Into the Harvest Field


The fall is a time of beginnings. It’s a time of birthing new ministry. Over the summer, Karen was privileged to disciple/coach six of over 60 new staff who started their ministry this fall. It’s quite a journey to finish their training and financial support. It requires true faith and commitment. You can get a glimpse into their journey by reading “I’d Have Been Lost …”.

Karens 2017 Interns, 4 of 8

Left to Right: Kendal, Lexi, Karen, Emma, & Lauren at AIA’s New Staff Fall Retreat (Mindy & Caitlin not pictured)

So where are they now? Karen’s interns are now serving at San Diego State U.(Kendall), GA Southern U.(Lexi), MI State U.(Emma), MN State U. Moorhead (Mindy), the U. of MN (Caitlin) and Chicago Metro (Lauren) which includes Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola and Roosevelt Universities.

Your prayers and financial support of our ministry are multiplying laborers for the harvest all over the country!

Lauren is serving with the Chicago Metro team. Through the process of raising her support, God revealed money as an idol when she realized she had a tighter grip on money for her security than she thought. Now God is enabling her to become more generous and to fully trust His provision.

DePaul U. hasn’t allowed the use of the name Athletes in Action and has not allowed staff to be on their campus, so ministry has had to be done off campus, but Lauren is in a unique position. As a DePaul alum, she will have unprecedented access to her own former teammates and coaches, and she will be able to serve and minister on her campus. She is already discipling five girls and reaching out to five different teams. Last year there was a presence on only one team. Please pray that through her influence many spiritual generations will be raised up at DePaul.

IMG_8635.jpg WeStillDoLast month was our 30th anniversary, and this month we celebrated by attending a Family Life marriage conference. As our supporters, you can attend a Family Life conference at 75% off from now until August 2018 by using the code CruThanks at checkout. (Family Life is a Cru ministry just like AIA.)

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

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

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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.

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.

The Hill of Transformation / May 2012 Newsletter


None of them were ready for the day, the final leg in the UTC Special Journey.  It would be a one-mile run up a steep hill in the Colorado Mts.  All 150 of them knew it was coming. After days of intense physical and mental training with their teams, focusing on AIA’s 5 Principles, it was time for the challenge.  But they did not know how it would change everyone involved.  This final leg was on their own and would require all they had left to give and more. Halfway through, everyone was dealing with their pain by crying, praying and singing.  Then there was Alex, who injured his hip earlier.  His heavily wrapped hip was already pulsing with pain and he was moving much slower than everyone else.   However, he was determined to finish.  Halfway through, Alex dropped to on one knee, exhausted.  All hearts sank, but then someone yelled, “God’s got this, Alex.  Let Him finish it.”  His AIA trainer ran alongside saying, “Who’s with you?  Who’s running with you? Who’s running for you?”  Everyone started cheering.  When Alex finished the course, he collapsed into the arms of his teammates. The UTC experience served to magnify several times over what Christ endured for us.   The event culminated in worship with total peace, surrender, and joy.  (Story adapted from an AIA UTC 2012 blog posting)

Please review our prayer page and support needs links and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  May 2012 to print a hard copy newsletter.

Breaking through the Spiritual Darkness!


Europe, once the custodian of the gospel of Jesus Christ, has been actively rejecting the truth of God’s Word for centuries.  The continent is now essentially beyond unbelief and now Christophobic.  Only 21% of the population considers faith in Christ to be relevant with less even less attending worship weekly.  To make matters worst, clergy across the continent generally do not believe in the Resurrection nor the virgin birth of Christ.  Europe’s rise and fall has been clearly tied to the health of the church, but more importantly to the faith of its people in Jesus Christ’s love and sacrifice for them.

Into this darkness, AIA’s Global Sports will be sending four projects that will be sharing the love and relevance of God’s message of salvation in:

The key is meeting people at their point of need and showing them uncommon love and compassion.  The mission is clear, and millions of lives are a stake for eternity, as are countless generations to come.  How can we as individuals make a difference?

Ask the Lord if you know anyone who would have an interest in being a part of these projects through prayer, finances, or volunteering with the project.  If so, forward this posting.  Thank you so much for your partnership with us and AIA’s Global Sports.

God’s Not-so-secret Weapon in Sports


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

Two Days in September


On September 28th and 29th the AIA US Global Team met to come before the Lord and trust Him to reveal our role in fulfilling His Great Commission next year.  These two days were the genesis of what the Lord will accomplish in 2012 through our ministry.  Our team’s major goals in fielding projects around the world are to:

  • pioneer in countries where little or no ministry exists
  • aid international staff with established ministries

One example from last year’s planning was the East Africa project in Kenya and Rwanda.  By God’s grace, 1,200 people were exposed to the Gospel, 80 people committed their lives to Christ and 33 AIA volunteers committed to disciple others with help from AIA staff.

As AIA staff, we will help with project planning, development, and fulfillment; however, God works primarily through our volunteers, who become the face of Jesus Christ in this life-changing ministry.  Your partnership with us will help to provide these volunteers with unprecedented opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ. We, together with you, will help facilitate this ministry.   Thank you for being partners with us in sharing the gospel around the world!

Please pray for:

  • the Lord’s lead in developing our 2012 projects
  • our volunteers as the Lord prepares them
  • project resources
  • AIA staff as they develop each project
  • Rick and Karen to complete our support team (our status)