My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! [Thomas Jefferson]
Uttermost Sports pursues the frontlines of missions in the 10/40 Window—lines of beautiful people whose skin is a different color, whose meals have different flavors, whose lives move to different rhythms. These are distant lands where the air is filled with the haunting melody of the call to prayer and the unfamiliar sound of foreign tongues; these are places with much darkness and a desperate need for light. The work is not without difficulty but thank God His Spirit is moving, even if we do not always see the evidence. For most of us, the frontlines stay a world away—but sometimes the frontlines come to us. Sometimes, God brings His lost sheep to the streets we walk and the places we eat, so they may see the light of hope shining brightly.
Recently we spent time with visitors from Central Asia. They were in the United States for a sport and culture exchange program, 10 full days to play their sport and experience life in America. Quite simply, and to a person, our ‘land of opportunity’ exceeded their high expectations. In America, there are wide highways and clean buildings; there are impressive sport facilities and friendly people. In America, people of all ages, genders, races, and abilities are valued and protected. In America, there are endless possibilities and dreams are free to be dreamed. And in America, there is hope—truly, where else in the world can you say that?
Among all the nations of the world, the United States stands alone—regardless of its faults and failings—as a place where individuals matter. America’s foundation on Biblical ideals leads many people to assume that to be American is to be Christian, even if less than half of the population regularly attends church services. The many freedoms available here act as tangible reminders of a God who offers freedom to captives and hope for our eternal future. The world is watching, and it is a gift and burden to live in a country that represents equality, basic human rights, and liberty—a country that is still a city on a hill.
When an American says that he loves his country … he means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. [Adlai Stevenson]
In secular sports settings, overt evangelism is not always possible or advantageous. Instead, we hold tight to Jesus’ encouragement in John 13:35, that “your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples." Our love for others—warm and genuine, without regard to faith or ethnicity or social status—shines brightly in a world covered by dark shadows. As we shine, we reflect the holiness of the Light of the world Himself, trusting nearby opportunities to love and serve are as valuable to a Sovereign God as opportunities happening across the oceans. The beauty of His grace crosses all barriers and has the power to change any life, anywhere. Uttermost Sports seeks to take the Word to the uttermost parts of the world through sports, but we will also embrace any opportunity to love people from uttermost places—rejoicing when the frontlines come to us.