, devotionals, practices, and training, the Holy Spirit was at work. Coach Kelly, (AIA) was amazed how quickly this group bonded and learned to communicate, even when no translators were present. On Tuesday of week two, the real story of Christ was shared and through this story and a gospel message nine coaches accepted Christ as their Savior! Most of the attendees said they never heard the real story of Christ nor did they know it was possible to combine their faith and love of sports to honor the Lord and share His love with others around them.
Will you now join us in praying again over the coming weeks and months “for the impact they will have on universities around the world?” The enemy will be working diligently to take away what God has accomplished through this academy. These men literally will be in a position to impact generations to come in their homelands.
Four years ago a Muslim basketball player became a Christian during an AIA tournament held in Africa. In 2009, by God’s grace, he attended AIA’s first International Basketball Coaches’ Academy held at our WTRC in Xenia, OH. This month he will attend his third academy! Today, he is the national coach for his West African country, which is predominately Muslim. Through this academy and other AIA training, he has developed his skills as a basketball coach and life coach. As a part of his national program, he leads a Bible study attended by several players. Praise God for all He is accomplishing through young men just like him all over the world.
As of this posting, approximately 40 coaches are attending this year’s academy which will focus on developing their coaching skills and their spiritual life for two weeks. Some are Muslim, and they are fully aware of what the academy is about; however, they have seen coaches who have attended the academy realize a certain level of success when they return to their respective homelands.
Please pray for openness to the truth of Jesus, for those who do not know Him to personally surrender their lives to Him, and for the impact they will have on universities around the world.
Learn more at the Annual International Coaches Academy