As I reflect back on the past weeks of sports camps conducted here, I find myself repeating what we often say on our international sports work team, "We don't deserve any of this."  But He has chosen us, given us strength, equipped us, considered us faithful, and appointed us to His service.  Therefore, working in our strengths and striving to make the most of the gifts, passions and opportunities He has so graciously entrusted to us, we chase after darkness, engage the enemy, and fight the good fight of faith... for the purpose of making Him known, making His name great wherever He leads us… 

Our "sports tour" began a few weeks ago, when our team of 6 like-minded coaches met and traveled together. There, we conducted a 4 day basketball camp, as a "kickstart" to the newly established basketball school led by my like-minded sports colleagues there.  The days were full-on, consisting of 4 hours for girls in the mornings and 4 hours for boys in the evenings!  We had about 100+ kids participate in the camp!  Needless to say, we were all spent, but in a good way!  For me, this camp was quite different, as I was not the one in charge.  My sports colleagues, who live in there, coordinated and ran the entire camp!  Such an enjoyable and rewarding experience for me to see my colleagues lead out, and to get to be one of the coaches for a change!  He really blessed our team of 6 coaches with a tremendous sense of camaraderie and community, as we literally spent every waking moment together and still got on great!  However, our efforts as foreigners would be in vain were it not for our local partners!  Thus, a definite highlight was witnessing the strong team of young local leaders that bonded together to help us run this camp!  This established a solid foundation for my sports colleagues to build upon as they start the basketball school this fall.  At the conclusion of the camp, our 2 male coaches had a sweet time of fellowship and sharing Truth with the young male leaders who expressed genuine interest to know more of the One we pursue.  Good stuff to build on there!

Several days later, we said our tearful good-byes, as our amazing "sports tour" came to a close.  Our visiting coaches arrived overflowing with His grace and love, and weeks later departed exhausted, having been poured out for His name's sake in this dry and weary land where there is no water or Light.  Our "tour" was truly a gift of His grace, as we were blessed to join Him as He continues to shower His hand of favor over our sports efforts there.  We are thankful in these weeks to have been a part of both new foundations being laid, as well as building upon that which He has already established and continues to grow.  What a gift to share such an experience, grow together, and strengthen one another along the way, living out unity as His Body!  

His grace truly is amazing, as He entrusts us with the opportunity to work in the strengths He has given us.  Thus, with grace comes responsibility.  The challenge before us is to recognize what has He graciously bestowed upon us, in order that we might seize every opportunity to make His name great where we are.  

Amazed to live out His grace,