The best medals are awarded to the heart.
In honor of the Winter Olympics, the Meredith College FCA Huddle in Raleigh, N.C., created a week of “More Than Gold”, hosting a Tuesday night Huddle discussing the value of God’s children and an Opening Ceremony viewing on Friday.
Huddle Leader Ashley Green, a senior left fielder on the softball team, explained how the group wanted to incorporate an Olympic theme for their Huddle to prepare their hearts for Friday’s event.
“I love the song ‘Gold’ by Britt Nicole,” she said. “So we dissected the lyrics and looked up where in the Bible God tells us we’re worth more than gold.”
“Gold” also played as people joined the Opening Ceremony party Friday evening, filling the room with a motivating atmosphere. Homemade snacks like Cheetos in ice cream cones representing torches and gold medal Golden Oreo cookies lined tables. At the end of the night each attendee left with a goodie bag filled with candy in gold wrapping and a note stapled to the front of the bag with 1 Peter 3:3-4 explaining their value.
“Five of the girls that came had never been to FCA,” observed Green. “We wanted to talk to these girls and tell them why we wanted to serve them.”
FCA Triangle college director Sandy Roberts supports the relevance of Meredith’s outreach. “It’s a timely event,” Roberts noted, “with the Olympics and a need to minister to athletes. They are doing a lot to see that FCA becomes center on campus.”
Green began her Huddle’s journey before it even existed. During an Impact South Africa internship the summer after her sophomore year at Meredith, her eyes opened to the magnitude of influence athletes can have on the world. And how universal something as small as a ball can be.
“On the trip you’re casting a vision for your life, and at that point I had no idea what I was going to do with mine,” she said. “Before I was a Christian I never thought I could put sports and God in the same area, but I’ve learned that’s totally not the case. Athletics is a language we all have- you can take a basketball or soccer ball to a foreign country and the people know what to do with it.”
When the fall of 2012 rolled around, Green began to get involved with other local campus Huddles, mainly at NC State. “I started to want to start this at Meredith,” she explained, “so I learned from NC State’s Huddle and looked into starting ours up.”
The 2012-2013 school year was a time of preparation, as Green and the leadership team worked with the campus’s Student Government Association to become a recognized club.
“We had to create a constitution, get an advisor- it took all of my junior year. It was really challenging but really exciting at the same time,” acknowledged Green.
Patience and prayer paid off, as Meredith saw its first official meeting as a Huddle in the fall of 2013.
“The Lord was amazing,” Green effused. “He definitely used His timing.”
Their debut also marks one of the first flagship huddles in the North Carolina Triangle in recent years.
“FCA’s becoming a predominant ministry on campus,” Roberts stated. “They’re doing a lot to connect the dots and make a very tangible connection in sports with FCA.”
Meredith’s FCA members still attend NC State’s Huddle on Wednesdays, a way, Green said, to see God’s hand over other colleges. “We get to see how the Lord works on every campus, and it’s great to come together and worship and praise Him.”
“They do a great job of pouring into the younger members,” commended Roberts. “Sustainability wise, they are smart. When they graduate, the huddle is going to have some strong sophomores and juniors to continue the ministry.”
To stretch and extend the self-esteem of girls longing to find their worth beyond medals and accomplishments.
“On an all-women campus it’s real easy to form cliques and be comfortable,” Green admitted. “We want to compare and put ourselves on a really low pedestal- we don’t look like this person or do that as well. God looks at our heart and we want to show girls on campus they are beautiful and worthy in God’s eyes.”