"In making the decision to accept the Lord into my heart, I have truly seen my life and performance in my athletics change for the better. I believe it is because of this decision that I have a new and stronger inspiration for sports."
-Marcus, Senior Athlete at Antelope High School (Sacramento, Calif.)
This past September, Marcus received an invite from his cousin to attend an FCA Bootcamp held in the Greater Sacramento region. Walking into camp, he didn’t have any expectations of his life being transformed by Jesus.
“When I was first invited to the FCA Bootcamp, I really wasn’t expecting anything out of it,” Marcus said. “I thought that I was just attending in support of my cousin, and didn’t expect to gain too much other than information about an organization I had no knowledge about.”
Sacramento County has been putting on socially distanced two-hour boot camps throughout the year as a way to get together for both physical and spiritual training. The mission of these camps is “To engage, equip and empower athletes and coaches in physical fitness and character development; impacting the mind and body for Christ.”
For the physical component, athletes are taken through a tailored HIIT (high intensity interval training) program led by FCA staff and personal trainer Josh Curtis. For the spiritual component, the kids hear from a former athlete or coach who shares a personal testimony of giving their life to Jesus. Staff then lead breakout sessions to give a space for the kids to reflect, share and go deeper together.
Upon arriving at bootcamp, Marcus was immediately drawn in by the hospitality and felt a strong sense of community and belonging among FCA staff and other campers. Seeing a group of people with a willingness to help others grow more in their faith left an impressionable impact on him.
“I believe it was witnessing this genuine desire for the Lord and the impact of their commitment to bettering others that inspired me to make a change and progress my relationship with God,” Marcus said.
That night after getting the full FCA Bootcamp experience, Marcus took the bold and faithful step to give his life to Christ for the first time. Since making that faith decision, it’s not only shaped him as an individual, but as an athlete as well.
“I love knowing that there are outlets to serve and teach others in sports just as anywhere else, and I continue to participate in sports because of this,” Marcus said. “FCA has also reminded me that through God, anything is achievable, even my dreams of participating in college sports.”
Lori Shimasaki, Area Director of Elk Grove FCA, has been greatly encouraged and blessed by what God has been doing through these FCA Bootcamps. Even through a year like 2020, reaching the heart of athletes with the truth of the Gospel hasn’t slowed down.
“I have seen God move in so many unique ways,” Shimasaki said. “Just being able to hear each camper’s story of how God spoke to them that day is powerful; hearts feel lighter, chains of depression broken off, a renewed sense of identity and joy found in Jesus, and many have placed their faith in Christ for the very first time!”
Camps and stories like these aren’t possible without FCA’s faithful donors and supporters. For those supporting Greater Sacramento FCA, thank you! Your contribution grows the ministry and makes the Gospel more accessible to coaches and athletes all over the world.
If you’re not yet involved with FCA and would like to learn more about what God is doing through the ministry in Greater Sacramento, you can find information here.