For the past 55 years, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been on a mission to spread the name of Christ in the athletic community. Its vision: "To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches." It's a quest the ministry has been pursuing with a Godbreathed success that has led to spiritual growth throughout the sports community. Yet, to this point, FCA has largely been focused on the United States. Last summer, those borders got a little bit wider.
One of Tennessee Wesleyan's own athletes, Brian Miracle, participated in the program. Each of the participants were given a bare-bones description of the seven-week training. They only knew they would study character and leadership-development skills in a cross-cultural environment, while learning about international sports ministry through classroom and hands-on training.
During the first weeks of the program, the athletes were instructed by experienced sports missionaries and teachers regarding the biblical basis for sports ministry and cultural sensitivity. Those lessons were followed by ones on evangelism, the models of sports ministry and the important topic of teambuilding. The classroom sessions were brought to life through a variety of physical challenges that allowed them to work out what had been worked into them.
After completing the classroom portion of the program, the athletes were then commissioned to work in camp settings. The team hosted a one-week sports camp in Bobbio Pellice that allowed them to interact with the local children before being sent out to help facilitate sports camps throughout Central Europe. Their various opportunities included basketball and soccer camps in the Ukrainian cities of Rivne and Odessa as well as a baseball camp in Hungary and a soccer camp in Moldova. Each served as a chance for the interns to apply what they had learned about international sports ministry and put their head-knowledge into action.
Brian Miracle shared his experience with Sharing the Victory, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, "It was a huge leap of faith for me to even apply for the internship. The cool thing about it was that they didn't give us a lot of details going in. We had an idea of what we would be doing, but we didn't know for sure."
"Now, because of the experience, I have a new ‘Impact family.' The whole group grew really close, especially right before we left for Ukraine and Eastern Europe. I loved going to Hungary for baseball camp with the 13 through 15-year-old Hungarian national team. The way we have been able to stay in touch since then has been a blessing. It has been very humbling to learn the things I did, including being a leader like Christ-one who ‘descends into power.' Christ led from the bottom, and that is a concept that I will carry with me forever.
For the complete story visit: http://www.sharingthevictory.com/vsItemDisplay.lsp?method=display&objectid=03F6096E-C29A-EE7A-E976AE293A82A496
If you are interested in participating in 2010 Impact Sports Ministry Internship-Bobbio Pellice, Italy: For college athletes and recent post-college athletes (June 1 through July 29, 2010). Interns will gain a global perspective of international sports ministry while developing character and leadership skills in a cross-cultural learning environment that combines classroom teaching with hands-on training and outreach. Only 20 candidates from FCA will be selected (10 men and 10 women). The cost is $4,000, which includes airfare.
For more information, call Barry Spofford at (443) 223-0189 or e-mail him at [email protected].