Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Athletes in Action - Fall Update

What a fall so far!
We have the privilege to have a very diverse group of players come to Raleigh to learn what it means to be like Jesus.
  
Ebi, from Mongolia, is here doing an AIA internship. He plays professionally back in his home country and is motivated to learn English so he can communicate better with his American girl-friend. He loves Jesus and exudes humility and kindness. He will be an influencer when he goes back home.
Oday is a young man who we know well from our time in Israel. He has taken us in as his own when we live there and now it is our turn. It is a joy to spend time with him and watch him grow on and off the court.
Mike plays on the Jamaican national team and played college basketball at Valpo. His story is filled with painful events which have shaped him with a desire to protect himself. We are gently walking into areas of hurt, which all present themselves on the basketball court. You can’t hide your heart in the heat of competition. 
Yinon is a coach from a small village in the desert of Israel. We had the joy to spend time with him and his family. He is coming to us after the passing of his father who suffered from mental deteriation at a very young age. He just shaved off his beard yesterday which a Jew grows for 30 days as a sign of respect and mourning. 
The guys are going through our program which is intense. We are walking through the high peaks of the bible to better understand the story as a whole. In addition to our staple of Men’s Fraternity, the guys are also engaging a biblically based jobs placement program called Jobs For Life, which started here in Raleigh. It is a 16 week course that helps them explore vocations, take personality and temperament assessments as well as leave with a polished resume and a 60 second commercial. We are arranging for the guys to shadow business professionals as well and being to network for the future. God has done amazing things to get us to this place and brought people into the equation that I never would have imagined. Blessings abound. 

In the midst of practice and bible study, the guys are volunteering at the Y with the after school program and doing a service project at New Life Camp, the site of our beautiful gym we are able to use. They are being stretched in lots of ways. I’m asking them to trust me that everything they are doing is preparatory for their end goal which is to be overseas somewhere in the very near future.

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