A night of fun and games led 148 teens to make a life changing decision recently in Irvine, Calif.
Orange County Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosted its 13th annual Night of Champions at Mariners Church on Feb. 15, welcoming 1,100 junior high school and high school students to the event. After St. Louis Rams wide receiver Nick Johnson, Biola University men’s basketball forward Andre Murillo, two-time United States Olympic swimmer Chloe Sutton and former Washington Nationals prospect and current FCA Baseball staff member Sean Rooney gave their testimonies, and pastor Andrew Schey of Rock Harbor Huntington Beach delivered a message of God’s truth and salvation through Jesus Christ, 48 students committed their lives to Christ, and 100 more rededicated their lives to Him.
The evening’s fun began with plenty of free food courtesy of In-N-Out Burgers, which brought in two cookout trailers and cooked the food at the event, and also a ton of entertainment and games.
Mariners Church opened its two-story Youth Center for the event, giving attendees the opportunity to play basketball, ping pong and beach volleyball. A giant inflatable obstacle course and boxing ring were set up. A graffiti artist showed off his abilities, professional break dancers invited the students to join in the show and a pair of DJs kept the music playing.
After 90 minutes, the fun moved inside. More entertainment followed, before the athletes and Schey took command of the evening to share the powerful message of the love of Jesus Christ.
The students who made decisions were then connected with youth pastors from their area who can help them plug in with local churches to continue their spiritual walk.
Orange County FCA’s Adam Goodman was especially moved by how two particular students were touched by the Holy Spirit that night.
“One student attends Irvine High School,” Goodman said. “Irvine High is a really good academic school, very strong in math and science. There is some negative feelings toward FCA and Christian ministry on that campus.
“This particular student has been an outspoken atheist. He saw some of his classmates at school getting ready to go to the Night of Champions, and, for whatever reason, he decided to go with them. About 30 seconds after the alter call started, he literally sprinted to the front to join. The Spirit of Lord was working in his heart that night and really broke down barriers.”
Another student had other things to do that night. At least he thought he did.
“The other student attends Mater Dei High School, a private school in Santa Ana,” Goodman said. “He showed up at Night of Champions, even though he told friends that he was going to a party that night. He told people that, for some reason, he just felt like he needed to come to Night of Champions. He ended up being one of the students who answered the altar call, and he really had no idea why he was even there before that.”
A young man skipped a party to attend an event hosted by Orange County’s FCA and gave his life to Christ. Another spent a life insisting there is no God, and was captured by God’s love at the same event.
A Night of Champions, indeed.
- FCA.org -