“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.
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.
“The impression left by our players is so positive that it makes people wonder how they do it. They are doing such a good job of living out their faith in word and action.” Coach G.
It was evident that God was at work from the very beginning with the Brazilian Basketball Project. Their focus on playing for an Audience of One clearly brought the team together for His purposes. Even before leaving for Brazil, the team played a game in a maximum security prison where they engaged inmates on a personal level. Andrew shared his testimony, and the inmates responded with a standing ovation.
God used this focus on serving Him and each other throughout the project, constantly drawing people to them to find out why the team was so different. The response during the clinics? “The kids loved it. They just love to be close to our guys and they (the AIA team) do such a great job of demonstrating what a Godly man is supposed to look like.” This made the athletes’ testimonies more effective with everyone attending. Brazilian players and coaches made decisions to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior during the tour. The Holy Spirit led the way using relationships and conversations at games, practices, or during after-game activities to open hearts to a relationship with Jesus Christ. One Brazilian player/coach attended every game the team played for over a week and then accepted Christ. (Photo Source: http://atletasaea.blogspot.com.br/)
Please review our prayer page and support needs links and lift up our ministry to the Lord. Click the following: July 2012 to print a hard copy newsletter.
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“.
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.
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.
Rico’s story: “God put on my heart years ago a passion for basketball and for people. After college, I didn’t know what to do next.” Rico was not aware of Athletes in Action (AIA) as he entered graduate school, but was an assistant basketball coach. However, he knew something was missing. Then Rico learned about AIA while preparing for an upcoming game and later took part in a basketball tour. “I was able to finally realize that basketball is my way of worship back to God and my avenue to display Christ … basketball is a talent that God gave me to use for His glory. Through that, I was able to share the gospel through playing basketball God’s way and see whole teams give their lives to Christ.” (Photo Credit: AIA, Rico on right)
Imagine being part of a team who connects up to a thousand volunteers like Rico to 30 – 40 missions projects each year. Each of these projects touches countless lives with the gospel, discipleship and training. That is exactly what the Global Sports Teams and our partners are accomplishing. A big part of our job description is to give direction and organization to AIA’s Global Sports Teams communications. We have the opportunity to connect people with amazing ways and places to share the gospel. Imagine the difference we can have together?
Thank you to all those who are partnering with us. Want to get involved? You can make a difference by going to our Eternal Investments page.