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Hoops Hospitality

Published on August 20, 2014

by Sarah Rennicke

Four coaches from FCA Philippines spent a portion of the summer in the United States for outreach and observation.

Through FCA and a partnership with Inbound Sports, coaches Lawrence “Tata” Merced, Al Solis, Armand Colina and Jojo Ferdinand Villa spent the majority of their trip in Texas, ministering to Filipino Americans through basketball and home gatherings. Their trip began in Fort Worth at a basketball camp at a local high school, where 42 children came to learn about basketball and life.

The FCA Philippines Coaches and In Bound Sports partners
The FCA Philippines Coaches and In Bound Sports partners

“We integrated the Gospel into the drills and lessons, sharing what Jesus had done for us,” said Villa.

On the last day of camp, Merced preached about winning, losing and salvation, and all 42 campers prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

“It was awesome to see all of them—Filipinos, Vietnamese, Americans and Mexicans—bowing their heads and praying intensely to invite Christ to be the captain and master of their lives,” Villa shared. And many parents of campers expressed interest in starting Bible studies at their homes.

After Fort Worth, they attended an FCA Sports Leadership Camp at Dallas Baptist University and later flew to California for the UCLA FCA Sports Camp.

“God has been giving us favor in terms of our growth and experience. This trip was a dream come true for our coaches, as they have been desiring that one day they will have the opportunity to witness an FCA Camp in the U.S.,” Pastor Gary V. Visitacion, National Director of FCA Philippines, said.

Campers praying to receive Jesus as their Savior.
Campers praying to receive Jesus as their Savior.

Their time in the States was precious and informative, an inverted structure to the concept of missions.

“Most people go on a mission trip when they want to serve internationally. However, one of the strategic ways FCA is developing sports ministry is through reverse mission trips,” stated Dan Britton, Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training. “A reverse mission trip allows FCA staff in the United States to serve as a host for key sports ministry leaders from around the world to experience and learn FCA ministry through training, resourcing and mentoring.”

The coaches are eager to take what they’ve learned and spread the wealth of knowledge with FCA in the Philippines.

“They came home in high spirits,” Visitacion said, “knowing what they have learned. They are all excited to share them the other coaches in the country.”

Britton added, “God is doing a great work in the Philippines through FCA. Now with four key coaches trained on how to lead sports camps, FCA will be able to reach more athletes and coaches. Camps have become our international multiplier that has mobilized leaders to reach their communities."

Originally published August 2014