Click Video Below To Play Our 2013 “Year-In Review” Presentation…
October was wrapped up with a bang as fifteen players headed to the “chamber of commerce weather” of Central Florida for a Mini Softball Mission Trip. With 8 players never having been in a prison, there were many questions as to how this trip would go. The questions were answered quickly as the team went 10-1 and saw 45 inmates make first time decisions. The team visited Lake CI, Avon Park CI, Putnam CI, CFRC East and CFRC Main.
For Lake CI, it was the first time to host a team in many years. This was the prison that Sports Reach made their first visit to over 20 years ago as the Kentucky Baptist Sports Crusaders. Warden Hummell loved the group and said, ” Any place I work, Sports Reach is welcome.”
This mini trip sets the stage for seven trips to Florida prisons, homeless shelters, and rescue missions during January, February, and March of 2014.
HOW WILL YOU BE INVOLVED?
November brings a beautiful time of year with all the magnificent colors exploding for us to enjoy. It also brings some, thinking and planning for year-end giving. Many individuals and groups do the bulk of their charitable giving in December and are now making decisions as to where they will give. If this is you or you are open to making a contribution before the end of the year, please prayerfully consider partnering with Sports Reach. This has been a challenging but great year and next year will be more of both.
The schedule the Lord has placed before us is one that is the most demanding that we have ever undertaken. With this, we need more people than ever that will commit to pray this thing through. We need more volunteers to not only go and play, but to come be part of a group that just shares. Finally, we need more financial help. We know that God has always provided and always will. We are asking to see if you are part of the way God will be providing.
Please prayerfully consider if you would like to be a part of this ministry in any capacity. Just let us know!
|CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL PLAYERS SPEND SPRING BREAK MINISTERINGBy Jordan Cornett / Campbellsville University Sports Information
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Servant leadership is more than just an idea for 11 Fighting Tiger football team members and their coaches. The group of athletes, led by former Campbellsville University assistant head coach Jim Hardy and quarterbacks coach Hunter Cantwell, spent their Spring Break in Florida ministering in several prisons and homeless shelters through Sports Reach, a Christian outreach program that uses sports to share Christ.
“Hopefully this experience gives the players a developed mission mind and heart for reaching outside to other people and sharing the Gospel of Christ,” said Hardy. “We have a mission statement here at the university about servant leadership. The best way to learn is to get involved and give back in a higher calling.”
The group spent a week in various parts of Florida, playing softball at three different correctional facilities and ministering in two different homeless shelters.
After arriving to Cabot Lodge in Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 28 the group traveled the next morning to the Union Correctional facility in Lake Butler where they played softball with 55 prisoners.
“Union is a last-step type of prison,” said Hardy. “Those men are unlikely to ever get out, so us being there means a lot to those men.”
On Friday the group went to the Reception Medical Center (RMC) and played ball two times as well as visited the facility’s Intensive Care Unit to pray with the patients. It was here that freshman lineman Rick Raley learned an invaluable lesson.
“After we played ball, we were ministering to about 40 inmates,” said Raley. “Then the canteen opened and every one of them left in the middle of us sharing. All that stayed behind was the security guard. We were really bummed, but we began praying together for the prison. When we were done the guard walked up to us to let us know that even if we didn’t change anyone else’s life that day, we had changed his. That moment taught me that God is always the one doing the work and not us.”
Orlando was the next stop for the Fighting Tigers. After worshiping at the First Baptist Church of Kissimmee, the group headed to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission where they spent the next two days working. Some of the athletes used this time to split off from the group and share Christ with the homeless men while the others served meals, cleaned tables, and processed luggage and personal property of the men.
The athletes got a break on Tuesday afternoon after serving at the Osceola Christian Ministry Center with a trip to the Orlando Wet and Wild Water Park.
The final two days of the trip were spent at the Sumpter Correctional Institution. After playing ball the first day with the inmates, the facility allowed the group to lead a service in the gym for the entire prison, something never before permitted. Joining the CU crew was a soul gospel band within the prison.
Senior linebacker and defensive end McKale High shared a personal testimony of faith to the inmates, something he believes God used in a great way.
High told about a serious jet skiing accident he was in this past summer. He was riding with a friend when he hit a wave at 60 mph and nosedived. His friend flipped off and broke the side mirror, leaving a sharp piece of fiber glass sticking out that ripped High’s right arm from shoulder to wrist.
“It ripped my flesh from bone without damaging any arteries, bones, or muscles,” said High. The doctor’s called it a miracle. By earthly standards I shouldn’t be here right now, let alone have an arm with full use. Two months after the accident I was back on the football field, though. That event heightened my faith incredibly, and I think the prisoners really soaked the story in.”
Six inmates prayed to receive Christ that day according to Hardy. In total, almost 50 different men from the shelters and prisons made a decision for Christ over the course of the team’s week.
“My favorite part of the trip was meeting some of the inmates,” said Raley. “God showed me that some of the most Godly men are behind prison bars. Yes, it is definitely a dark place that needs Christ but some men there shine so brightly for the Lord already. One man told us he wouldn’t change a thing he did wrong because it brought him to prison where he ended up being saved. He now shares that with the whole prison.”
GIRLS FASTPITCH SOFTBALL
Over the past summer and fall season that has just come to an end this past weekend; the girls of the Sports Reach 18U fast pitch softball team have had a number of accomplishments.
They took the Tennessee State Championship Title over the summer in the USFA TN State Tournament. Also, the ASA Kentucky State Tournament which was hosted in Louisville, KY by Sports Reach they took the State Championship Runner Up Title finishing is second place in the 18U division.
They completed a mission trip over the summer in the month of July in Knoxville, Tennessee volunteering at two different boys and girls clubs, then helping Grace Baptist Church with their youth group to feed the homeless in downtown Knoxville. They finished up in Murfreesboro TN last weekend at the ASA TN Fall Expo. They played in the 18U Gold division and finished with 3 wins and 3 losses, with very stiff competition.
Several of the girls have signed with commitments to colleges., while others continue to make their visits. Please pray for these decisions.
We are very proud of the accomplishments that this young team has made, especially over the fall season. Praise The Lord.
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First, again we are so grateful for every single person that shared their time to help make our auction the blessing that it was that evening and will continue to be, all for God’s Glory. Below is the video we shared during the auction that Coach Mitchell graciously prepared for us and making it available for all. We know it will be a blessing to you and those you share it with, just as it was to us in attendance…
This has been quite an exciting past couple of weeks. As mentioned, we have a couple of former players playing on USA national teams. Elfrid Payton is on the 19U team, and Aaron White is on the Jr. National team. Add to that Victor Oladipo was selected as the second pick in the NBA draft and Peyton Siva was chosen in the second round. It is always great to see former players achieve new heights.
With all of these new opportunities comes new responsibility. I like to refer it to a “new platform of responsibility.” This principle applies to each of us as we go through various stages of our lives.
With each new stage comes a new platform that God has us stand on. This allows us to have the chance to make a difference in the lives of many different people. As the platform changes, the individual lives change but the responsibility stays the same.
As we move from platform to platform, we are held responsible by God for what we do with this opportunity. Each platform is unique and with it a comes a unique group of people to touch. We will be held accountable as to how we use our opportunities in each stage.
I pray that as you move into each platform of your life, you will not move with regrets but excitement by what God has done in the past and what He has planned for us.
ADDITIONAL NEWS AND UPDATES
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TO PUERTO RICO
On July 5-10, a team from Cincinnati Christian will be heading to PR to play exhibition games, share testimonies, work with drug addicts, visit a senior center, and attend a local church.
GIRLS MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL TO PUERTO RICO
On July 19-25, a midle school basketball team made up of players from Campbellsville Middle and Taylor Co. Middle will be in PR to play exhibition games, share testimonies, work with homeless drug addicts, work with people with special needs, visit a cancer center, and attend a local church.
GROUP FROM CAMPBELLSVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH TO PUERTO RICO
On July 19-25 a group from Campbellsville Baptist will be heading to help work along with the basketball mission trip by visiting wtih the fans and sharing with them. They will also be working with a local church and helping ministers in the area as needed.
8TH ANNUAL SPORTS REACH AUCTION
On Thursday, Septemeber 12, the 8th annual event will be held in Louisville, KY. This is the main fundraiser for this ministry and a very important one this year. Please make plans to attend. More info to follow.
NEW TEAMS STARTING UP:
Sports Reach would like to announce the forming of an 8U girls fastpitch softball team in Louisville, KY; a 13U boys baseball team in Louisville, KY’ and the restarting of our Alabama Sports Reach. We are also working on a 7U baseball team as well as starting a softball team in the Cincinnati area.
PLEASE KEEP ALL THESE EVENTS IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!
1. Pray for the mission trips mentioned above. Pray that God will work on the hearts of the people that our groups will come in contact with.
2. Pray for our upcoming auction. We are waiting to hear from people that we have invited to help speak, be table captains, host the event, donate auction items, and pray.
3. Be in prayer as Robby travels around the US looking for players and coaches to take on future mission trips.
4. Pray for our ministry and how YOU can become involved.
|Victor Oladipo, Indiana University, traveled to China in 2011. Drafted 2nd pick in the first round of NBA draft by Orlando Magic.|
|Peyton Siva, University of Louisville, traveled to China in 2010. Drafted with the 56th pick in the 2nd round in the NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.|
|Aaron White, University of Iowa, traveled to Brazil in 2012. Selected to play on the USA Jr. National Team at the World University Games in Russia.|
|Elfrid Payton, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, traveled to China 2013. Selected to play on the USA 19U team in the FIBA 19U World Championships in Czech Republic.|
|Jordan Hulls, Indiana University, traveled to China in 2011 and has officially signed a contract to play for Energa Czarni Slupsk, a professional basketball club based in Slupsk, Poland|
Continue to pray for others that are playing in the NBA Summer Leagues and preparing for tryouts and opportunities.
The Sports Reach 18U fast pitch softball team loves Tennessee.!
The last week of June found the squad from Kentucky using their softball skills to help reach out to the Knoxville area.
On Wednesday, the played a double header with a local team in the afternoon and then to Grace Baptist Church that evening. After time of sharing and hanging out with the youth, they loaded up with the kids from the church to head downtown. There they had the opportunity to help work with the homeless that gather under the bridge. They helped feed them, pass out clothing, helped pick up trash in the area, and just show them God’s love.
Thursday found the girls heading over to the Montgomery Village Boys and Girls club where they had a great time sharing God’s love with the children there. They wrapped up the day with a game at Grace Baptist.
The last day in Knoxville was centered on the Vestal Boys and Girls Club. It was then on to Murfreesboro, TN to play in the 18U Tennessee State USFA Tournament where the claimed the championship. Here they passed out the “One Minute Bible” to each of the teams they played.
In addition to the Tennessee championship, Sports Reach finished second in the 18U ASA Kentucky State Championship.
The road wearing travelers, head to Indiana this weekend to compete in an exposure tournament and then it’s off to the USFA Nationals in Panama City, FL.
Be in prayer for the girls and coaches as they continue their season of playing ball and sharing Jesus.