Have you ever experienced meeting someone who expressed compassion or care without any strings attached? Your world, at least for a brief period, might have been transformed. Imagine further that this person traveled thousands of miles to meet you. How would you feel? If you’re like me, you would be wondering what was going on.
Amanda, Kristen, and Gabriel found themselves expressing compassion to a young man recently in Puerto Rico. As he realized they were expressing true compassion, everything changed. Kelsey and Grant were also sharing with four young men, and by the end of the conversation two of them accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
These students were part of AIA’s Extreme Challenge project to Puerto Rico – one of 15 missions projects currently underway or recently completed. They are experiencing what it means to be connected to Christ and live out 2 Corinthians 4:6; For God who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Just as Christ has pursued them, they are now pursuing
others because of Christ’s love in their lives. The lives of these student athletes have been transformed as well, and they are experiencing an authentic relationship with Christ! You can click on either image her them tell their story.
These are two of countless encounters for over 400 athletes/coaches serving in 30 countries around the world on at least 35 projects, touching thousands of lives. Together we and you are assisting them by training them on how to share what God is doing through their projects this summer for others to see. See more about these stories at “Fishers of Men” or visit AIA’s Team Blogs.
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: June 2014 to print a hard copy newsletter.
Do you remember the summer you were 20? Patrick’s and Aaron’s will be unforgettable! They have never met, but together they are about to take the biggest step of faith in their lives!
“I want to learn more about ministry and experience it. It’s new to me compared to how I grew up. I want to bring this experience back home and use it in youth ministry…. I can’t wait for it.” (Aaron)
“I am looking forward to being the Sports Information Director for our team. I want to connect with the other players and with basketball players around the country (of Mexico). It’s a trip of faith. I can’t wait to spread the word of God and faith in Mexico!” (Patrick)
They will be joining eight other basketball players and AIA staff for two weeks later in May. Listen yourself at Basketball – Mexico or click on that link on our team blog.
Patrick and Aaron are not alone. They are just two of about 500 athletes, coaches, trainers and volunteers who will be traveling this summer to experience God using their lives to impact thousands with His love and message of salvation through their love of sports.
How can you make a difference?
The same way Karen and I are! Pray for them and give them a voice to share what God is doing through their lives and the bold step of faith their team is taking.
You can place the following URL http://teamblogs.athletesinaction.org/ into your web browser favorites and read a blog posting each day. If it encourages you, you can share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.
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: May 2014 to print a hard copy newsletter.
For the last three years, Dawn has had room in her life for only basketball, her boyfriend, and school. Basketball has been good to her by providing an education. Not as much can be said for the boyfriend. Livia, an AIA staff member, has been an athletic trainer at Dawn’s college for the last two years. During that time, Livia has cared for Dawn and her teammates physically, emotionally and spiritually while building relationships with the team and conducting Bible studies.
Dawn has been attending the Bible study the whole time it has been available, but she was only going through the motions. Livia decided it was time to share her testimony and the gospel with Dawn before she graduated, so they scheduled lunch together. As they sat down to eat, before Livia could even begin, Dawn blurted out, “I need to have Jesus in my life.” Livia could hardly believe what she was hearing. It turns out that Dawn and her boyfriend were driving on a highway through a bad snow storm when their car spun out right in front of an 18-wheeler; but through God’s grace, the truck completely missed their car. A few more inches and they would have been hit by a 35,000 pound truck. God gave Dawn a glimpse of her own mortality, and because Livia had been sharing the love of Christ with her, Dawn knew exactly whom she needed to talk to. Livia then had the privilege to share the gospel with her, and Dawn prayed to receive Christ.
God is always at work, and we all have the privilege of being His messengers. I get to assist Livia and others on her team with their operations and communications. You help make that possible with your prayers and gifts. (The names have been changed to provide privacy.)
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: March 2014 to print a hard copy newsletter.
At the recent global sports fall retreat, our team of thirty-four staff members celebrated how God was changing lives and touching hearts of people around the world. One example was the college student who described a tour’s impact on his life like this:
Imagine similar stories repeated after 33 mission projects with competitive teams and sports clinics through seven different sports in more than 20 countries! AIA offers uncommon opportunities for athletes to share their love of Jesus and sports through cross-cultural ministry. Each project enhanced opportunities for ongoing ministry through outreaches and humanitarian aid, and each one helped students learn to share their faith.
It was my (Rick’s) privilege to serve these teams by assisting their missions’ projects, running the AIA team blog site, and managing communication roles for global sports ministry. One of my latest projects was developing materials for our teams during our 2013 Fall Retreat mentioned above. To God be the Glory! Your prayers/support help make this happen!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Nov 2013 to print a hard copy newsletter.
It only seems like a few weeks ago when we picked up Emily and Ellie from Tiffin and OU in May. Even Andrew visited from NYC, while Erica popped in from OSU. Then it was the middle of August and time to get Annie (Senior), Elizabeth (Soph.), and Aaron (8th) ready for school and take Emily and Ellie back to college.
In between, we coordinated getting five people to their jobs, camps, and VBS. Despite the family schedule, God allowed us the privilege of joining Him in some very significant activities over the summer. The following are a couple.
In May Rick began administrating the AIA team blog website where global sports projects share what God is doing through their missions. The site is essentially a town square. The blog historically did not have a dedicated manager, but Rick provided set-up, training, and support. As a result, our site generated a 40% increase in visits this summer, despite down time in July due to our conference.
At our national staff conference, we had the privilege to step back and celebrate what the Lord has been doing in every corner of the globe. Cru president Steve Douglass described this point in history as “the golden age of missions.” Our goal through the 60 different ministries of Cru is to reach EVERY person with the life-giving message of the gospel. At our conference we worshipped, prayed, heard from cutting edge ministers of the gospel and participated in practical, helpful workshops to equip us to share God’s love with an extremely diverse cultural. We will share more soon about our roles and their part in AIA’s 2020 vision for ministry in the coming months. We have the privilege of serving our Lord using the gifts He has given us because of you! Together we are a team serving God with Athletes in Action. Each member is critical to accomplishing the mission, thank you.
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: Sept 2013 to print a hard copy newsletter.
With your partnership, AIA is taking the gospel into the most difficult mission fields and making a difference. Thank you.
“On Saturday, Mom called. One of our relatives committed suicide. So I returned to my small village to honor my family. My brothers and I were approached by local Muslim leaders about why we “betrayed Islam” and became followers of Christ. They pressured us to change our minds. Last year, I was forbidden to attend another relative’s funeral. Funerals are a good chance for Muslim leaders to preach anti-Christianity, scare people and isolate those who accept Jesus.
“Before the traditional Islamic goodbye ceremony, three leaders took me and my brothers aside again to ask us to deny Jesus. We said our decision was made to follow Jesus. Again, they asked us not to attend the funeral. We agreed, but I went to the grave site. About 500 men attended (only men can go). As usual, the Imam declared the Bible had been changed and the Koran was given by Allah as the only true holy book.
“Then he turned to my father and announced to everyone that his sons betrayed Islam and became followers of Jesus. My respected father is now shamed by us. I told my father I was sorry. I can imagine how his heart is broken. Later my father asked, ‘Is it true?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He then asked, ‘Is this more important than life?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ My father replied, ‘Then don’t come to my funeral when I die!’
“Please, pray for my father and those Muslim leaders with the prayer of blessing, I really want them to know Jesus.”
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: to May 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.
Stories from Global Sports East Africa Jan 2013 Golf Project
One of the team’s most vivid memories is from a one-hole golf course outside Nairobi, Kenya where 30 children from the Kibera slum received golf instruction and hope. Despite living in the slum, they gained hope because Athletes in Action (AIA) shared a vision for changing their lives through sports. Golf is very popular in East Africa, and it’s a great platform for teaching discipline and life skills. The children also get out on a beautiful course in the Kenyan countryside every Sunday! Our team taught, played, laughed and shared Christ with these children, so dearly loved by God. That day the angels sang when several placed their faith in Jesus. Five of “the least of these” had their names added to the Lamb’s book of life. Amen! The day ended with a one-hole tournament with all the children cheering and following down the fairway. What a beautiful sight to see! The project also blessed the children with golf clubs through our players and donors. It was a special time all the way to the last putt. This is how AIA’s Global Sports is changing lives throughout the world by supporting our teams like this one in East Africa. There’s much more. Did you catch “Taking it to the next level“?
You are making a difference by supporting us as we develop and manage Global Sports communications. Thank You!
Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: to Mar 2013 print a hard copy newsletter.