Written by AJ
News Release Men’s college team three traveled across Europe using basketball to tell others about Jesus. I was lucky enough to lead this trip and began praying months and months before we traveled that God would put who He wanted on this trip. He answered that prayer. Ten young men committed to this trip and wanted to share Jesus. We set off with an understanding that we were not saving anyone, that’s God’s job. We merely sought to share our hope that we will one day see Jesus and God in His full glory for eternity. Often in the right place at the right time, I was able to hear our players giving glory to God and leading kids to seek after Him. I wish I could write down all the amazing stories I have from this trip, but I’m not trying to write a novel here. However, I will say that I saw children commit their life to the Lord on this trip. I was able to see our players breaking the Gospel down and explaining about Jesus and His love. Many people heard the grace and truth of the Gospel and we all were humbled to be used to expand God’s kingdom.
Our time in Lauf was awesome! Based on connections from the year previous, the response to our love for Jesus was well received. The theme of camp was community and love for others because God gave us the greatest example of love. I sat with a young girl in tears explaining how I have a constant joy in the Lord. I explained that I am not guilty about past failures because Jesus has made me a new creation and taken my sins in exchange for His righteousness. Even in just the short time I was with her, the spirit was shaping her. The kids and host families in Lauf are such a special group of people. They showed us a great love and it is a very special city where God is active and changing hearts.
A very Jesus and basketball loving group lead our team during our time in Munich. Often our group prayers were slow leaving time for the spirit to speak to us. The camp was high energy and a ton of fun! Each day after basketball training we had power hour with our team members mixed with campers. Biblical lessons were taught and we openly shared our faith. The camp ended with a special night where the Gospel is presented and kids can speak with us about starting a personal relationship with Christ. The kids are plugged into a community of believers after this night. The YMCA in Munich is still very Christ-centered with many of the Germany leaders from camp working there.
Antwerp was the city I was most excited to visit. Last year was our first year there and God made it clear that there was still work to be done and we needed to go back. The size of the camp nearly tripled from the previous year! We ran a great camp and many kids heard the love of Christ for the first time. God used me most in the host homes. Being the leader, I often spent time with the host families, club owners and coaches for logistics. One of my host mothers was in tears at the dinner table after I explained the way Jesus lived and what He has done for us on the cross. Her upbringing was one where religion was seen as something to simply control morality. She spoke about how our team lived a life so different from any other religious person she had ever met. It sounds cliché but seeds were planted and God is knocking on her heart. With all that being said, God worked on my heart during this trip. This trip was not smooth sailing for me, but God was teaching me to trust Him more and lean on His strength instead of my own. I left Phoenix with some tough situations in my own life and now with some time back from the tour, I now see that His plans were way more incredible than the ones I had thought of.