Perfectly Chosen!


Ashley, an AIA staff member, just returned from a Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 9.18.22 AMvolleyball mission trip she directed in Asia. At the end of their trip, the team of college students took time at a hostel to process and debrief the week: the good, the hard and the divinely inspired.

As the director, it was special for Ashley to look back and to hear the team examine and share their stories, laugh about funny things that occurred and prepare together to head back home, different from this experience. “We talked about what God showed us that we want to take home and bring into our everyday lives.”  “This group was unique and perfectly chosen by God.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 9.18.37 AMGod chose this team for His purposes in each of their lives and on their mission field, but that’s just one project. We watch God do this 30-40 times every year! Three projects have already completed His purposes in 2017 and two are in the field with many more to come.

God hand-selects each team, and every one is different. Just ask the AIA staff members who direct each trip, and they will tell you the stories of how God knits together and designs each team uniquely for His purposes.

Some team members are well-known for their abilities; some Ao1 Imagedon’t yet know the Lord. Most want an opportunity to make a difference in the world, regardless of their skill level, by trusting God to show them how to worship Him through their love of sports. Normally, the team members have never met before, but they finish their project with a lifelong bond. Everyone ultimately learns it’s all about serving for an Audience of One.

Each team has a number of roles that must work together to accomplish their mission. Among them are those who ask the Lord for wisdom, protection, and guidance as the team prepares and goes into the field. Here is where you can join over 30,000 others annually who follow/pray and share AIA’s projects. By visiting, praying and sharing AIA’s team blogs on Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 1.31.36 PMsocial media, you can be not only part of our ministry team, but that of 30 to 40 others as well. We can only imagine how God will use your prayers and sharing in your world and for these teams. Click the image to visit.

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

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

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The Power of US!


In our last newsletter Why We’re Here, we shared why AIA repurposed athletesinaction.org. One reason was to provide encouragement and material to help believers impact their world with the light of the gospel and make a difference in the lives they touch.

The body of Christ is also in a historic position. Today, over two billion people have smart phones. We can reach them directly with unfiltered material, but as always, it’s up to the body of Christ to take the message to them.

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How does this work?  On November 23, 2016 athletesinaction.org posted “7 Habits of a Grateful Athlete.” The post was seen 20,000 times. It has also been reposted a few times, because it contains timeless material.  Two weeks ago, a few people shared the post AND why it resonated with them,  some on Facebook, others by email.  The difference was their testimony about why the post was meaningful to them.

Here are just two examples:

“I had this article emailed to me this morning by a close friend. It’s a short, but powerful read on “Grateful Athletes”. If you have a free moment, take a minute to read it. These are some of the exact things we’re trying to teach to all of our wrestlers from Kindergarten through Seniors every day. For those of you who don’t know who the lady is in the photo, that is Helen Maroulis. She is the first US female to ever win a gold in Freestyle wrestling, which she did this last summer in Rio.”

“Grateful athletes.  This article touches on a lot of the conversations the coaches touched on this weekend.”

This process happened over and over because the post was relevant to them and they took a moment to share it with their family, friends, and coworkers.  The post has been shared 13,000 times and seen over 109,000 times.

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That is the power of US, the body of Christ working together to impact our world by sharing God’s word and wisdom as we live our lives.  Join the team by following us on Facebook or visiting athletesinaction.org.

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world!  Thank you.screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-3-56-54-pm

On the family front, please pray for Karen’s family.  Karen’s father went home to be with the Lord last month.  You can read the piece written by Karen on Facebook by searching Paul Gohmann, Sr., 1931.

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

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

Why We’re Here


It seems we are constantly bombarded with news of immoral, destructive actions by famous sports personalities. As believers in Christ, we wonder how to respond and how we can discuss these issues in a way that reveals the light of Christ.
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People usually get this news digitally, since 72% of Americans get their news on mobile devices. Half those people will read at least a portion of an article’s content. Then those questions come to mind.

aia-digital-bottom-menu-nov-2016Just like you, Athletes in Action (AIA) has been witnessing our culture’s moral decline and its impact. In late 2014, God gave AIA the vision to make a difference in today’s digitally-driven world by assisting the body of Christ to have a relevant answer that will bless everyone, thus drawing people to God’s ultimate answer, a personal relationship with Him! Read more about this initiative at athletesinaction.org/about and athletesinaction.org/its-time.

Early in 2016, athletesinaction.org was repurposed to be a light for Christ on the world’s digital hillside. (Matt 5:14-16) AIA publishes daily devotionals and a weekly Under Review piece addressing a relevant issue in the world of sports like:

Why Athletes Underperform for Coaches Who Use Fear

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(10/30/16) While fear used to be the sole driver behind Halloween, over the decades it’s become an event that ranges far beyond simple boogey-man tactics.  

Depending on your age demographic, halloween is an opportunity to dress up to get as much sugar as possible, give away as much sugar as possible, or, on college campuses, an opportunity to dress up vixenly to garner attention from the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our sports culture today, I would argue that fear is often still the primary driver at every level of play among coaches trying to motivate performance. It’s really time for this to change….  Read More

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Each piece on the website prompts readers to think more deeply, share their thoughts, read other relevant material and get biblically sound help.

Karen and I are both part of a small team of staff who are contributing to this effort. In just nine months, athletesinaction.org has had over 500,000 digital conversations with people from over 200 countries!

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world! Thank you.

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

Click the following: November 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

48 – 0


48 – 0, Not the Big Story!

Team USA’s on-the-field performance wasn’t team-usa-football-china-storythe biggest story of game. Their off-the-field and between-the-whistle character was the true story. They helped Team China up after hits and always had a positive word for them. They slapped hands with kids and signed autographs. One of the more powerful moments came during halftime, though. Team USA invited Team China to meet up at midfield and prayed for them. The moment wasn’t planned. It was spurred on by an injury to one of Team China’s players.” (Team USA: Rock Stars for Christ)

dagostino-instagram-post-imageCan you image an entire football team playing for Christ? Catch more about their adventure as they participated in the Football – World University Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.

This is just one post among over 700 to-date in 2016, from 35 mission projects on AIA’s Team blogs.  “That the world may know” from John 17:23 is the heart of AIA’s Team Blogs’ purpose.  We are called to “declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.”  (Psalm 96:3)

In order to accomplish God’s desire to share His marvelous deeds and the gospel, today’s reality requires us to do so digitally through websites and social media platforms.  Our strategic opportunity is that the message can go directly to over 90% of those under 40 through their smart phones!fall-tour-team-photo

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support that allow us to help lead these mission teams as they share their faith through projects around the world.  You can also make a difference by helping us share what God is doing through our Basketball fall tour by following and sharing their project in your digital world today.  Their project runs into early November and can be found at Here.

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

Click the following:   October 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

23 Changed Lives


In addition to leading AIA’s Team Blogs, I had the privilege of serving with the Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp (UTC) this summer. Erin, our director, captured our team experience:

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“My team would arrive around 7 and I’d lead them in a staff meeting and prayer time, work on all of the logistics for the day and watch the Lord do His thing in these athletes’ lives until very late into the evening. My whole staff team operated on very little sleep and poured themselves into these athletes all week. I was reminded that all of the planning and hard work that went into this week was worth it. Twenty-three athletes made the decision to trust Christ as their Savior for the first time and are committed to go back to their teams and apply the principles they learned throughout the week. #UTCXenia!”
Over three months, 72 stories were published about the HS UTC. You can witness what God Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp .

Family News

Walking Ellie to AlterThis summer has been quite eventful! Our family witnessed two big events for Ellie and Elizabeth.
On July 30th our family celebrated the marriage of Ellie to Austin. God blessed their day with great weather at the outdoor wedding in Mt. Sterling, OH.

Ellie, Austin, Karen
A few weeks ago, we rejoiced as Elizabeth started a new chapter in her life, one that’s exciting for all students, but exceptional in Elizabeth’s case.

Elizabeth at OU

Most of you know Elizabeth suffered from an extremely bad concussion and missed a year and a half of school. Through much prayer, God’s grace and very a talented concussion medical team at the University of Pittsburgh, Elizabeth is now attending Ohio University. Praise God!

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

Click the following:   Sept 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

You can impact Olympians!


Would you like to be a part of the 2,500-member prayer team who intercedes for Olympians by name?

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix

Prayer team members will be sent the names of five Olympians along with information about their sports and their countries. Click here to join.

There are many ways AIA will be impacting Olympic athletes in Rio this summer: we will have chaplains available to minister to and pray with athletes, we will hold chapel services, and we will distribute our new Struggle and Triumph sports Bible and our new Struggle and Triumph film which is available in 25 languages. You can see and share the 34-minute film for free by downloading The Jesus Film app on your mobile device. This high-quality film features the stories of four Olympic heroes from four different countries who have grown in their faith in Christ through the struggles they have faced.Struggle and Triumph image

Another free resource we have produced is the Struggle and Triumph devotional series available on YouVersion Bible app for mobile devices and pc’s. You can share this 33-day devotional series with young athletes and anyone interested in the faith stories of Olympic athletes. Karen edited these devotions and wrote some of them, too. Because of your partnership with us, we are able to serve the body of Christ. We appreciate you!

Family News

Elizabeths Davidson GraduationThis is a very exciting summer for us. In addition to our regular work of managing AIA Team Blogs (Rick) and writing and editing (Karen), Rick is also blogging with our Ultimate Training Camps for high school students and Karen is discipling and coaching interns who are preparing to serve with AIA for the next year.

Austin and Ellie EngagementIn family news, we rejoiced to watch Elizabeth graduate from high school, which is a miracle we continually thank God for; we are preparing for Ellie’s wedding to Austin Church; and we recently learned we will be grandparents to Erica and Parrish’s first child.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  AIA Newsletter July 2016 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

Purpose, Gratitude and Mobilization


Mobilizing His People to Engage in the Great Commission

Mobilize DefintionAIA’s vision is to see Christ-followers on every team, in every sport, in every nation by using the platform of sports so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus; in other words, the Great Commission found in Matt 28:18-20.

“I am forever grateful”

Ashley was the athletic trainer for the Thailand volleyball tour last summer. She not only cared for the team’s physical needs, but was a great example of someone Ashley Leamobilized to fulfill the Great Commission. It’s hard to tell who benefited more- those she ministered to or Ashley herself. God is doing this across ten other AIA sport teams as well.   (Ashley on right)

Ashley in her own words: “God completely rocked my world through this whole experience….God wanted to grow me in ways I could have never imagined. He wanted me to take a step of faith, trusting only in Him. I am so glad that I decided to take that step of faith… I am completely in awe. God returned me to Himself through this trip….. This experience is something that came at the right time for me, right after graduating. It has shaped my thoughts going forward with my life and career. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.”

Do you remember how Will ended his story? (See October Newsletter)

Wills Journey Image“I’m so thankful for all the amazing things God did in us and through us. Say “yes” to any sort of mission … But I also want to encourage you that you don’t have to travel across the world to make a difference. Wherever you are, you can bring glory to the Lord.”

Making a difference together!

You can make a difference from your Rick and Karen Facebook Pagecomputer, tablet or phone. Start by liking our Facebook page Rick and Karen Rogers and share our posts with your friends. Why is this so critical? (Get the big picture)

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  Nov 2015 to  print a hard copy newsletter.