I have learned many things this summer but one thing I’ve learned that continues to be an ongoing theme is God’s provision. A year ago I knew I would need an Athletic Training internship to graduate, so I began looking. I had intentions of going back to my hometown and working at a division two school to fulfill program requirements. However, those plans fell through nine months ago and I was back to square one in searching for an internship. Within the same week, a good friend of mine mentioned a previous dream I had shared with her two years past. The dream was to do a summer mission with Cru. This lead to me researching their opportunities and eventually stumbling across X-Project, which was ideal.

After a phone conference with my now supervisor, my program directors gave me the green light. I applied, had two interviews, and two months later received an email confirming my spot.

The months leading up to the project were very hectic as I was trying to wrap up the semester on top of raising support. Despite getting sick and starting support raising late, God’s plan for me prevailed. In less than three months, my entire support was raised. I was also lucky enough to meet one of the other interns on the trip prior to coming as our schools were 15 minutes away from each other. Leading up to our coffee date, mutual friends spoke highly of one another, which calmed my nerves and allowed me to have at least one familiar face the first day in Ohio.

God also opened doors for spiritual conversations through this experience. My professors started incorporating the topic of faith into my simulations and I was able to start a conversation with a family member with different views on spirituality. In that conversation, I was able to explain what I would be doing this summer and share a little bit of my heart with her. Though I was nervous of support raising, God used it to open many doors and rely on his faithfulness. Someone once told me that if it’s God’s will then it’s God’s bill. Never did that statement become so real to me than in the months leading up to my project. Coming into this summer I had hoped to learn how to combine my major and my faith. Every experience has provided a better picture of what it looks like to bring God into the sports performance field.

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to witness and help others combine their sport and ministry through the various camps that AIA has put on. I’ve gotten to visit different businesses that welcome spiritual conversations and incorporate faith into their training/rehab. This led me to pray with a woman while shadowing at a physical therapy clinic. One of my main responsibilities is working with the Xenia Scouts baseball team and it’s been amazing to watch them pray before games and use their sport as a platform to witness to the other teams over a meal after the game.

The experiences have helped me see how God works not only in this field, but also in those I have gotten to work with. The preceptors I’ve had the privilege to work with are some of the most intelligent and servant-hearted people I have ever met. They’ve shown me what it looks like to give grace in every moment and how to care for athletes not only physically, but also holistically, making sure to take the psychological, social and spiritual factors into consideration as well.

Though this summer started off as a means of meeting a graduation requirement, it has become so much more than that for me. He has shown me ways to bring him into every part of my life, not just my work. He’s given me resources to keep growing. He’s provided an amazing group of people to work with this summer who inspire and challenge me daily. And He’s given himself completely that I may love and serve in whatever capacity he calls me to.

Written by Ali, X Project Intern