As a growing, international ministry, FCA has learned there are no set limitations on what God can do through those He calls and equips in fulfilling our vision — “To see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.”
Ukraine is one country that exemplifies this “no limitations” mindset. The heartbeat behind all they do is ministry to and through the coach, and it directly aligns with their vision to reach the 80,000 coaches in Ukraine.
In 2009, Andriy Kravtsov, Global Regional Coordinator for Eurasia, and his wife Lindsay, Financial Assistant for Eurasia — felt God calling them to do FCA ministry in Ukraine.
It didn’t take long for them to see the challenges and opportunities set before them. They quickly learned that getting athletes to show up to a camp isn’t easy to do, and they realized they needed to shift their focus from the athlete to building the relationship with the coach first.
When they kicked off baseball ministry, they had a first glimpse into just how impactful building a relationship and engaging with one coach could be.
“We started engaging a coach," Andriy said. "He called us and asked about a church service and if he could come along. He and eight players all came together and sat in church.”
This is when the shift happened.
“We can’t always get through to athletes, but we can (at least try) to get to coaches,” Andriy said. “The Lord gave us the vision that 80,000 coaches deserve to hear the gospel, have a Bible in their hand and get plugged into a Huddle … a healthy environment where they can grow.”
Since switching to the “to and through the coach” strategy, Ukraine FCA has seen steady growth across the country in the last few years. They started out as a team of four staff who were discipling 10 coaches in their sphere of influence. Today, they’ve multiplied their impact and 20 staff now disciple over 700 coaches. They’ve engaged with nearly 3,000 coaches and athletes at different events.
“The staff is all in,” Lindsay said. “And, they’ve all asked about their part in reaching the 80,000 coaches. Our staff’s passion for moving forward is a huge key in helping this vision happen.”
Looking ahead, Andriy and Lindsay have high hopes for the ways God will continue to develop and raise up leaders to influence coaches and athletes all across Ukraine. Over the next three years, they are praying to grow from 20 to 33 staff, and have every person on staff be fully funded.
“That is our goal and it’s going to take a lot of resources,” Andriy said. “We know God is enough and He will cover it all.”
With 80,000 coaches and 4 million athletes across Ukraine, the goal is for no coach to go unreached and for the nation to be transformed by Jesus.
Watch Coach Katerina Zhurba share about the Lord’s transforming work happening in Ukraine!
These stories of FCA-related impact are happening all over the world! Thank you for your prayers, support and generosity that are fueling the ministry of FCA and keeping us moving forward toward our vision.
*Story written by Adelie Cox
Photos courtesy of FCA Ukraine and Adelie Cox