Athletes in Action's Global Sports Blog
May 23, 2015
Today was the second full day that the full team has been together to train for our upcoming volleyball trip to Thailand. We started off the day with a quiet time, which gave each member of the team time to self-reflect and spend time alone with Jesus. Following this, the AIA director, Garrett, challenged us to think about what motivates us when we compete for God’s glory instead of for self-satisfaction. Later in the afternoon, we had a “testimony talk” to help us prepare to share our own testimony with those we come in contact with.
We also had the privilege of doing a low ropes course. This challenged us to communicate, work as a team, and come together as one. One challenge in particular caused us to find words that will define us as we go on this trip. A few of the words that challenged me the most were: adaptability, service, and honesty. All three of these are areas that I know I will be stretched personally. I am trusting God to do great work in my life and with the team using the words we have shared. The final thing we did tonight was practice, which caused us to come out of our shell and really use what we have learned the past two days.
May 23, 2015
After a few days of settling in for the Boston Project group, and a nights' rest on campus for the UTC group, we began the day digging directly into the core principles of what AIA is all about. We filled our stomachs with breakfast and soon filled our hearts with the "Inside Game" principle, letting God's love be our supreme motivator and drawing our hearts from fear to freedom. We soon applied this concept of freedom to sport through team competition. We played volleyball and sought to focus our efforts on being motivated for a higher purpose and glorifying God with our efforts and abilities, not for pride, a coach, accomplishment, recognition, or fear of failure (to name a few). Sought time after to reflect on the lessons we learned through our application and really digesting what we'd learned. For me personally, I for too long have struggled with gaining the approval or recognition of figures like my coaches or my father, instead of making God my true motivation, and realize a conscious effort to turn to God is required.
After we ate some lunch we had the opportunity to get into smaller groups and talk a bit more to unearth the struggles we've been having in making God the motivation for our performance. This allowed time to grow deeper in fellowship and put our thoughts into spoken word. Some of us used the free time we had to catch up on some much needed rest, others were more ambitious and walked to the beach to enjoy a beautiful day skipping rocks, tossing the frisbee, "learning" how to race-walk, and practicing cartwheels and round-offs. This provided a great time for fellowship and bonding. Soon after we dug into our next principle, "Holy Sweat/ Wholly Surrender", and focused on the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and the need for our souls to be constantly fed to provide resources to grow and mature in our faith, just as we train to perform at a higher level in athletics. As before, we applied these principles to some more volleyball matches and watched as our intensity and focus was able to increase. However, some of the exercises we did brought out frustrations and I'll will, but that provided learning potential for identifying moments we need to re-shift our focus on God.
We took a break and grabbed some dinner before diving right into one of the toughest and most awkward subjects, sex and relationships. We talked through how God views sex, his intentions, and how we can glorify Him through it. The key to it all is marriage and engaging in an everlasting covenant and making two souls one, in Christ. Some time was given to internalize it all and express struggles and/or frustrations related. Then before we all hit the sack we engaged in fellowship with our peers in a time of merriment and joy, playing games like Catchphrase, watching the NBA playoffs, or just hanging out in conversation.
May 21, 2015
Leading up to this tour we have been humbled and blessed by each amazing person God has placed on this trip.
Two of those people are our coaches. They are both passionate about Jesus, coaching, and combining the two. They are also both immensely talented at coaching and leading others on the court. In our two practices that we have had, we have been reminded to fix our eyes back on God and to play hard and well as we are using our God-given talents together.
Coach Darrin McBroom started his coaching career at the high school level in Kansas City entering into the college level at Long View Community college in Missouri for four seasons. From there Darrin became the head coach at Iowa Western, and currently has two seasons under his belt as the head coach at Drake University. We are excited for his insight because Darrin has prior experience in Thailand on a mission trip a few years back. He has a heart to use his position as a coach to glorify the Lord and to continue to learn what that looks like. We are blessed to have him coaching us.
Coach Sarah Rumely played her college career at Kentucky University, she has experience with the USA National Team Program and played a year professionally in France. She began her coaching career in clubs as well as making her first college coaching appearance at North Texas, then she spent time as the assistant coach at Wake Forest and currently she is in her first year of assisting and being the recruiting coordinator at the University of Arkansas. Sarah has many prior experiences with AIA, her first experience being when she met the Lord for the first time. She has a huge heart for discipleship and is eager to continue to learn how to coach for the Lord. We are also blessed to have her coaching us.