Once again in 2013, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsored IMPACT Internships in Europe and South Africa. Designed to train the next generation of sports ministry leaders to impact the world for Jesus Christ, college students taking part in the internship get hands-on training in sports ministry and develop as a spiritual leader as their heart is captured for world missions.
What happened during the summer of 2013 for those involved in IMPACT Internships? Check it out:
Twenty athletes and coaches from six countries gathered in Northern Italy for Impact Europe’s fifth summer of sports ministry leadership training. Interns and coaches alike were challenged to grow in the persons God has created them to be and develop how they may use their gifts and abilities to further His kingdom.
Interns received elite instruction from respected teachers and completed ISLT Level 1. Then, classroom theory was put into practice as they led eight camps in six countries throughout Europe. Interns served with local churches and ministries in Hungary, Romania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Italy and the United Kingdom, giving momentum towards existing efforts to reach people of sport in these areas.
"We contextualized the sports camps for their post-Christian setting and focused on the holistic personal development of the sportspeople," said David Guehring, director of FCA Europe. "In addition to conditioning and skill development, we offered a voluntary training session to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In doing so, our interns gained trust among the sportspeople and had opportunities to engage in personal, faith conversations."
Impact Europe gives thanks for the continued partnerships with different organizations, local churches and sports initiatives across the continent as athletes are equipped, empowered, and encouraged to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
IMPACT South Africa
"We had an AMAZING Impact South Africa this summer," said Quinn Evans of FCA International. "Twenty four students completed ISLT 1 and 2 and engaged in many outreaches in Southern Africa – including a team going to Zambia to partner with OM Zambia, a rugby outreach and 2 FCA multi-sport overnight camps hosted by SCAS. Twenty students were from the U.S., and four international students joined us, too – from Palestine, Hong Kong, South Africa and New Zealand.
"One of the biggest blessings of Impact South Africa is the strong partnerships between FCA, OM, SCAS and Sportquest," Evans said.
"An eight-week opportunity to pursue Christ with reckless abandonment"
Impact was an eight-week opportunity to pursue Christ with reckless abandonment. It was a time to be free of the distractions that bombard our everyday lives. As interns, we received training in a classroom setting and then went out into the field take part in outreaches, but Impact was so much more than the training and outreaches. The importance of being relational was revealed from the core of God being Father, Spirit, and Son and then was expanded upon as relationships formed and grew with Christ, teammates, and people we encountered during outreaches.
I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, and it is there that God truly met me and began to change me. I had to get out of relying on myself before God could really work in and through me. God is the same everywhere, but I had to be taken out of any context where I have control and placed in eight weeks of the unknown, and that is where God came alive to me and I finally accepted the freedom and depth of His love.
I also began to discover who I truly am. I thought I was going to serve and pour into others, but I found that I needed to allow God to pour into me before I could love and serve others. And in a round about way, I discovered that life really has nothing to do with me but is truly all about allowing God to work in and through us as He sees fit.
Kelsey Schippers, 22, Soccer Player for Central College, Pella, Iowa
"Something that has truly changed my life and relationship with God forever"
Impact was by far the best five weeks of my life. I discovered who God has created me to be and walked away with a pure passion for sharing God's love and light to others. God restored my heart and broke the chains that have been holding me down. I got a chance to get out of my comfort zone and fall more in love with God daily. He romanced me through things like the scenery, the people, the teachings and training, and the children we were blessed to work with. My perspective was broadened and I am so thankful for this experience and opportunity. It is something that has truly changed my life and relationship with God forever.
And as an added bonus, I walked away with new brothers and sisters in Christ who are constant reminders and encouragement as to why we are here and what God wants to use us for.
The thing I loved most about this experience was the fact that we had so much freedom and undistracted time to just dwell in and soak up all that God had. Once you're back in your daily schedule, life gets so busy and hectic. However, I feel that I walked away with more knowledge and experience as how to share the gospel and be a vessel and servant for God.
Camille Coffman, 23, volleyball player for the University of Wyoming