AIA Mission's Voice

  • We are not in San Diego anymore......

    Section: Sports Perf.

    Team Notes ( Non- Project): AIA Sports Performance

    2017 Teams: Sports Perf. - South Africa

    We have offically made it to South Africa and it is safe to say that God is already doing an amazing work in our team. It has been extremely different for each one of us, but we already know that it is going to be incredible for each one of us indivdually, not only in our relationship with God, but with each other. We would like to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves.

    I'm Delelany, one of the athletic training students on the team. Day one started much earlier than the rest of my teammates for this California Girl. Despite two long exhaustuve days of travel, I had the opportunity to spend some serious alone quiet time with God. I had the chance to ask God and prayer for the time in South Africia, that he would reveal to me what he had inteneded for me to learn on this trip. I also was extremely excited to serve in a capacity beyond myself a world away.

    I'm Callie, the other athletic training student on this trip. Athletes in Action has already played a part in my family's story and  I can't believe that i get to be part of this opportunity. Our first full day in South Africa allowed us to experience some of the culture and history of this city and nation. We started our day at the District 6 Museum. This area of Capetown was a specific area that was severly impacted by Apartheid; this was a decision by the goverment to seperate the whites, blacks, colors and indians, It is very similiar to our segeration in the United States. Our tour guide Noor lived in District 6 during this time and was forcibily removed from his home and is patiently awaiting his return to District 6. He has helped build the museum with his own picutres. He shared his own personal story and showed  us a glimpse into his life. It impacted all of us. He shared a story of when his son was young and needed to use the restroom, however the only available restroom was one "for whites only." Unfortunately, he had to hold it until he couldn't any longer and use the street. I had to use the restroom tonight, however in the middle of a team debriefing, I did not want to be disruptive and so I held it and waited for over an hour and a half. It was painful and uncomfortable, but in those moments I had a new appreciation for the story Noor shared and I truly began to understand that this was something I have never had to or will never have to experience in the comfort of my life back home, It has been prespective shifting. 

    I'm Katie and I'm the other Certified Athletic Trainer rounding out the team. Our second full day here has not only allowed us to become further aquainted with the culture here in South Africa from the local staff in particular, but this spurred a conversation that allowed our whole team to grow closer as we prepare for the athletes' arrival tomorrow. We were real and honest and talked about how much this trip will not only impact us to do something here in Cape Town, but also back home. If there is one thing we can appreciate is that the racial tensions we see prevalent here, are also present back home. It is clear that God intends for us to not just change Cape Town, but to take what we learn and change our world for the better both near and far. As I write this , the laughter of my fellow teammates is erupting from a riviting game of "signs" and it is clear that we will be leaving here with new prespectives and a heart that hurts for our hurting and broken brothers and sisters, but friendships to last a lifetme. 

    We can't wait to fill you in on the rest of the story that God is writing, but for now to be continued....

  • Alumni Spotlight

    Section: Basketball

    Team Notes ( Non- Project): AIA Basketball

    Kenya 2017

    Eric played for Concordia University Wisconsin


    1. How did you learn about the Kenya tour?

     The first time I learned about AIA in general was from two of my college coaches. We were on a road trip and they asked me if a tour was something I would be interested in going. It seemed like a great opportunity so I said yes and they really worked out getting me connected with James Bolin. Once I was in contact with James, I learned more about the details of the tour and the great things that would come with it.

    2. What was your initial mindset before attending?

    I was nervous for a lot of different reasons. Basketball wise I was nervous because I was coming from a much smaller school than everyone else so I wasn't sure I would fit in. Also, I was nervous because you don't know what to expect. You meet your team in Ohio and practice for a couple days and then you literally fly across the world with guys you've never met. Before the tour, I had never travelled internationally so that was nerve-wracking, but it was amazing to see how God can bring strangers together to build something special. 


    3. What is one thing you learned from being a part of the tour? 

    There is so much that I learned from being a part of the AIA tour it's hard to pick one. I would say that I learned how valuable relationships are. I still talk to my teammates and coaches from the tour and we all have a bond for the rest of our lives. I even keep in contact with some of the Kenyans I met while we were over there. So learning how important relationships are was one of the many lessons I took with me. Along with that, I learned how to be comfortable with my faith. Before the tour, I never really shared my testimony to a group of people, I honestly didn't really know what my testimony was. I gained a lot of confidence with my personal faith when I saw that there were other athletes who loved both basketball and the Lord and were comfortable being a Christian athlete. 

     4. Was there anything you were surprised on learning about yourself while attending?

    I was surprised at how well I clicked with everyone on the trip. Before we were all strangers, had different experiences and came from different backgrounds. I thought we would only relate through basketball and God, but it was much more than that. We really learned about one another and I found out that I was just like a lot of the people on the tour which was something that surprised me.

     5. What is your current profession?

    Currently I am playing professional basketball in Ireland.

    6. How has God played a role in your life to date?

    God has played a major role in my life to date because I wouldn't be here without Him. My faith has brought me places I never would have imagined and I am very grateful to God for blessing me. Now that I live in Ireland, I have a great opportunity to continue to build my relationship with Christ along with spreading the Gospel to another part of the world. 

     7. What would you say to someone considering tour?

    I would say go for it with an open mind. At first it seems like everything is very daunting and scary, but just be open to the opportunity to let God work through you. Once I put away my own expectations and just let it happen, God really took over and made my experience one I will never forget. Everyone I have talked to who has been on a tour said it was life changing and for me, that couldn't be more true. I would go on another tour in a heart beat. 

    8. Fun story that happened on tour?

     There are so many great stories that happened during the tour it's hard to choose. We were on the safari near the end of our tour. We were at Nakuru National Park and were up on a cliff and some monkeys had come up on the railing. Then all of a sudden one took off and jumped right into one of our vans looking for some food and when it found nothing, it jumped right back out. I had never seen anything like it. I'll be honest, I got scared and ran away a little bit so I didn't see the whole thing happen, but it was a hilarious moment for us all. 


  • Alumni Spotlight

    Section: Basketball

    Team Notes ( Non- Project): AIA Basketball

    Guatemala  2014

      Ashley is a Erskine College graduate.

        1. How did you Learn about AIA Tour?

        College roommate who also attended the same trip.

        2. What was your initial reaction/mindset before attending?

      I was excited to learn how to use basketball as a platform to share the Gospel, so I could do so the remainder of my college basketball career.

        3. What is one thing you learned from being a part of the AIA tour? 

     One thing I learned was that my identity is in Christ and not my performance or the opinions of others. The only thing that matters is that Jesus died     for my sins and now God sees me as righteous and pure and I am forgiven! I am His daughter. That is my identity. My identity is not in being a good basketball player, but being a daughter loved by the Most High. My performance can never change that or make Him love me more or less. This is the only solid place to find my identity. 

        4. Was there anything you were surprised on learning about yourself while attending?

      I learned that I struggled with fear of failure and trying to be perfect. This comes from the root of pride and trying to be faultless in front of others. I was in bondage and didn’t even realize it. During the training before the trip, I learned that I struggled with this and that I could be free by finding my identity in Christ and not the opinions of others. 

        5. What is your current profession?

      I am currently a dental student at UNC Chapel Hill studying to be a dentist. I hope to one day incorporate missions into my practice and use dentistry as a platform to share the Gospel just as AIA taught me to use basketball to share the love of Jesus. 

        6. How has God played a role in your life to date?

      God has given me hope and a purpose in life. Through my relationship with Him, I can celebrate the peaks and have hope in the valleys. In everything I do I strive to bring glory to His name, whether that be through sports, school, or anything!

        7. Fun story that happen on tour?

      While in Guatemala, we traveled to 9 different cities. In each place we would put on a clinic for kids during the day and then play against a local girls team at night. One night we played against a team and absolutely blew them out. After the game one of our players shared her testimony and a few of the other players surrendered their lives to Christ. We went back to the hotel and went to sleep. We were excited to sleep in a little the next morning. So we thought. At about 5:00 in the morning we were awoken by loud blasts that sounded like gunshots.

      The “gunshots” were accompanied by blasting Spanish music. We thought someone was coming to kill us because we were Americans, Christians, or because we beat the local team so bad the night before. I was staying with Kelsey, the trip director, and she was going to attempt to leave the room to check on everyone amidst the "shots". I yelled at her to stay in the room or else the people would come in and get us. Some of our teammates were even huddled under the window praying that we wouldn’t die that night in Guatemala. After a while, the music was cut off and the loud bangs stopped. We went outside and saw an abandoned car (where the music was being played from) and fireworks everywhere on the ground. We later learned that in Guatemala on someone’s birthday, they wake them up with fireworks and Spanish music really early in the morning. We learned that one of the hotel workers was staying above us and it was her birthday. So if you are ever in Guatemala and think you are about to die at 5:00 in the morning, don’t panic, it is probably just someone’s birthday. 

        8. What would you say to someone considering an AIA tour?

      I would highly recommend going! My trip with AIA was one of the greatest trips of my life and I would go on another one in a heartbeat if I could!


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