Teach Me to Do That!

When Hailey was in high school, her friend Brinna shared the gospel with her, and she gave her life to Jesus. They became roommates when Hailey started at Wright State University, where she ran cross country and Brinna played soccer.

Brinna, Oct 2019

Brinna introduced Hailey to Amy, an AIA staff member, who began personally helping Hailey to grow in her relationship with God through one-to-one and group discipleship meetings. During that process, Amy says, “I saw Christ change Hailey from the inside out. I was pleased to see the internal fruit of personal growth as much as the external fruit of leading other girls to Christ.” By her sophomore year, Hailey told Amy she wanted to learn how to do what Amy had done with her so she could also disciple other girls.

In Hailey’s junior year, a group of freshman students came in who were eager to grow spiritually, and she was excited to put into practice what Amy had taught her by leading her own discipleship group. The next summer, Hailey accepted the opportunity to share her faith cross-culturally by participating in Xtreme Challenge Puerto Rico, a two-week, coed sports training camp hosted by AIA. There, students learn and apply AIA’s five principles, and learn how to play their sports for the glory of God as an act of gratitude and worship.

Brinna and Girls, Oct 2019

When she returned from that life-changing experience, Hailey was so energized by the opportunity to speak words of life to college athletes that she began considering full-time ministry. Her senior year, Hailey poured her energy into discipling Victoria, to whom she passed the baton, and who is now leading the cross country women’s discipleship group that Hailey had led. Hailey plans to continue ministering to athletes by joining the staff of AIA in January.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following: October 2019 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.

Praise God for new laborers like Hailey who are pouring out their lives to reach this generation for Christ! We appreciate your partnership. We love you!


74 Days this summer

This summer Athletes in Action will have at least one missions project in the field from May 15th to August 27th. . There will be 40 teams serving in 30 countries from New Zealand to South Africa to Poland. Right now, Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 9.20.12 AM.pngthe Poland Basketball and Ivory Coast Volleyball teams are conducting their training camps in Xenia. In addition, our men’s soccer project to Portugal and East Asia basketball teams are in country. Get a glimpse into their mission by going to Goaia.org’s Opportunity Blog. My role continues to be providing financial/operational insights to help each team complete their mission.

Our basketball ministry just put on a Men’s Captain’s Academy where 21 athletes spent five intense days learning how to integrate their faith and love of basketball to help them Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 9.22.10 AM.pngbecome not only leaders on their teams, but to become all God wants them to be for life.

In June and July there will be Ultimate Training Camps and leadership projects on our Xenia campus. I (Rick) am blogging for the high school Ultimate Training Camp (UTC), June 24th-30th.  Last year 28 of 75 athletes accepted Christ! Follow this year’s project now at Goaia.org’s High School UTC and ask the Lord to change the lives of those attending the 2018 camp.

On the homefront, we celebrated Annie’s graduation from Eastern Michigan U., and Aaron is finished with high school. Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 9.59.42 AM.pngWe have also been working the last few months to sell our home and downsize. We plan to list May 31st and then live in an apartment for at least a year. As of August 1st our new address will be 4300 Sedge Lane, Hilliard, OH 43026.

Your support impacts countless lives with the gospel every day!

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

Click the following: May 2018 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.

Achieving their highest potential

Coach Rob: I’ve seen players and coaches develop as disciples due to AIA … helping Christian players achieve their highest potential, using their platform to promote Christ.

Coach Rob’s statement sums up Sports TEAM’s 2017 ministry year! We fielded 32 different mission projects in 19 countries, including the U.S. These projects involved competitive teams, coaching clinics, Ultimate Training Camps or leadership academies, based on the needs of the ministry team we were serving.

Sports TEAM Staff Retreat 2017

Sports TEAM Staff @ John Bryan Park (Rick, 2nd row, 3rd from left)

Our biggest impact is changed lives. Coach Kara explains, While it’s been five years ago, the experience we had together will forever impact the way I coach and develop the culture among my current athletes. God did amazing things through these teams: they shared the gospel with over 400 individuals one-on-one, and nearly 5,000 heard the gospel in group settings. In addition, Sports TEAM had the privilege of training 120 interns. While only God knows how many new names were added to the Book of Life, we know of at least 230 people who gave their lives to Christ.

Our opportunity to impact lives grows as our involvement with coaches and athletes expands. Coach Cranston agrees. Showing athletes and coaches how to use this platform to honor and serve the Lord is special, and Jesus will use you in incredible ways if you’re willing to show up for Him! Over the last two years, AIA has accelerated the development of new camps and academies at the request of many leaders in the sports world.

Coach Matthews told us, “Today’s athlete is slowly getting more and more difficult to coach, and new laws are lessening our rights to be outward with our faith.” Yet God is opening more and more doors to impact our country’s future leaders, because both academic and sports leaders know that without character, their teams and athletes will not reach their full potential now or in the future.

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

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

Opportunity to Impact

AIA’s Men’s Soccer has been invited to assist with this year’s David Villa Academy (DV7) in Valencia, Spain from May 22 – June 7!AIASoccerCrest.jpg

David Villa is the all-time leading goal scorer for Spain’s National Men’s Soccer team.  His training methods are respected worldwide.  AIA’s main role will be assisting with their player development/leadership training.

This is a huge opportunity for AIA to move our coaching skills to the next level while sharing AIA’s Total Athlete Principles with premier youth soccer players in Spain!  The potential impact these players will have over a lifetime, not only in Spain but around the world will be significant.

The project leadership is super pumped about this opportunity.  Let’s get a glimpse of their perspective.

AIASoccerMen.jpg“I am excited for the tremendous opportunity the tour gives our student athletes to be challenged in their faith. Every tour is different, but in the ways that make my heart sing, they are the same in seeing new followers of Christ come alive on mission for our heavenly Father.” Zach

“I have always wanted to combine my passions for sports medicine and sports ministry in a different country, and I am so thankful that God has given me this opportunity. I am also looking forward to being immersed in the Spanish culture and utilizing the Spanish I have learned throughout college.” Melanie

“Using soccer as a way to tell others about Jesus is an amazing opportunity! For me, I see this as a moment to invest and help others, but the reality is, I know that my heart and life will be changed.” JonathanScreen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.06.10 PM.png

You also have an opportunity to make an
impact by regularly (daily 5/22 – 6/7) following and sharing in your world about this project.  You can follow the team and their project at http://teamblogs.athletesinaction.org/soccer-spain-men.  You will also be able to follow on Facebook (Athletes in Action Soccer) and Instagram (aiasoccerusa)

The more we share about the team, the more people will be praying!  Through prayer, God does amazing things.  Don’t you want to be a part?  Please follow the blog, pray, and share through social media or email.  Thank you!

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

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

We may not win another game…

“We may not win another game this year, and I may be a horrible coach,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said, “but if any of Scott Drew, Baylor Coach Quotethese guys leave without knowing Christ, that will be the real loss.” “Winning the game of life is a lot more rewarding than a 40-minute basketball game that’s so temporary,” he said. “To have an opportunity to help be a part of an impact on a young person’s life is the best feeling.” Coach Drew and a team of folks who love, care for, and coach the Baylor men’s basketball team witnessed five players give their lives to Christ and publicly proclaim their faith through baptism! They have been serving with the team for years, seeing a victory here or there and patiently impacting lives by living out their faith. This year, God has chosen to put them in the spotlight. “We don’t force anyone. We had players that came from different religious AIA Basketball Breakbackgrounds,” Drew said. “Our job’s not to judge, our job is to serve. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy. I don’t think we ever make people feel awkward or different or embarrassed that they don’t have the same beliefs or faith.” AIA staff had the privilege of being involved with the team as well. In one quote, Foxsports.com shared that one of the players told a chaplain ”he was miserable and didn’t want to live according to his own plan anymore. A summer trip with the Christian basketball organization Athletes in Action had planted the idea of “playing for God.”

Catch more at “Baylor’s ‘extraordinary’ season has left lives changed” or see another story at “Scott Drew and Baylor best-kept secret left in NCAA Tournament”.  

Your prayers and support allow us to serve with them!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:   April 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.

Going beyond sports / Apr 2012 Newsletter

Last May I had the privilege of serving at an evening filled with real life examples of dedication, love, and humility.  It was a celebration of two athletes who shared God’s transforming power in their lives and the journey of learning to live out their faith daily.  What a contrast to today’s sports headlines.

Frank Reich, one of the inductees, framed the key to his walk of faith this way; “We have all been watching the news about Osama bin Laden. The other day I saw an interview with a former Navy Seal. He said it is all about the men and the mission. I am here to tell you I feel the same way,” Reich said. “Each one of us has challenges we face all of the time. I am praying every day to find strength and courage through God.”  Frank chose to live out his faith daily, and everyone noticed, including Jim Kelly, who gave his life to Christ because of Frank’s example of faith when they played with the Buffalo Bills.   

Frank was sharing with over 400 sports fans and professionals, many of whom will likely not be in a church anytime soon.

Please lift up the 2012 Night of Champions (NOC) to be held on May 12th at AIA in Xenia, OH.  This year’s inductees will be Tamika Catchings and Clark Kellogg.

Together, we are changing lives just like Frank as we live out our faith each day.

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