Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FCA Baseball goes to Hungary

A year ago I would have thought you might be crazy if you asked if we would go to Hungary in February.  I've found that God has a pretty good sense of humor as well.  I was contacted in December by a missionary in Hungary about coming over to teach baseball and share Jesus with about 200-400  kids and coaches during the month of February.  After a couple days of thought and prayer God showed 4 of us that it was time to head to Europe.
We left on Thursday, Feb. 16th with myself, Brent Slade, Mike Holman, and Bill Emerich.  We were greeted by about 4 inches of snow on the day we arrived and temps ranging in the high teens to low twenty's......yes I know, great baseball weather.  Fortuanently for us the baseball training would be indoors for the entire week.
Saturday and Sunday (18-19th) we had two 8 hour days of baseball training with kids ranging from no baseball experience to some that had played for 4-5 years.  Either way the kids were eager to learn the game and our team loved every minute of it.  The remaining rest of the week we held 4 hour sessions at night and during the day we went to a few villages to see existing teams.  While visiting these small villages I think we all became aware of the fact that we have so much to be thankful for here in the USA.  Most villages were lucky to have a field and for some it was an open grass lot without any lines or bases.
Following each session we were able to share the Gospel and even share a few devotionals.  It was awesome to see many of these kids that were very stand off or shy at the beginning of the week come to opening up and sharing with each of us.  As we shared the Gospel we were asked by the missionary if he could do the followup since most of the kids did not speak english.  The missionary (Terry) has already followed up with many of the kids and is starting a Friday night Bible study club back in Hungary.
As we closed the end of the week it was very evident to me that God is a lot larger than we give Him credit for.  The fact that Hungary dates back to the 1st century reminds me that we are still a very young nation and God has been working there for a LONG time.  The idea that we simply went over to share our love for baseball and our passion for Jesus still amazes me.
I think one gentleman that we met said it best.  He was very upfront and clear with us that he DOES NOT believe in God.  But here was his statement, "I don't believe what you believe......but I would like for you to send more guys like yourself over here because I see something different in you guys."

My last thought.....we MUST let His light shine!

If God allows we plan to head back over......God could always use YOU!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Don’t tell me baseball/softball folks aren’t committed…..

Don’t tell me baseball/softball folks aren’t committed…..

With the mild winter we have had it only was a matter of time before we were going to get a cold snap, my prayer was just that it wouldn’t be today. Well, in typical fashion the Lord shows me that we MUST be committed to His work no matter the weather.

Feb. 11th will probably go down as one of the busiest calendar days in the life of FCA baseball/softball in Georgia. Today’s schedule brought the 1st annual South Atlanta Coaches Clinic, two Urban/Inner city Atlanta baseball camps, and one pitching clinic in Cobb Co. All taking place while a weather cold front swept through the Atlanta area. As God has shown time and time again when His people show up so does He. With temps in the mid to high 30’s and winds at 15-20mph EVERY event listed above went off. And without fail the Lord showed His grace and presence through each of these events.

The South Atlanta Coaches Clinic hosted by Salem Baptist Sports had 80 coaches show up and brave the weather to hear from some AWESOME coaches and speakers. There were 6 high schools represented with clinicians, 2 former MLB pitchers, 2 former collegiate players, 2 travel ball coaches, and one current MLB player. These folks brought some serious knowledge to the game of baseball and softball for our coaches in attendance to absorb. Along with the clinicians we also had a wonderful team of volunteers that spent their day loving on the coaches that were attending. I personally can’t thank all of them enough for their commitment, energy, and encouragement throughout the day. After 4 hours we closed with the Gospel and challenge to every coach……you MUST be a coach of INFLUENCE. The young people we are entrusted too will depend on us! As we closed the day we offered a 6 week coaches Bible study starting the end of Feb. and 12 coaches committed. As follow up emails go out I know that number will rise. Praise God!

Our Urban/Inner city ministry (led by Brent Slade) also went off with God being glorified. By the end of the day we had ministered to 42 Atlanta youth and 16 gave their lives to Christ! That’s 16 young men that will NEVER be the same and God will use for eternity! Please keep these 16 young men in your prayers.

What the Lord showed me today was this…….as much as we want to complain about our situation (weather, finances, schedules, etc.) He has called us to the front lines. Most of us (including me) would have much rather just stayed in bed and warm. Instead we are accountable to what God has entrusted us with and the people around me (us). We MUST show up! Romans 12:1 tells us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. God is really asking us to surrender our all and GIVE HIM 100%. I am just thankful that He continues to use folks like you and I.