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.

“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives …”

‘Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless.  God’s love is still working.  He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.’”  Eric Liddell

During the 1924 Olympics, England’s Liddell was favored to win gold in the 100 meters.  Then the heats were moved to Sunday.  No big deal right?  Not for Liddell.  He reserved Sundays for worship and rest to honor the Lord.  Liddell voluntarily withdrew, despite the consequences.  Ultimately, Liddell won two medals in the 200 and 400 meters.  See Liddell’s story in the movie Chariots of Fire.

Now, eighty-eight years later, Liddell’s legendary character and faith have become the inspiration for the first More Than Gold Legacy Breakfast held at the 2012 Olympics.  Athletes in Action co-sponsored the event which honored Debbie Flood and Bryan Clay for their character, sports excellence, and faith in Christ, as the first recipients of the Eric Liddell Award.  Several other Olympians also shared.

Depending on your source, 300 – 550 people heard how faith in Christ is far more important in life than medals and fame.  Only 300 out of 10,000 Olympians received a medal, but all will be heroes back home.  It’s our hearts desire that these heroes will be seen looking up to God as they live out their lives back home.

What appeared to be a disaster for Eric Liddell, God continues to use to His Glory.

Uniquely Impacting the World / August 2012 Newsletter

“I realized how dramatically sport can facilitate growth and change. It’s a tool God provided me that had the capacity to help me uniquely make a difference in the world.”  (Jessica)

Right now, a team of collegiate women basketball players is spreading fire seeds in the spiritual darkness of Europe, specifically in the  Czech Republic.  They are participating in pre-season conditioning, on-the-court drills, and scrimmages with professional women players from the Czech Republic.  They will have Bible studies and a great deal of hang out time together.  You can join this team over the week by lifting them, and all those they interact with, in prayer.  You can follow the team’s blog here.

Your prayers will have a vital role, not just in the lives of the Czech players and coaches attending the project, but also in the lives of girls who comprise the AIA mission team.  Don’t take my word for it;  take a minute to hear from Jessica and others who shared from the 2010 project there.

God has a unique plan for each of those attending the 2012 project, just as you saw in this short snippet from two years ago.  God is truly working in the most difficult parts of the world to reconcile this world to Himself again.  See the bigger picture at Breaking through the Spiritual Darkness.

Thanks for your partnership in our ministry with AIA’s Global Sports Teams.  My role includes facilitating communications and logistical support for projects just like this one around the world.

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

“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.

Connecting people to God’s work

Do you remember the moment?  That moment of discovery when you realized you would never be the same? In an instant, God opened your eyes to the revelation of living your life for His Glory.

For me, it happened not only when I accepted Christ, but when I realized that my talent for problem solving in business could be used for God’s plan of reconciliation.

For Kenya, it was his role of sharing the gospel during a project.  “That experience was very powerful and life-changing as I obtained the boldness for the Lord that is with me today.  I had the privilege and responsibility to share how I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”

For many others, it was the day they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

My role as the Communications/Logistics Manager for Athletes in Action’s (AIA) Global Sports Teams gives me (Rick) a small role that will contribute to over 30 missions projects each year.  These projects connect hundreds of college athletes and adults to a life-changing experience of sharing the gospel around the world.    What a privilege it is to use the gifting God has given me in His service.  Just as important is your role as a ministry partner.  Your gifts and prayers result in countless changed lives each year.  Together, we are a part of God’s plan for reconciliation.

Want more details about how we are working together click on our new blog page “Our Role“.

We need one more piece!

In three weeks the world will be focused once again on the Summer Olympics from July 27 through August 12.  Approximately 12,000 sports heroes from over 200 countries will be competing in over 300 events for sports glory.  Each of them will become leaders in their home countries.  AIA staff and volunteers have been preparing for quite some time, but we still need one more piece for our team to be ready.

                                         What’s the missing piece?

Aaron W. Carter 2012

We need prayer warriors who will lift up each Olympian, praying for God to work in the life of each person to accomplish His plan of reconciliation for the world.  James tells us that the prayer of a righteous person is “powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) When we fail to pray, we limit God’s blessing by our own weaknesses. James said, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2)   Just as Moses prayed in Exodus 32, YOU have an opportunity to save the lives of many by asking the Lord to draw them into a relationship with Him.

How can you make a difference?

Click on Prayer Partner Sign-Up to be given several Olympians you can pray for by name.  You will also find resources such as a Prayer Card that can be shared with your friends

 at church,  and  access to AIA’s 2012 Prayer Guide where you can learn more about the  ministry strategies being used at the London Summer Olympics.  You can even follow along as staff and volunteers share through our Olympic Team Blog.

What will be the impact? / June 2012 Newsletter

We will never know the full impact of June 2012 this side of eternity;  however, God does.  By the time you read this post, seventeen missions projects will have been fielded by AIA’s Global Sports Teams.  They included hundreds of volunteers sharing the gospel in thirteen different countries.  These projects involved five different sports with two using a multi-sport format.  This month alone, Sports Teams conducted ministry operations in South Asia, East Asia, the USA, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mongolia, Brazil, Ghana, Zimbabwe, the Middle East, Mexico, Poland, and the United Kingdom.  In fact, this summer Global Sports Teams will be sending over 400 volunteers to 27 countries on a total of 41 missions projects.  We praise God for all He will accomplish this summer through these efforts!

Karen and I are excited about all the possibilities as God works in the lives of volunteers, athletes, coaches, and everyone who heard the gospel message.  Countless connections and relationships will be built by divine appointment.  Who will God raise up as messengers of His love in these countries?  What opportunities will they have and who will hear that same message through their actions?  Over the next several months we will be sharing  some of the countless stories of God’s work of reconciliation.

We are privileged to have an assignment that allows us to assist in the fielding of these projects.  You have a part as well, as you partner with us in prayer and financial support.  Thank You!

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