Athletes in Action's Global Sports Blog
Apr 25, 2015
In the coolness of evening last night I got to speak with a player that had lost a good friend. He was with a heavy heart and I shared with him how I lost my wife 12 years ago. It was great that myself and another coach were able to put our arms around him and comfort him as we talked to our daddy. Although he and I are from different cultures and spoke different languages we shared a moment as football players being devastated from the lose of someone we loved and comforting each other through this valley. Knocked down, but not knocked out.
Daddy takes care of us and comforts us.
The game of football and life are so much alike. We get knocked down and we learn how to get back up.
Apr 24, 2015
Day Five in the books!
Last night, I finally had the opportunity to go deep with one guy! We got to address life and death, what happens when you die, and the meaning of life. Some great questions were asked, and there was some great dialogue. There was a level of intimacy reached and our connection was deep! We all desire to have more significant and rich relationships, not just the superficial stuff. That’s why we are so thankful for rich relationships, once we have them.
We became aware one of the players recently lost a friend to leukemia. It was obvious that he was hurting and was looking for answers. We had a chance to share what Daddy told us once about losing a friend. This helped to answer some of his questions and by the end of the dinner, he seemed comforted. Please talk to Daddy on our behalf, for this player.
How amazing it is that we had this opportunity! In this area of the world, as with many, cultural impacts your relationships greatly. It takes relationship and time to build trust, and respect. football has been a catapult into these relationships. The universal language of sport is so key! We have meetings with seven more players and it’s our last day. Please be talking to Daddy about these players, as we share the good stuff with them.
Apr 24, 2015
One of most exciting parts of our project each year is the ministry outreaches.
Because of the popularity of sports around the world, we have the ability to work in many places that are difficult or nearly impossible to access for many others.
Over the last few years, we have visited schools, prisons, wrestling clubs, and orphanages. At each opportunity our message and strategy are the same. We interact with the teams beyond just wrestling; often playing soccer, basketball, or other games, and finally sharing the message of the Gospel.
At the beginning of the tour many of our athletes are heavily focused on wrestling, but as ministry opportunities present themselves, their focus shifts to these instead of sport. I have seen All-American wrestlers in tears after sharing at an orphanage and prison wardens telling us that our visit will be the highlight for a prisoner’s time with them. Lasting friendships are always created when hearing the Gospel.
Humanitarian aid has also been a key to our ministry and outreaches. We gift to the teams and clubs everything we bring from jump ropes, soccer and basketballs, Frisbees, clothing, to candy. This tends to open doors for local staff/ministries to into hard to reach places.
Pray for opportunities this summer in Guatemala and Mongolia to share God’s love!
Photos: Top, Moldovan orphanage and soccer at Mongolian maximum security prison. Bottom, leaving gifts like a sport Gospel of John in Mongolian and sharing personal testimony at a Guatemalan wrestling club.