We Are All Disciples Of Christ!
“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).
The goodness in this world can only be shared through you and me! We must be willing to share truth and appreciate that life is a continuous motion of God events!
A new school year is gearing up, including organized sports. Many coaches and students from grade school through college will be training and competing. Every day – through thousands of people on teams in our schools, and in communities everywhere – coaches, athletes and fans are answering a call to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an international organization that has been inspiring and changing the world through a gospel message for more than 60 years in 62 countries. Students spend a tremendous amount of time at practices and sports competitions throughout the year. Touching the lives of young people by incorporating fellowship and the mission of Jesus in extracurricular activities is important.
I learned more about this organization from a Vincennes native and friend, Katie Vaughn Harrell, who has been an FCA area representative in Raleigh, N.C., since 2013. She graduated from Indiana University in 2008 and received her Master of Science in School Counseling degree from Butler University in 2010. Katie loves working with young people by uniting two great passions: faith and athletics. Her responsibilities in eleven counties and five cities are to build a relationship with coaches and athletic directors in “Huddle Teams”, which are small groups, where she organizes events and opportunities for the schools. In the sixty plus years that FCA has been in existence; our society, public education, and people in general have been through many changes. “There is an occasional pushback in accepting the mission of bringing faith and athletics into the same arena, but the students are very open to the opportunity. Some schools systems have banned clubs of any kind to avoid the concern of offending one group or another,” Katie said.
A personal relationship with Jesus is instrumental in developing a well-balanced life! We have all been influenced by the encouragement of other people. In grade school, Katie observed strong faith in a young friend. She was impressed with how her friend’s family truly lived this commitment with each other, as well as outside of the church. Katie also attributes her appreciation for the collaboration of strong faith and athletics to her high school coaches, and the example of faith they exhibited. Many young people find a strong conviction of faith outside the church walls by observing those around them.
Katie had a unique experience in an Intensive Care Unit when she suffered from painful pancreatitis. A nurse reminded her that in suffering and struggles we find hope and glory in God. That inspiration from her care provider, and these words in Scripture helped Katie feel the presence of God very deeply in a difficult situation. “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character, and hope” (Romans 5:3-4 ).
We may never know how helpful our words and actions are to someone. Thank you, Katie, and all who bring the light of Christ into a world that sometimes seems dark. Young people need our witness of goodness, and Christ is counting on us to share! Amen!