AIA Mission's Voice

  • Extra Innings - Episode 17

    Section: X Project

    2017 Teams: X Project - Ohio

    X Project - Ohio

    John D.

    Quick to listen and slow to speak, John Davenport is the type of man that is hard to come by. His positivity, eagerness to learn, and wit are what set him apart from the pack.  

    John has been abundantly gifted by God and this summer he is learning to acknowledge and hone his gifts. His humility is unusual and it inspires everyone on the project. Having completed several triathlons, John has mastered many skills yet he gives all the glory to God.

    Training in Liberty University’s athletic training program, John hopes to have gained more confidence in his hands-on skills this summer before he heads into his senior year. This internship has been key to setting him up for success in his future goals and the plans God has in store for him.

    As John advances in his athletic training path he will have the opportunity to counsel and minister to athletes from across the county. His confidence increasing every day, John uses his personal story to connect with athletes like himself.

    This summer John chose “like-mindedness” to represent and embody his time here at Athletes in Action. He meets each person where they are at whether it be athlete or intern. To make a difference in the lives of athletes it takes support and guidance, something John gives abundantly.

    #GOAIAUSA  #AIAXP17  #ExtraInnings

    Read more about X Project, Ohio

    Learn more about AIA X Project
    Follow us on      
    Thinking about a missions trip?

  • "There be Whales Here" :)

    Section: Sports Perf.

    2017 Teams: Sports Perf. - South Africa

    Sports Performance - South Africa

    Good Evening South Africa Time!

    Everyone is recovering from the SPECIAL and Saturday and Sunday were full of recovery, site seeing, and worship.  We saw penguins and were able to take in a South Africa pasttime and watched a Rugby game!  We had the opportunity to watch a semi-final match between South Africa Stormers and New Zealand Chiefs.  It was a great game and very educational!  We even got to see a medic tape an ankle on the field...while the game continued!!!  

    Sunday we had the privilege to do my favorite thing whenever I am overseas.  We went to church.  We didn't just go to a church...we went to church in a township named Khayelitsha.  It is always amazing to worship with believers in other countries.  We had a two and a half hour church service which we all thought could have gone longer...it was a great service.  A 35 year old gentlemen named Sean came to Christ during the service and one of our campus staff, Darin, was given the opportunity to pray with him as he came to Christ.  It was a great way to end the service!  Pastor Herbert and his family are moving to Somalia to begin work there!  Be praying with us for him!

    We then started a drive called the Clarence drive.  It doesn't sound so fun, but this time of year it is whale season!  We saw whales!  It was a bucket list item for me.  We even saw whales flipping their fins and tails at us.  It was so fun...I can't even explain it.  We drove around on some of the most beautiful coast line I have ever seen.  It was beautiful...especially since we finished the day watching the sun going down behind the mountains.

    I promise there will be pictures of all of these things...We just haven't had a lot of time to get them all put on here...it may happen when we return.

    - Lisa for the team

    Read more about Sports Performance - South Africa

    More about AIA Sports Performance
    Follow us on    

    Thinking about a missions trip?

  • The Principles at Work

    Section: Sports Perf.

    2017 Teams: Sports Perf. - South Africa

    Sports Performance - South Africa

    Thursday & Friday of this trip represented the 20-hour athletic competition, known as the SPECIAL. As Rachel explained earlier, it's a grueling competition with minimal sleep, lots of burpees, and lots of bruises. I think all the athletes now have some level of PTSD when it comes to pushups and bear crawls!! 

    As part of the staff not competing, we had been prepping the athletes all week with warnings to stay hydrated (to help avoid full-body cramping), rest up, and to prepare their hearts & minds for the challenge ahead. Had we been in a different setting in the States, perhaps these coaches might have told the athletes to mentailly prepare themselves to rise to this challenge, to use all their mental energy to complete the task ahead. Instead the AIA staff led workshops to teach 5 Principles pointing towards leaning on God, not our own strength to persist when the body fails. The following Principle titles will give you a hint into the types of conversations we had, and the way our athletic and professional (sports medicine) attitudes can be glorifying to God: 

    1. AUDIENCE OF ONE. God Alone is Worthy of Your Worship
    2. INSIDE GAME. God's Love Moves You From Fear to Freedom
    3. HOLY SWEAT, WHOLLY SURRENDER. God Provides Resources for Soul Training to Help You Grow
    4. HURTIN' FOR CERTAIN. God Redeems Suffering for Our Good & His Glory
    5. VICTORY BEYOND COMPETITION. God Requires Total Investment Today for Eternal Return Tomorrow

    Since I was providing athletic training coverage in the SPECIAL, I was allowed an inside view into the overall organization, exercises choice, and flow of the 20-hour event. The first time I looked at the schedule of events, believe me, both my eyebrows shot up! This was no Tough Mudder or fun run. This event was truly designed to have the athletes perform a sequence of athletic events in which their bodies would fail. They could not complete it in their own strength! They would need their teammates help. And when their teammates could no longer lift them up, the athletes turned to God for the strength to continue. 

    As an athletic trainer, I have rarely felt inadiquate in my skills and ability to provide for hurting athletes. However, after the first few hours of the SPECIAL, I realized that this would be a struggle & experience between each athlete and God. I could refill water bottles, run around stretching legs, evaluating ankles, and massaging cramps (and I stayed busy doing all those things!), but when it came down to it, this was about individual surrender to God and glorifying him. So I found myself praying for each athlete from the sidelines. Most of these athletes I had met just five days previously; some I had gotten to know through their testimonies & stories; some were local South Africans I had just met. Unlike my teams in the States, I didn't know their life story, their medical history, or their physical limitations. I could only pray that God would meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in a big way. 

    In the hours that followed the completion of SPECIAL, many of the athletes shared the mental battles they were fighting over the course of the 20 hours. I had the priviledge of witnessing many of these battles. Christ shown through the pain, the bruises, the tears, and the cramps, and revealed His strength by sustaining the athletes. It was a beautiful thing to see the surrender as each athlete met his/her breaking point! There were so many moments where the AIA staff and athletic trainers were in tears as we watched these athletes transformed through Christ as they let go of themselves. Rachel mentioned the moment where she was doing wall sits for 15 minutes. What she didn't mention is that by minute 10, everyone in the gym had noticed that she and Theo were still going (while all other athletes had sat down). And when the song Child of God came on, Rachel sat on the wall with outstretched arms, SINGING!! 

    It was a tumuluous 20 hours for all of us. The staff was just as sleep deprived as the athletes. (I slept for 14 hours the following night!) But as we met together at the conclusion of the SPECIAL, we were vulnerable with our experiences, vulnerable about how God has spoken in our lives, and joyful that we were able to experience this in beautiful South Africa!

    Thank you to all who have supported us this far and made this trip a reality. We get to be a part of God's mission, love like Jesus, and help break down racial & social barriers that still exist down here in SA.

    Much love,

    - Jess for the team

    Read more about Sports Performance - South Africa

    More about AIA Sports Performance
    Follow us on    

    Thinking about a missions trip?

The opinions expressed in these posts are that of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Athletes in Action, Cru or any employee thereof.  Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of the writer only.