“Don’t come to my funeral when I die!” / May 2013 Newsletter

With your partnership, AIA is taking Dont come to my funeral, Picture 1the 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 Dont come to my funeral, Picture 2attend 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.

Dont come to my funeral, Picture 3“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.

For the least of these… / March 2013 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 The least of these, Kibera Slum 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 One Hole Course, little girlteaching 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!One Hole Course Gallery  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“?

Smilebox_612347981You 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.

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.

1 Million watched them in person!

Source: Reuters

A million spectators attended the trials and finals of the men’s and women’s road cycling races at the 2012 Olympics.  Cycling as a sport and recreational outlet continues to grow in popularity.  In the US, it’s strongest growth is in the larger cities and in the western states, especially among 25 to 64-year-old men.  So how popular is cycling?  Who does not know Lance Armstrong?   Yet, according to a 40 year veteran AIA staffer, “cyclists are the biggest unreached group in the world of sports.”

Source: Oakley.com

Imagine how many lives might be touched with the message of God’s love if Lance Armstrong were a Christ-follower?  Be encouraged; God is moving.   He has raised up an insider to this world who is starting a ministry through AIA Global Sports.

Todd competed in the world of cycling for six years before God called him into a ministry to his fellow athletes.  He is keenly in touch with the pioneering reality surrounding God’s call to this sport.  “Cycling is a very ego-driven sport

Source: BBC

because you are out there on your own and these guys have sacrificed so much of their lives in training for this sport that it is hard for them to rely upon anyone or anything other than themselves.”  However, Todd has connections to a  small core of talented upcoming cyclists who are Christ-followers.  This is critical to have an impact in cycling.  You must start at the top with the heroes everyone is trying to emulate.

We will share more about this new ministry.  In the meantime, please pray for Todd and all those who are stepping into this pioneering ministry.

Their reaction was worth the entire trip! / October 2012 Newsletter

It was the last day of the Ugandan Girls basketball project and they were helping at the Peace for Children Africa (PCA) orphanage.  The PCA was one of the places the project served between the scheduled basketball-related outreaches.  You can catch more about the project at “What about right now?” and AIA 2012 Ugandan Project“.  The orphans were excited to thank the team by showcasing their singing, dancing and acrobatic skills.  They were outstanding!  Afterward, our team gathered to give the kids one last gift.  Each child was invited by name to receive a backpack as the team sang “Mighty to Save”.  For us, this is not a big deal, but to them, it was huge because their reaction was worth the entire trip!  You could tell they were not expecting anything.

You may know the saying”We are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.” Faith is what saves us and it’s  always connected with good works.  This is why AIA’s Global Sports includes as much physical aid as possible for projects.  The gospel message comes in many forms, and compassion aid is a critical part of our projects.  AIA Global Sports is very mindful that sports activity is a doorway through which the life-changing message of the gospel moves.  Why use sports?   Nelson Mandela said it the best, “Sport has the power to change the world.  It has the power to inspire in a way that little else does. ”  Want to know more about AIA compassion aid? Click here.  Thanks, Katie for your help!

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