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When Plan A Turns to Plan B

When Plan A Turns to Plan B

Hope is Greater in Uganda: When Plan A Turns to Plan B

Children checking out the cracked pot! Love the “bowl hat”

Today we were in the Rwamwanja Refugee Camp, Uganda – home to 72,000 Congolese refugees. This camp has nine schools with 2,000 – 3,000 students in each school.

This report is from Mark Crea is the CEO/Executive Director of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). During this week, he had the incredible privilege of traveling throughout Uganda with Stefan Radelich, CEO and President of Feed the Hungry.

Every day the children receive FMSC meals. Today the food they are eating was packed with love at our Aurora, Illinois site. If the food was not here, many students would not go to school.

You’ve heard me say numerous times, “You better have a Plan B and C when working in the places we work.”

At the Mahega school, Plan B was in place. The pots they use to cook our food are the biggest I’ve ever seen. The cooks rise very early in the morning to prepare the noon meal. They gather wood; build, light, and stoke the fire; then fill the pot with water and finally FMSC food.

However, today the large pot at this school cracked.

Smaller pots were gathered, and the cooking process started all over again. What that meant was that the hungry children would not eat at noon. Instead, they would eat at 4:00 p.m.

No one left. All 2,218 children waited – empty bowl in hand – for four hours.

But at the end of the long wait, their tummies were full. Praise God for our partners who do everything they possibly can to feed God’s children.

Even when that means going to Plan B or C. Even when that means starting over so no child goes home hungry.

P.S. – FMSC will help pay to repair the cracked pot. It will be $150 (600,000 shillings) well spent.

As a Christian nonprofit organization, Feed My Starving Children is called to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit.You will hear us say this again and again: “We want to reach everyone, until ALL are fed.” We truly mean this. This means reaching the hard-to-reach people and places, the “least of these.” They will be found, and they will be fed. With God’s help we will work together with organizations and ministries across the globe to end hunger. Operating in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) distributes nutritious food and inexpensive meals that enable missions to run orphanages, clinics and schools. Learn more about FMSC and how to volunteer or support their work here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

 

A Child’s Only Meal for the Day

A Child’s Only Meal for the Day

A nutritious meal received in a Haitian school might be a child’s only meal for the day. Through Mission of Hope’s nutrition program, thousands of school children are given a warm meal everyday. This meal is promoting a healthy school and a healthy child in the midst of the food insecurity crisis in Haiti right now.

On average, 40,000 meals provides nutrition for one school for an entire year. Hot, nutritious meals are changing the lives of the children attending school. These children are the next generation of leaders in their nation, and a nutritious meal at school will affect the success of their education in a positive way.

Meal packing events make this possible by assembling a large number of meals at one time. Numana Inc. facilitates large-scale packaging events, where people gather to assemble meals for organizations like Mission of Hope. One package includes six meals. Recently, volunteers from Forest Hill Church in North Carolina gathered together to package 40,000 meals to be delivered to Haiti.

Alex, a 13-year-old who packed meals said, “I woke up at 5:30 am so I could help set up the Numana event with my friend. I had such a fun time and asked the church how I can be more involved and hopefully go to Haiti on a Mission trip one day.”

“Our campus experienced wonderful community and multi-generational time together while we packed meals with Numana for Mission of Hope. The event was a special day for our church body that sparked a desire to serve locally.

We are excited to see where this love for others takes our congregation as we strive to impact our community with the hope of the Gospel,” said Julie Sale, a Forest Hill member.

A meal packing event can have a significant impact in the lives of children in Haiti, and we’re grateful for all who make it possible. If you’re interested in hosting a meal packing event. you can learn how here.

Mission of Hope was founded in 1998 by Brad and Vanessa Johnson. Ten years prior, Brad’s parents, Bob and Sharon Johnson, acquired a piece of barren land 20 miles north of Port au Prince. Their vision was to build a mission that would help meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Haiti.

In 1996, Brad and Vanessa were serving in Haiti on a week-long mission trip where they watched an 18-month-old baby die as her father held her on their way to a clinic. They learned the baby had starved to death from the parents not having enough food. This moment was etched in their minds forever, and they could not escape the image of the grieving parents as they mourned the loss of their daughter. Brad and Vanessa felt the call on their lives to make Haiti their home, and in 1998 they moved to Haiti to officially start Mission of Hope.

Mission of Hope has grown from a small mission located on a barren piece of land to a fruitful organization that houses an onsite orphanage, medical facility, school, and church. Through partnerships, Mission of Hope also helps other orphanages, churches, and schools throughout the country.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

A Momma’s Hope and God’s Protection

A Momma’s Hope and God’s Protection

Did you know that African countries have some of the highest populations of twins in the world? In Uganda, twins are so prevalent, even their parents are given special names! Sometimes, in rural village settings, parents aren’t able to care for both children, so they choose to neglect the weaker twin. But not “Nalongo” Rose.


When this 20 year old mother gave birth to twins and her son, “Kato”, had severe digestive and muscular delays, she never once gave up hope, not even when the babies’ father, “Salongo”, walked out, or her own mother refused to take her in. Although “Babirye”, her daughter, flew through all the milestones of her first year – sitting up, first foods, walking – Kato didn’t gain weight, couldn’t eat, and kept her awake with constant, full-body muscle spasms.

Nalongo Rose tried everything she knew to do, then one day heard about Good Shepherd’s Fold (GSF), deep in the sugarcane fields near Jinja, Uganda. She began attending the weekly discipleship program on campus, often walking long distances with both children to save money on transport. She was confident, yet humble, spoke freely of Jesus, knew English, and fiercely and equally loved the frail one year old in her arms and the vibrant one year old at her side.

Through a series of doctors visits, it became clear that Kato (and his mom) could not survive for long in their current condition, so he received a feeding tube and was moved onto campus. Nalongo Rose worked tirelessly to earn transport money so her family could be together. As word spread about this special mama and her son’s unique disability, everyone at Good Shepherd’s Fold wanted to help.

The social worker who grew up in the same town as Nalongo Rose, the new nurse on campus, the missionary childcare helper; each played their part in some way – even if it meant an emergency hospital visit right during church! Nalongo Rose has since been provided with a small home nearby, is being discipled, and has a job assisting with a program for special needs families in the villages. She encourages mamas to keep going, even when times are rough.  She tells them, “Disabled children are like homework that God gives us. If you don’t care for them the way you should, you’re wasting the privilege and opportunity you have to grow and learn. Kato is my child. God gave him to me on purpose. Even though he is very weak and I didn’t know how I was going to keep both him and his sister alive, I knew they were worth it, so I kept trying. I see now how God was protecting us and watching over us, even then.”

“I am the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys…He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was Love.” Song of Solomon 2:1,4

Nalongo Rose’s story isn’t done being written and Kato still has a long road ahead, but we’re loved by a big God who doesn’t give up on His children, so we’ll keep trusting in Him to finish the good work He’s begun. As you go through your day, look for God’s banner of love over you. Do you see His hope in your life? Do you have someone who encourages you? How can you help or encourage someone, right now?

© Adria Hinrichs

United World Mission has a global staff of 400 serving as residents in 49 nations with partners that are impacting over 90 nations. United World Mission seeks to help leaders to establish and build up the church as God’s missional people in their nations and beyond. We create missional opportunities for North American churches and for God’s missionary servants who are called to serve in short and long-term ways.

Our vision is of a church in every nation that blesses every nation and neighborhood by their life together in community, their works of mercy and justice, and their message of grace and hope through Christ’s death and resurrection. We would love for you to discover United World Mission and the opportunities available for you to participate with us and our partners around the world.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

The Water Walk

The Water Walk

Every morning, 12-year-old Diana gets up with the sun. Before she can go to school, she has to get water for her family.

Diana lives in Salgaa, a densely populated town in Kenya. It’s a truck stop for long-distance drivers, but most of the residents – like Diana’s family – are farmers. Her dad drives a tractor, but most of his pay goes to cover rent on their small house. There is very little left for food, clothes, or school fees for Diana and her siblings.

Worst of all, there’s no money left for water.

Which is why Diana gets up early every morning to make the long walk to the river. The river is about 2 miles from their home. She carries an empty “jerry can” (plastic water jug) with her.

At the river, Diana is always sad to see how polluted the water is. There’s trash floating in it, along with the dirt. Often, cows and goats are getting their water there too, which means dung is mixed in with the water as well.

But it’s the only water Diana has, so she fills her jug anyway. “The river is polluted,” she says, “but we have no choice but to consume from it.” Heaving the jerry can onto her back, she starts the long walk home. Her jerry can holds 2.6 gallons of water. Full, it weighs over 20 pounds.

When she finally reaches home, she has to rush to make it to school. And that’s just the beginning of the day! After school, Diana repeats the journey all over again. Altogether, she spends about 4 hours fetching water, every single day.

The water Diana and her siblings collect from the river is all the water her family has. They use it for cooking, drinking, and washing. They try to boil the water before they drink or cook with it, but that’s tedious and time-consuming…it doesn’t always happen.

And that’s when Diana gets sick.

The dirty water causes diarrhea and vomiting. Not only does that mean Diana can’t go to school, it means their limited income has to stretch to cover medicine too. There is a clinic in town, but it’s very expensive. Diana’s father earns about $5 a day driving the tractor. In any given month, he spends about half of that on medicine for his children, just to treat water-borne illnesses.

This is Diana’s real life. 4 hours every day carrying heavy water jugs. Getting sick. Watching money disappear into doctor’s hands. And she’s not alone. Around the world, 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean water.

The water crisis isn’t just numbers. It’s affecting real people like Diana. And we as Christians should help! Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” It goes on in verse 40 to say, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” What better way to care for “the least of these” than by meeting basic needs like clean water?

We cannot continue to ignore the very real suffering of Diana and hundreds of other children like her!

Which is why we’re focusing on water this summer! Clean water projects like water catchment systems and household water filters are making a huge difference for children like Diana!

Each year, contaminated water kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined. Clean, safe water is a significant challenge in most of the developing world. In fact, in these areas, diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis and others run rampant.

To combat this scourge,  Childcare Worldwide builds water catchment systems throughout the areas in which we work. Each of these systems provides water for up to 1,000 people. This program is completely transforming the lives of children and their families. Diseases are stopped, lives are saved, people are more productive and able to better support themselves and their families.

Childcare Worldwide builds these water systems at church locations. This means entire villages are coming to the local church to get free, clean, and safe water. People are hearing the Gospel and coming to Christ because of these systems. They are learning of the one who gives the water of life! Click here to learn how you can help.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

A Happy Ending!

A Happy Ending!

Kennedy works on our bikes, and he especially helped our daughter Annie get her unicycle put together.  But I usually see him at work, where his energy and smile are an encouragement as he runs around the hospital trying to sort out the different things he manages.

About six months ago I had the privilege of delivering Kennedy’s baby boy.  I remember the case well.  His wife was past her due date, and so we were inducing labor.  However, for some strange reason every time we checked their baby’s heart rate, the tones were not normal.  She was not even feeling her contractions, but with every unfelt contraction we saw on the monitor, the baby’s heart rate would go down, and in between contractions the heart rate would be too high. These are signs of stress to the baby.

I do not like to do a cesarean section on a woman who is not in labor, but in this case we decided to go ahead.  The surgery went well, and their baby was fine.  But the next morning I heard from the pediatric team that the baby had an imperforate anus, a birth defect that affects about one of every 5,000 newborns.  That means that there was no way for the baby to have a bowel movement.  Obviously, this was a problem.

The next day they sent their new son into the operating room to get an ostomy – which is where the surgeon attaches the end of the intestines to the abdominal wall so that the bowel movement can pass from the body through the abdominal wall.  Then they did surgery to correct the closed anus. The last step involved reattaching the intestines together so that their son could start passing stools normally.

It was a long road, but everything ended well.  Kennedy really wanted a picture of us all together, and I was glad to snap one too.  He is obviously happy that his son is doing well, and although I had just the smallest role in it, I am happy too.

Christian Health Service Corps is a ministry of Christian doctors, health professionals and health educators serving the poor in places that have little or no access to healthcare. Each year, we bring compassionate, life-saving health services to hundreds of thousands of families around the world. Our doctors and health professionals are often the only access to care for young families in poor communities.

The Christian Health Service Corps (CHSC) is dedicated to transforming the health of children and families in their communities. CHSC health professionals save many lives while imparting knowledge that builds community capacity for sustainable change. With respect for human dignity, we work to build community capacity to:

    • Promote a worldview that nurtures and supports spiritual, and physical wholeness in families
    • Ensure child survival and normal growth of children
    • Improve health infrastructure and access to functional healthcare services

 

Learn more about Christian Health Service Corps and how you can support their work here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

Do You Have Clean Running Water in your Home?

Do You Have Clean Running Water in your Home?

According to United Nations 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.  If you have clean running water in your home, you are blessed beyond measure. His Hands has been working in a village called Los Limones which is a very poor village in the city of Gualan, in the Zacapa region of Guatemala.  This village has no electricity, no clean water, and no sanitation, other than outhouses.

There are a few open wells which are often contaminated from dirty buckets and run off. We have already seen sick children with parasites and other water borne diseases in the clinic.

One little girl had a skin disease like warts all over her.  All preventable diseases.

This village has 75 families, 525 people total, consisting of 150 adults and 375 children and growing!  So you see why we are so concerned about the quality of water these children are drinking.

Good news is His Hands have found 4 wells that were put in by another non governmental organization, however the wells were all broken or needed work, and after an extensive search no parts were found available in Guatemala to repair.

Lady taking a 5 gallon bucket to her home
So we started from scratch and came up with a better plan that will be more beneficial to the community.  We have already repaired and upgraded one well.  We deepened and cleaned the well.  Installed a solar powered water pumping system.  The solar array will charge batteries and provide power to the water pump.
The water will be pumped into a 660 gallon holding tank and then exit the tank through a filtration system to a centralized sink where people can fill up their jugs with clean water.  Although their is sufficient water storage, the battery will supply power to the pump on rainy or cloudy days.  In addition, solar powered security lights were also installed around the facility.
We also installed 3 solar powered security lights.
One of the other projects we are going to do next, is build a centralized bathing area.  This will allow these families to bathe in clean water and not a dirty contaminated river.  This is very important because this river contains all sorts of nasty bacteria and diseases, not to mention feces.
We tested the pump and gave the kids all a shower, they loved it

His Hands International has helped countless children and families in Guatemala since formed in 2006. We are a small and simple ministry. We work with one child, one family, one village at a time. We take what God has blessed us with, large or small and use it to His glory. In addition to our water projects where we are providing clean and safe water to entire villages for the first time we are doing so much more. His Hands has placed countless pairs of shoes on needy children’s feet. We have provided funds to renovate classroom space for a church. We have provided vitamins, medicine, food, clothing, back packs, school supplies, and so much more. We also on many occasions have helped buy school uniforms and pay for books and tuition for some children. Most importantly we show these children love and compassion by our actions. They know that we genuinely love and care for them despite their situation. Learn more how you can support their work in Guatemala here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

How to Prepare Your Youth Before Your Next Mission Trip

How to Prepare Your Youth Before Your Next Mission Trip

If you are taking students on a mission trip and you see it merely as an event you’re “supposed” to do, you’re doing it wrong. I know that’s a pretty controversial statement, but hear me out for a second. Taking your students on a mission trip is predicated on building a missions mindset before the trip. This new mindset not only prepares them for their upcoming trip, but impacts them into adulthood.

Let’s be clear. The mandate to equip believers for works of service is clear in Ephesians 4:12. This passage states serving others is not only required but should be a natural desire of our heart once committing our lives to Jesus.

Here are five ways to get your youth invested in their mission trip before they leave:

1 – Physically: We’re not talking about having tryouts like Little League, but we need to ensure the students are equipped for the physical demands of the mission trip. If you’ll be serving at a higher altitude or if there will be a lot of strenuous activity, encourage them to be as prepared as possible for more vigorous activity.

You could have them walk as a group for one mile and tell them it’s not a race, but the point is to walk and talk with each other. It’s another opportunity to build relationships.

Have fun practicing or learning whatever tasks they will be doing on the trip. If it’s painting, find somewhere to paint. If it’s construction, have a fun work day and teach them the skills or at least improve their skills. Preparation is key.

2 – Spiritually: Create or find a devotional that your team can do a week before and during the trip. This will give them a shared experience and prayer goal that they can do together. If they are praying for this before the trip, it’s more likely to happen on the trip. If you’re using an official mission trip organization, they’ve probably developed this resource and will make it available to you as part of your trip package.

3- Mentally: Whether you’ll be serving in your own community, a different state, or a different country, it’s essential they know what to expect about the area and the culture. It’s also crucial they understand their role as a servant on this trip. Find three to four articles on Group Mission Trips’ Blog and print them for the students to read. It’d be best to have them read one at the same time and then use it as the basis for discussion with each other.

4 – Experientially: One of the best things I ever did was to require local service before anyone had clearance to go on the regional or international trip. I’d offer three or four service projects during the school year. They were allowed to miss one, but full participation was best. Think of it as an experiential payment. It also gives you a chance to see group dynamics between individuals who might not regularly interact with each other.

5 – Practically: When kids leave home for an extended amount of time there is generally a detailed packing list. If we leave it up to the kids, you’ll have boys carrying bags full of firecrackers, Pokemon cards, and honey buns. Make sure the packing list is known long before it’s time to load the vans.

Follow up with them or their parents before the trip because you don’t want something as simple as not having the proper work shoes or dress clothes to be a distraction from the work you’re trying to accomplish for the Kingdom. By preparing your youth for their next mission trip, you are laying the foundation for your youth to develop a missions mindset and become mature believers.

© Len Evans –  Len has been in ministry for over 25 years and has written more than 100 articles for various youth ministry publications.

With humble beginnings going back to the early 1990s, Group Mission Trips has been working with and helping communities across the United States and the world. As the non-profit mission ministry of Group Cares, Group Mission Trips work hard to bring meaningful service to the communities they serve. Since their beginning, thousands upon thousands of mission trip participants have racked up millions of volunteer hours serving people in need.

All these years later, one constant remains true: Group strongly believes in providing opportunities for teenagers to encounter Jesus through serving others either in their own backyard or halfway across the globe. The Group Mission Trips legacy of lasting impact continues…

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

 

Seeds of Impact

Seeds of Impact

“One seed can start an entire garden. One audible can change the outcome of a game. One constant encouragement can impact a life, which impacts another life, and then another.”

Patti Howard is a retired coach and teacher who found her calling nestled in the hallways of Indiana public schools. Her love of Christ, other people, and sharing about God’s love has made a remarkable impact throughout her community, and especially in the life of Donnie Roark.

Howard began her teaching and coaching career in Mobile, Alabama, and in 1980 she returned to her home state of Indiana. She immersed herself in the lives of her players at Jeffersonville High School as varsity basketball and golf coach and assistant track coach. She was soon introduced to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) through a fellow teacher. Three years later, she took over FCA’s leadership at the school.

Howard often wondered whether she was in the right field as an educator and coach, pondering a job more open to share her faith. But she had a specific placement.

“God said, ‘You are ON the mission field—it’s called public school,’” she said.

In 1987, Howard transferred from Jeffersonville to the rural area of Charlestown as its middle school physical education teacher and sixth and seventh grade basketball coach. She sensed the tug to begin FCA, but didn’t act on it until 1996, when her daughter Micah entered eighth grade. What began as three people at See You at the Pole one rainy morning turned into a vibrant Huddle with more than 120 students just one year later.

“When He’s in something, He takes off,” Howard marveled. She watched God bring kids to Himself and expand His reach into the community through their service projects like Christmas shopping for underprivileged kids and hosting an annual end-of-year lock-in for more than 250 students that included games and a speaker who presented the Gospel.

A POWERFUL INVITATION

A well-recognized face in the halls, Howard invited students to FCA meetings at every opportunity. One of these students was sixth grader Donnie Roark. Because Howard taught his mother years before him, their families knew one another. For Roark, Howard’s familiar face and mutual admiration for sports drew him to her, and he accepted the invitation to attend FCA.

“God said, ‘You are ON the mission field—it’s called public school.”  – Patti Howard

Howard passed on the FCA leadership torch after Roark’s sixth grade year, but the two kept in touch, and Roark became an FCA leader in eighth grade. Later, he joined his high school Huddle. At Howard’s urging, Roark attended FCA Leadership Camp the summer before ninth grade. It became a turning point for his life.

“Leadership Camp was a big deal,” said Roark. “I was still young in my faith, but there it became evident what I was passionate about: telling others about Jesus.” Roark blossomed in his faith through college at the University of Southern Indiana and Indiana University Southeast, and his passion to share God’s Word grew.

In 2014, as graduation crept closer, Roark found himself at a career crossroads and turned to Howard for wisdom. Howard asked him deep questions that uncovered how God was speaking to his heart and helped make connections for his next steps of obedience.

CONNECTIONS

After retiring from teaching in 2013, Howard, along with her husband, Jim, have stayed involved as prayer partners with the University of Louisville baseball team and supporters of Louisville FCA staff Chris Morgan. The Howards invited Roark and his wife Becca to the Louisville FCA annual fundraiser where Roark caught the vision of FCA and realized he could work for the ministry. The Howards rallied around Roark and connected him to Kraig Cabe, former Indiana State Director, and Indiana University Area Representative Dave Hudson.

“Getting the message of Jesus Christ into schools—that’s been the heart of my heart.” – Patti Howard

A DOMINO EFFECT

Little did Howard know that when she invited a sixth-grade student to an FCA meeting, God would use this boy to become a part of His plan to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Howard bears the fruit of decades of Christ-like service and love in a domino effect through Roark, who is blazing the way for greater ministry. It’s a spiritual trifecta, according to Roark.

“Going through FCA with her gave me a great template for what FCA should be, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and how to live my life,” Roark said.

Recently, Howard returned to her roots at the request of Roark when he needed help coaching a fifth grade basketball team at Jonathan Jennings Elementary School.

“To be a coach puts you in an intimate setting,” Howard said. “It’s the perfect time to incorporate the value of FCA standards. A coach is in a key position to be Jesus to the team.” Howard’s influence has coursed through generations; many of the players she’s now coaching are children of her former students. Her son Zach is a gym teacher, coach and Huddle leader as well.

Through decades of undeniable movement and a heartbeat to share God’s love in the schools, Howard’s faith in God’s sovereignty has only grown stronger. Her passion to devote herself to His grace continues to grow in leaps and bounds. She’s kind, loyal, and she exudes a light that’s infectious.

“You know she knows Jesus,” Roark said. But for Howard, she remains focused on one thing. “We don’t serve a run-of-the-mill God,” she said. “We serve an incredible, amazing God.”

© Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is touching millions of lives…one heart at a time. As the largest Christian sports ministry in America, FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering, and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. Since 1954, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA’s mission is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.

FCA is working in communities throughout the United States. As one of many examples, check out here to learn about what they are doing in San Diego, CA.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.