My Daughter's Spiritual Journey with Basketball


 "And then He told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone."
~Mark 16:15(NLT)


My daughter has a wonderful opportunity and mission:  To learn how to spread the gospel to college-level basketball players through Athletes in Action and join them in Guatemala this summer.  This is an amazing opportunity!  And here is her story...

I love basketball, and anything to do with the sport.  Both of my parents played ball in high school, and could've played in college, so I guess you could say that it is in my genes.  I was unable to play basketball for most of my life because I was homeschooled, and public schools don't allow us to participate in varsity sports.  But when we moved to northwest Indiana, we found a small Christian school that allows homeschoolers to play any sport they desire.

So, in the 2012-2013 basketball season, my senior year in high school, I played ball for the first time since I was 9.  I was so excited, but had almost forgotten all the rules and how to play the game.  I will admit that those first couple of months were very mind-blowing to say the least!  I had to learn all the plays, and moves that are essential to being a good ball player, but after those initial two months, I started to get the hang of it.  I worked hard, challenging myself to be the best player I could be.  The thought of playing basketball in college had not once crossed my mind......yet.

But as the season was winding down, I started to get frustrated that it was almost over, and that I would never play again.  By this point, I really wanted to play in college, and was working hard in every practice and game to reach the level of talent collegiate athletes possess.  I contacted a small Division II junior college about playing ball for them, and to my surprise, the women's head basketball coach was interested in me!  It was an exciting time, and to make a long story short, I signed to play for Ancilla College in May of 2013, and ended up waiting because my parents didn't feel I was ready for the challenges of college life.  Although I was disappointed, I wholeheartedly agreed with their decision.

During that long 2 semesters of not being able to play basketball, I got a job at Aldi, and got hired as the assistant coach for the girl's varsity basketball team I played for.  Being the assistant coach for Victory Christian Academy(the school I played for), helped me realize that I need to be a leader, but not just that, a godly Christian leader to the girls on my team.  I went from player to coach in less than a year, and let me tell you, I had a lot of maturing to do!  I am very grateful to my parents for allowing me to be a coach,  I have grown so much more mature in my faith, and in my actions as a result.

During our season, I still wanted to play ball in college, only this time, I didn't want to play solely for my own personal enjoyment, but I wanted to use my talent to bring God glory, and spread the Gospel to my teammates and everyone I come in contact with.  I wanted to help people come to Christ, using the sport I love, basketball, as the platform.  I didn't know any Christian collegiate athletes around here, and I was determined to find like minded athletes who love The Lord.  And what I found, was, there aren't very many.  At that point, I realized that there is a great need for sports ministry.  


 As I continued to pray and ask God to show me His will for my life, one of my friends told me about Athletes in Action, and that their sole purpose is to spread the Gospel using sports as the avenue.  I looked on their website, and was very surprised to see that everything they do with sports, is exactly what I wanted to do.


"We dream of a day when there are Christ-followers on every team, in every sport, in every nation. We believe this is possible when organizations and individuals -- who want every athlete to know someone who truly follows Jesus -- work together toward the common goal of furthering God’s kingdom."   

Athletes in Action sends out sports teams to different countries to share the Gospel,  sets up college ministries, and has camps, and retreats on their sports complex in Xenia, Ohio.  I wanted to be a part of this organization, using sports as a way to minister to others.  Yeah, I was pretty excited!  

So, I filled out the application to go on tour with one of their women's basketball teams, and let me tell you, this wasn't just some easy to fill out application for a job, it took me about 2 days to fill it out!  Their questions were extensive, required several references and were to be thoroughly filled out. After I submitted the application, the first thing I did was pray, asking God give me peace about it, and that if it was His will, I would be accepted.

About a month after submitting the application, I got an email saying that I had been accepted to go on the Guatemala tour in July! We will be going to Guatemala City, Guatemala, playing against local universities, and setting up coach and player clinics, all in hopes of spreading the Gospel to the people who live there.  I thanked(and still thank) God everyday for this incredible opportunity.

The next step in the process was/is raising support for the trip.  I really have to step out in my faith and trust God to provide!  Each player has to raise $3,600 for the trip, and we don't just do it alone.  We do it with faithful people and churches who want to make a difference with us in Guatemala.  This is where you might come in.  Would you prayerfully consider giving $75, $100, $250, or some other amount to help our team meet our goal? You will not only be helping reach people for Christ in Guatemala, but also helping my teammates and I grow in our faith in Christ. 

 Although college and professional athletes are admired by young and old alike, the personal lives and actions of many are looked down upon and understandably so.  What if we could help change the hearts of athletes, one person at a time?  That is not only my mission, but also that of Athletes in Action.  Would you be willing to be a part of this?  If you believe God is leading you to support this sports ministry, go to www.give.ccci.org and enter 0820169 in the "Give a Gift" box.  All funds need to be raised by June 23.

Thank you so much for considering supporting my team as we travel and bring the Good News of the Gospel to the people of Guatemala!

Kaila
A country gal, goat midwife, goat castrator, manure scooper, dog trainer and horse rider




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