We thank God for you!

May God bless you in many ways on this Thanksgiving day!thank-you3

Karen and I continue to thank God for all He has done for us.  Some days, we recognize new ways God is blessing us, while other days we get carried away with all the “things” that need to be done. On this Thanksgiving we want share two thoughts that encourage us.

  • “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.”   1 Thessalonians 1:2
  • “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”  Psalm 106:1

“Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives.  Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.  “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me …. Psalm 50:23” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts) If this thought grabs your heart, take a look at onethousandgifts.com and start your journey of thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?  Please use the comment link below this post so we might share what encourages you with the rest of our ministry team. rickandkaren4


Taking it to the next level / February 2013 Newsletter

Several years ago, God gave What do you see, East Africaa vision for sharing His message of salvation through sports in East Africa.  Our staff responded by faith, and we witnessed the love of God at work, reconciliation and ministry in schools and health clinics changing lives in many settings, not just sports.

In January, AIA Global Sports was back in Uganda developing golf and other local ministry efforts when God decided to “take it to the next level”.  We received word that an official from the Ugandan Olympic Committee (UOC) wanted to meet.  At the meeting, the UOC representative announced Uganda wanted to invite Athletes in Action (AIA) to be the first official partner in developing their Olympic efforts over the next three years.

God has opened the door to assist Uganda in the development of their Olympic efforts in at least seven sports.  In doing this, AIA will be able to share God’s love and message of salvation with thousands of men and women.  According to AIA’s Global Sports Director,”We will help build expertise in athletes and walk along side them in the struggles they have on a day-to-day basis.”

What do you see, East Africa 2Would you please pray for our work in Uganda as well as our other 2013 Projects?  Together, we are making a difference by helping Global Sports staff and volunteers coordinate these projects and connect with those athletes, coaches and adults whom He wants to join us.

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:   to Feb 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.

It is when you are there …

It is when you are there that we are able to serve the Lord and join His work of reconciling this world to Himself.  Your prayers and your support were an integral part of the Its when you are there, Rick and Karenministry of Athletes in Action’s (AIA) Global Sports in 2012.  Because we share a passion for connecting people to Jesus Christ, together we are getting a glimpse of God’s kingdom.   Thank you so much for allowing us to serve with you!!!  You are part of a worldwide caring community  making a difference around the world each day.  Let us encourage you today with a three-minute video showing ministry highlights, and let the Lord remind you that with Him, nothing is impossible.  Take a look:

As we start 2013, take a minute to rejoice in the fact that we have the privilege to make a difference around the world in the lives of men, women, and children in 2013 Opportunities Flyer Jan 9, 1227 countries by fielding 34 mission projects.  You can get an overview of our 2013 projects courtesy of the Sports Performance Team by double clicking on the image, and you can print out a copy to pray over.

My role as Communication Coordinator for Global Sports will place us (you and me) in a position to support each of these projects.  We will be assisting hundreds of men and women to experience the Lord working through them as they share the love of Jesus Christ.  In the coming months, Karen and I will be sharing more about these projects.  Thank you for playing a vital role in the ministry of AIA Global Sports.

“It really touches my heart…”

“This is special that you would give me this thank you card.  It really touches my heart that you would come all this way to thank us.”  A Sports Physiotherapist at the Olympics 

This sports medicine professional’s reply was typical of the response AIA Global Sports staff experienced as they greeted many in the Westfield Mall in London.  It was a place where people celebrated, relaxed, and escaped during their Olympic experience.  It was a safe place to connect with people from all over the world.  AIA staff greeted athletes and sports professionals and handed out small gifts and thank you cards made by the Kardia Foundation, thanking them for their contribution to the Olympic effort.  Our goal was to share God’s love and make connections.  These connections led to conversations with people, such as team physicians from many different countries.  Through these relationships, we pray God will create ministry opportunities to serve these countries through Sports Performance.  In each case, God’s love will be shared while we serve, and conversations about holding future projects within these countries can take place.  It’s through this desire to serve that God will send His message of salvation to many around the world.

You are a vital part of this team by supporting AIA Global Sports.  We appreciate your partnership in the gospel.  Since athletes are heroes to many people around the world, those who know Jesus have unprecedented opportunities to be His ambassadors, and we, together with you, get to help facilitate that.

“What about right now?”

It’s Wednesday (day 10) for the Athletes in Action Ugandan Women’s basketball project.  The team started the day visiting the Peace for Children Africa’s drop-in center. (Photos: Peace for Children)

Joel and Katie started talking with Isman, a fourteen-year-old boy.  As a part of any conversation, staff always ask what they can pray for someone.  They learned Isman had been living on the streets since he was seven and had been visiting the drop-in-center for over six months.  Isman was waiting for a sponsor who will help pay for his school expenses.  Their conversation ranged from football to the Bible.  Isman did not understand that Jesus had died for him.  “Joel explained how Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin because He loves us, and asked Isman if he had ever prayed to thank Jesus for dying for him.  Isman said, ‘No, but I would like to do that sometime.’  Joel asked him when he was thinking he might do that, and Isman basically said he’d do that any day now.  Naturally Joel suggested, ‘What about right now?'”  Read the rest of the story here.

That afternoon their game was played at a Muslim high school for girls.  The opportunity illustrated the power of sports to cross spiritual and cultural barriers so the gospel can be shared.  After the game, all the AIA players gave gifts to the girls from the school and talked about their faith in Christ.

These two stories are just a snippet of what God accomplished on this trip.  Pray for Isman and the growth of so many others.

What’s in a story?

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.

The gospel and the boys of summer

There are still six weeks of school, but it’s already started.  In every park or open field there are boys playing baseball.  For three months,  these boys of summer will practice, compete and learn together.  What an opportunity to build into the lives of these kids who will grow up and ultimately impact every part of our country and beyond.

Athletes in Action is one of the greatest experiences a young man can have. The challenges of baseball are tremendous for growth, but the greatest growth comes in the spiritual side. My son was fortunate enough to play for AIA, and the greatest comment that he had to me was, ‘it was a life-changing experience.’”  Billy Goss, Former NCAA Head Coach

This is why AIA’s Global Sports Baseball invests in the lives of thousands of young men each year in leagues and projects, largely through volunteers.  Since 1980, AIA Baseball has been fielding national and international summer competing teams and has shared the Gospel on nearly every continent.

This summer’s project will be in the Dominican Republic.  Locally, our baseball ministry takes place from little league all the way through college with our Xenia Scouts program in Xenia, OH.

There is a clear and present opportunity to impact the lives of many youth through a local baseball league.  Is there an opportunity for you in your community to share Christ’s love with our future leaders?