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.
For the Rogers family, May has already been both exciting and perplexing and it’s only half over. Our family eagerly anticipated its arrival because Andrew was graduating from The King’s College and we all joined him to celebrate in New York City. We had the chance to meet Andrew’s professors and fellow students and see some of his world. It was a great weekend! There were 60 graduating seniors and their families, all sharing their journey to this milestone. Can you imagine all these stories coming together to make up the class of 2012 story?
However, that week, Hannah, a long-time friend of the family, passed away. Even though Hannah was a few years older, she and Erica were great friends because they walked a similar path in life. Within 36 hours of returning from NY, Karen, Erica, and I found ourselves traveling so Erica could speak at Hannah’s life celebration. (Our friends, Blaine & Judy, Hannah’s parents)
Erica & Hannah’s sister, Heather
It’s interesting and perplexing how God allows such different stories to be lived out simultaneously. However, God has blessed it, and we are storytellers living part of God’s story of redemption and reconciliation. Regardless of how great or broken our stories are, God delights in each one. They are unique views into His Story that we will hear in eternity. Are you ready to tell your story to others? It may be the story that opens the door to the very heart of God for someone.
An important area of focus for projects like the one in East Africa is to assemble a team who can continue building the ministry after the project. To that end, AIA put on a basketball coaches’ clinic in Rwanda.
As the clinic began, two coaches were asked to demonstrate passing techniques. Coach Evelyn had a funny expression on her face during the demonstration. Later our staff asked her why. Evelyn shared that her family was killed by Hutus during the genocide of 1994, leaving her and her baby for dead. When coach Evelyn walked into the gym, she saw one of men who killed her family 18 years before. Incredibly, through God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, Evelyn was able to forgive him. Then, God allowed the impossible to be done. She was asked to demonstrate passing drills with this man who had killed her family! At that moment, God completed a reconciliation between Coach Evelyn and this man. Coach Evelyn later said, “In that moment I realized God had removed my bitterness and I had completely forgiven this man and the others.”
We are finding what sustains us today is God’s grace. We are realizing how ungracious we are, but the love of Christ is the key to seeing the truth. Jesus gave us life because He loved us. (1 John 3:1) He was kind and gave to us freely. (Eph 2:1-7) As we live life, we also pick up burdens, but Jesus said, “Come to me and I will give your rest. “ From the fullness of His grace Jesus gives us one blessing after another. (John 1:16) Grace, then, brings dignity to life and removes the shame that paralyzes us. (Romans 5)
Out of the Mouths of our Babies
As Karen hands Aaron the educational back of a cereal box at breakfast, Aaron: “Oh no you don’t, I see how it is, I see what you’re up to. I’m going to LEARN something.”
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