The plan was simple: take some American Olympians on a mission trip during their off-season. The plan looked even better when one of them won an Olympic gold medal! Things were shaping up to be a first-of-its-kind ministry trip for us.
Then the dreaded texts started coming: “I’ve been injured and need to rehab,” “I’ve got a new coach who wants me to train,” “I’ve been traveling so much with appearances that I’m exhausted and can’t go.”
What were we going to do with only one of the four Olympians able to go on the trip and some tickets already purchased?
After an hour or so of “going dark” and growing frustrated about the situation, I stopped in my living room and prayed! I put it into God’s hands and asked Him what we should do.
Instantly, the idea came: contact some of our AIA (Athletes in Action) leaders in the surrounding countries and see if they have some athlete leaders who would benefit from going on the trip with us.
Within hours, God raised up two athletes for the trip, and it couldn’t have worked out better.
While having American Olympians with us would have opened some doors and brought
some exposure to our team, the African athletes that God provided were able to relationally connect with the local athletes and officials better than we could have dreamed.
We had to personally raise some extra funds to provide a way for them to come with us, but as a result, their faith and ministry skills grew tremendously during the five-day trip to East Africa. They are now more committed to their faith and local ministry back home in their countries.
Athletes in Action
- Do you shut down or “go dark” when things don’t turn out as you planned? Do you try to solve the problems in your own efforts, or do you turn them over to God?
- Do you prayerfully look for ways to mobilize others into your ministry plans?
- Are you willing to do a little more work to help others go and grow?
Ask God to help you turn your frustrations into prayers–right away!