April first, for most it is a day of practical jokes and picking fun at one another, but for myself it signifies so much more. As I was sitting on the family room floor on March 31st, my 25th birthday, I was doing my devotions and reflecting on the past couple of years and came to reflect on the last few birthdays. Every birthday for the last 3 years God has done something huge in my personal life. Each one leading up to this year, and it is so incredible to look back on how He has brought me to this point. For my 23rd birthday I started a new job at an equine veterinary clinic doing what I had gone to college for and doing something I really loved. For my 24th birthday, just a year ago, I decided to start running. To most that might not seem like much, but in July of last year I lost my job at the vet clinic, and God used running as my time alone with him away from the frustrations of dealing with being unemployed.
Through those months of running and struggling with questioning God and asking him “why?” I learned how truly powerful it is to be able to share Christ through the avenue of sports. Last fall God taught me many things about perseverance, discipline, diligence, and dedication through my running. I would run every morning and then come home and do job applications, day in and day out. I applied for jobs all over the country, over 3 dozen applications in 15 states. As each positive response came I would pray over each job, and every time I just didn’t have a peace about taking offers that I would have otherwise jumped on. After several months of this process I came to the conclusion that God wanted me to stay here in Utah. I couldn’t explain why, I had what appeared to be no leads here, but it was the only place I had a peace.
Throughout last year I had kept up with what was going on with Utah Fellowship of Christian Athletes and when I attended the President’s Reception in November the pieces started to come together. I had the pleasure of sitting with the State Director and his wife as well as the Regional Director and after several athletes and coaches spoke and the directors gave the vision for the next year of FCA here in Utah I had a peace and excitement I could not explain. Bill Schorr, our State Director, sat back down at the end and he looked at me and all he had to say was “You ready?” and I didn’t even have to think twice, my immediate answer was “Yes”. After several months of prayer and training at the beginning of this year April first was my official start date of coming on staff with Utah FCA.
This is a huge leap of faith, we are non-profit, so all of my expenses and salary must be raised. But God is moving in so many ways. In a population of 3.9 million only 3%(ish) are Bible believing Christians. FCA launched chapters in foreign countries before coming to Utah because of how hard it is here. But, in Utah FCA’s first year (Jan 2013 – current) we have seen 46 athletes and 2 coaches accept Christ. My primary responsibility is going to be our highschool and junior high campus ministry. In the last month we have begun compiling a group of high school and junior high athletes from over a dozen schools across the area to start a Northern Utah huddle over the summer. The goal of the huddle is to lead and train these athletes to use their platforms of sport for God’s glory through FCA. Teaching them the ins and outs of FCA and Gods word, we will also prepare them to run huddles at their own schools starting this fall. I will assist their leadership teams along the way. We also want to send 30 plus athletes to camp in Idaho this summer.
But none of this can happen without the financial support. We provide each huddle with Bible’s designed for athletes. These Bibles are full of devotions geared directly towards their needs and they use sports terms in the devotions and studies that the athletes can relate with. Not only are our supplies provided through your generous support, but so is the pay of all of our staff. If I don’t raise my support I don’t get paid and I don’t have money in the account to drive to the schools to work with the athletes. I’m asking you to pray about financially supporting the ministry of sharing Christ through sports. The harvest is ready here in Utah, but the workers are few. If you feel led to support this ministry you can by clicking this link.
If you have any questions you can contact me at 585-455-8107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.