Engaging a Culture of Redemption

The Bible is a story of God revealing Himself to the world through His redemptive power. Recently, three Certified Athletic Trainers and one athletic training student traveled under the banner of Athletes in Action to Cape Town, South Africa. Their goal was to engage with colleagues and students at the University of Western Cape (UWC), and while doing so to tell them about God’s redemptive story. They taught classes to sports science students, held discussions with faculty and coaches, and led clinics at the university. And while doing so, encountered God’s lessons of redemption for themselves as well. The following excerpts are a glimpse into this journey in the words of one of the team members…

Teaching classes helped us make immediate connections, and gave us the opportunity to share the Gospel with students. One of the many encouraging examples of this involves Dillon, an honors student at UWC. Dillon first heard of AIA two years ago, but at the time wasn’t able to get plugged in. When we arrived, Dillon saw our AIA T-shirts and sought us out! He joined us for our team’s devotional time, shared his story, and expressed a desire to get involved as a student leader. His strong faith and desire to grow will make him a strong leader for Christ on campus! I am amazed at how God answered our team’s mission and Dillon’s prayers in this single encounter.

I have traveled many places, but I have never been to a place as beautiful as Cape Town. Mountains make up the backdrop of the city, while waves crash against the shore. In the morning, the sun shone bright; in the afternoon, clouds rolled in to bring the perfect overcast day; and the night greeted us with a sunset peering through the rocky peaks. God’s glory in creation is on full display there. But the wounds of apartheid are clear as the day too. We engaged with the city’s history and with South Africa’s history, as we gazed upon creation while driving past the townships where people were forced to live as a result of apartheid. There is pain, brokenness, and heartache in the rhythm of life in South Africa, just like there is here, just like there is in the rest of the world. In the midst, God is doing a redemptive work, taking what is broken, making it whole, and inviting us all to be a part of it. Let the truth of God’s love through Jesus, help us to endure in our hope, motivate our labor, and produce work from faith.

We had the opportunity to visit a church in Khayelitsha, in one of the townships formed from apartheid, and worshipped with their congregation. They made us feel at home, they cooked for us, performed for us, and worshipped Jesus with their whole being. In that worship service, I gazed around and was in awe at the most important thing we had in common—a relationship with Jesus. That day it was sweet to be reminded that we worship the same God with people crossing borders, languages, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and so much more.

The sky is on fire! Beautiful sunset through the mountains and clouds.

Team Photo (L-R): Lisa, Dane, Naomi, & Synthia

Naomi teaching arm swing drills at the University of Western Cape.

Table Mountain from Robben Island.

Synthia teaching on evaluating knee injuries.

Above the Clouds on Table Mountain!

Dane Teaching.

Congratulations to Our 2019 Summer Interns!

Congratulations to our 2019 Summer Athletic Training Interns!

  • Alaina Brown of North Dakota State University
  • Savannah Claire Morgan of Troy University
  • Bethany Seman of Cedarville University

We are excited you are coming and can’t wait until you get here.

The deadline for applications from students pursuing a career in strength & conditioning has been extended!

Check out the X Project on our Get Involved page for more information.

Heading to Cape Town!

Athletes in Action Sports Performance is sending it’s sixth educational mission team to South Africa on February 28th.

The primary outreaches will be a sports medicine conference held in partnership with the University of Western Cape (UWC) and time with local sports scientists.

While you may not be able to go to Cape Town, you can join the team by using this Prayer Calendar and following them on social media.

Our team is looking forward to learning from colleagues in Cape Town and from this exciting cultural experience. Pray for the interaction with our staff in South Africa, the conference with colleagues to discuss improving sports health care and for the team’s ability to share their faith with others.

Internship Deadlines Approaching - Apply Now!

Are you ready to Grow, to be challenged? If so, then serving as an intern with AIA might be the right opportunity for you. Summer and Year-Round Internships are available in athletic training and strength & conditioning.

A summer internship with AIA Sports Performance is part of AIA’s X Project. It is a nine week internship designed to develop and grow students professionally and spiritually. There is a February 1st application deadline so go to one of the links above and complete yours!

“You will grow this summer as you are challenged. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.” Doven, 2017 X Project Strength and Conditioning Intern

“I realized something: this summer, athletic training finally started to make sense…why I am in the major I am, how I can use it to make a difference for people, how my work really is worship.” – Heather, 2018 X Project Athletic Training Intern

A Year-Round internship with AIA Sports Performance is developing young professionals into lifelong laborers and leaders for Christ. Opportunities are available for strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers to assist with AIA’s efforts in these fields while growing and learning about ministry and their profession. Come make a difference in the lives of a variety of athletes of all ages. There is a March 1st application deadline so go to the link above to complete yours!

“The structure of the program helped to foster my personal and spiritual growth. I am grateful for the mentors who helped me to learn more about my strengths and more about who God says I am.” – Karisa, 2016-2017 Year-Round Intern

Learn More and Apply Here

Encountering Jesus!

“I came here for sport, encountered Jesus, and a new way of life!”

Those were the words of Henri, a basketball coach from Cameroon, who attended our fourth International Sports Performance Academy. The Academy is held in conjunction with the larger International Basketball Coaches Academy. It lasts twelve days in early November, but the results will last for eternity.

Paul N. picked up Henri early on a Sunday morning after his all night bus ride from Milwaukee. After breakfast with Paul and his wife, Donna, and settling into the dorms, Paul gave Henri the option of resting or going to church. “If I rest now I won’t sleep later, said Henri, and I want to discover your church.” Henri speaks only a little English so Paul found an online French Bible on his phone for him to read the Scriptures the Pastor taught from. Henri said something awoke in him during the church service. He would later tell the Pastor there was a spirit in the people and the worship that he had never felt before.

On Monday morning Henri attended a talk on “how to share your faith.” The session, led by Lisa M. who works with Paul, was part of an equipped discipleship series coaches could attend during the Academy. Henri knew about Christianity but no one had ever clearly explained the gospel to him until that day. Magloire, his translator from Togo, went through the gospel with him in his mother tongue of French. Henri encountered Jesus through this series of events, starting with the church, and ending with listening to Lisa and Magloire. Given the opportunity to pray to ask Jesus into his life, Henri responded with an enthusiastic yes!

Henri eagerly shared his story of finding new life with the rest of us and told others during the Academy what God had done in his heart. Henri’s life was not the only one changed. Three coaches from Mongolia, Niger, and Senegal also prayed to receive Christ! Charlie from Rwanda clearly understands how to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit now. Richard from South Korea experienced emotional healing and his faith was strengthened during a small group discussion where Henri and others shared similarities with his story in their own.

Ryan, a strength coach from the Philippines, now wants to recreate the Sports Performance Academy there some day. Laura, a sports physio from Honduras, wept joyfully when sharing how the Academy had given her new hope for her country… Hope that she could transfer into bringing others back with her next year. AIA also wants to take the International Coaches Academy to West Africa some day. Many coaches from there have attended over the years and seen their lives changed. But many more could experience this if we can hold it closer to their homes as well. Join us in prayer for these efforts to take God’s love through sport to opposite ends of the earth!

This year’s Academy was truly incredible. 25 Staff and 39 volunteers served our 23 international guests who came from 15 countries. Annie and Naomi, our year-round interns, did a great job of leading the Sports Performance Academy. AIA Partnered locally with 6 universities, 3 sports performance centers, 2 high schools and others. If you are a prayer partner or donor to AIA, we trust that you are encouraged to see the fruit of your prayers and donations to this ministry. These stories are only possible through our partnership with each other, making Philemon 4-7 ring true in our lives.

Thank you for making these changed lives possible.

Watch Henri’s testimony!Learning about agility at Ignition APG! Practicing ankle evals at Cedarville University. Group Shot at Cedarville.The teaching session where Henri heard the gospel!The Sports Performance Academy coaches teaching the Basketball Academy coaches how to use TheraBand.