Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer BoxScore 2012

Josh and kids in Honduras
Jon and kids in St Louis

Todd and kids in Mooresville

Champions and Ambassadors in Georgia
Recap of Summer

The summer brought amazing opportunities for our ministry. I know each of you somewhat keep up with my travels via messages and/or Facebook so I will give a basic rundown… I began the busy season in May as I travelled to Indiana to officiate a wedding; then back to NC; then on to MI to speak at a couple events (this was a 3 night trip – 2 of which were all-night drives); back to NC and then things really ramped up…

In June I travelled to Florida, and then on to Honduras. The time in Honduras was incredible for relationship building and sharing the Gospel. Our first night in the village I gave the Gospel following the showing of Facing the Giants (with Spanish voice overs from actors that were much better than the originals…) This was a great experience as we were in a field and I was illuminated by a guy holding a flashlight. In those circumstances of darkness, the light of the Gospel broke through brightly as people responded to God’s grace. (Later I would find out that there was a group of guys planning to disrupt what we were doing and other men from the village stopped them without incident.) The week included playing a lot of soccer, teaching some hoops skills, and putting up a plywood backboard with a basketball rim so they could play hoops in the village. Others on the trip were busy hosting medial and optometry clinics. The highlight in my mind was watching one of the boys as we drove off the last day. He was sitting on the side of the road engrossed in the Substitute tract that we printed off in Spanish!

The return from Honduras met with one night of sleep in Florida before driving back to NC to reload the van with equipment and then on to Grace Farm in Dewy Rose, GA. The time at camp was great… hot but great! Many youth responded to the Gospel during the week! It was a week of outhouses, games, teaching, etc. I had the privilege of running the activities and speaking in a couple of sessions. The highlight of this camp was watching the transforming power of God’s Word at work. One young man came in with arms crossed and a “bless me if you can” attitude. I watched as over the course of 4 meetings he went from arms crossed - to arms at side - to clapping with songs – to raising hands during worship – to raising his hand indicating he had trusted Christ. This literally happened in 4 steps over 4 meetings…

Following Georgia I returned home to try to rest up for our next trip and to make sure things on our local outreaches were running smoothly. Thankfully we were seeing great response to our hoops outreach; more about that in a little bit…

The next trip was our ROCK’em Road Trip to St Louis MO and Evansville, IN. We didn’t take as big of a group as I had planned, nor was it the age group I had envisioned. Other than my 3 boys the other 3 guys were all out of school ranging from 19-31 yrs old. But as always God knew what He was doing in putting this trip together. It was an incredible time of ministry both to those we went to work with and within our own group. The intentional discipleship model of these trips proved to work beautifully. The guys with me were not only encouraged, but also challenged – and they responded. Saw growth on the trip that has been sustained. The 31 yr old of the trip just told me yesterday that the trip changed his life; that he was in the Word more than he has ever been. The guy is fired up! This trip took us to the suburbs and the ghetto. We conducted Blacktop Clubs in the highest crime neighborhood of St Louis and the highlight: saw people trust Christ; heard of them attending church the following Sunday morning; fed many from the neighborhood; even got to break up a fight and pray with one of the combatants…

Upon the return from St Louis we found huge numbers showing up at our Thursday night hoops outreach at a local recreation center. To cap off the crazy travel schedule and to encourage me in my extreme fatigue, God went to work and we saw 7 guys respond to the Gospel while sitting at center court of that rec center gymnasium – 2 the next week…

This part of the schedule was followed up by a weekend ROCK’em Road Trip to Grace Farm in Dewy Rose GA… The retreat at Grace Farm went fantastic - had 15 young men to challenge and they responded well. One thing is for sure - it continued to validate our ministry - every time I reflect on the platform we have been given it blows me away!

And now one of our local coaches has been given an opportunity to travel to South Africa for 5 weeks and in his words, “I am gonna take InBounds with me.” (He has already been in contact with a man there that is utilizing soccer…)

Ministry has been incredible. Many, many, many decisions for Christ this summer! Many, many, many opportunities to show His love and truth! And the it ain’t over yet… the fall season / school year has begun!

Pray for InBounds! Pray for Jonathon a he heads to Africa!

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