Just days prior to our Annual Champions Dinner we had to shut down ticket registration! Days before the event, we knew it was going to be a special night…and it was! It was a night of celebration of what God has, is, and continues to do in our area. As people entered the room, pictures were scrolling on the screen from FCA events taken through the present year.
Clay Stump and Andrew Eberle from Wauseon Middle School shared how they led their team in prayer before games, and after games at midcourt with the opposing team. Andrew Eberle then led us in prayer.
Brookview Farms once again catered a fantastic Chicken Barbeque and Hawaiian Sausage patty buffet! While we ate, pictures of each award winner scrolled on the screens.
As we finished eating, Wendy Yeager of Keep Watch Prayer, shared the power of prayer in schools. Wendy and her husband Matt are deeply involved in the lives of students in the Toledo area and surrounding communities. A great reminder that what our students need is Jesus Christ, more than any policy or plan.
Alfonso Mack, former BGSU football standout, shared about our FCA Leadership Camp. Alfonso is our co-director of the camp, and he passionately encouraged students to attend.
Students from a 24-county area, as well as nationwide are being invited to join us July 12-15 for our FCA Leadership Camp! It is the only FCA Leadership Camp in Ohio and Michigan this year!
Our next speaker, was our featured guest, Brad Hurtig! We have known Brad for more than 10 years as a FCA volunteer, Huddle leader, and chaplain. Brad now tours nationwide, sharing his story and spreading the gospel! Brad was inspiring and encouraging as expected!
We then invited five students and two adult Huddle leaders to the stage. Max Baker (Fayette HS), Noah Rohrer (Bryan HS), Alissa Duford (Clinton MS), Eli Miller (Archbold HS), Macy Gerig (Wauseon MS), Mike Colon (Wauseon HS), and Laura Krzyzaniak (Clinton MS)
They shared how FCA has impacted their own personal lives and how they see God at work through this ministry.
Emma Zenz, a senior from North Central High School shared about her internship with our office. We wanted to publicly thank Emma for her work! She will be receiving a scholarship from FCA towards her college bill.
Finally, good friend and long time volunteer with FCA, Mike Martinelli took the stage. Mike is a faithful photographer, huddle leader, team time chaplain, and more. Mike encouraged those in attendance to be part of the Home Team. Just as we give a waiter or waitress a tip, how about monthly giving to a ministry that is making a world of a difference?!
The evening concluded with the celebration of our student award winners!
At the end of a season, coaches often gather for league and district voting. Often 1-2 athletes from a team…sometimes more are recognized and chosen to be in the All-Star game, representing their school and community. Live an MVP, they are honored. At this event, our Huddle leaders and coaches nominated students from their school who are like FCA MVP’s.
Here is part of the message shared to the students:
We know that there are more students besides those being recognized that could have easily been standing on this stage! But Sunday night we recognized the students that had been nominated.
You are leaders. You are Champions for Christ! You are a light in a dark world. You may not think you have much to offer. You may think your little Huddle or your little act of love and obedience doesn’t add up. You are wrong. It matters.
You are like a night light in my basement. That little light keeps me from stubbing my toe, tripping, or running into a chair. I’m so thankful for that little light…and I never say “Thank you light.” Because that is the purpose of the light. Tonight we say “thank you for shining” regardless of how little or big you shine.
On February 14, another tragedy hit a public school. 17 lives were lost. What is going on? What do we need? More laws, more control? There is room to discuss our opinions without arguing. Tonight, I want to suggest the answer is God’s love. What we need is more of God, less of us. This is a spiritual battle and we must fight spiritually!
On February 14th, same day – I visited a couple teams after school, just as school was letting out. A teen opened the door for me – carnation in hand. He bought it for himself. He wanted others to think that someone loved him. It didn’t hit me until later, that this is the world we live in. Everyone wants to be loved…and without the love of God it is dark and desperate.
What will you do? Our world needs the love of God, and you have it! You are His ambassadors! You have the Good news that Jesus Christ has saved us from sin and death! When we repent of our sins, and trust Jesus Christ, we have new life! It’s Good News! It’s time to wear it! We must display it! And you are! Keep living it out!
Every day, deny your selfish thoughts and actions. Instead, pick up the cross! It’s not easy, but God’s Spirit will help you! You are more than victorious in Jesus Christ!
Congratulations – keep living it out!
FCA staff member, Rick Straley closed in prayer asking for God to encourage and continue to bless the ministry of FCA.
Many of our students came to realization that the gospel must be shared and that they are critical in their role as leaders, shining for Jesus Christ. Through the various speakers; Wendy Yeager, Alfonso, Rick, Brad Hurtig, and the students – I believe the name of Jesus Christ and the need for this ministry to boldly stand was proclaimed clearly. All glory to God!!
By the way, next year’s speaker has already been booked! Mo Isam…see her story here.
We are thankful for all that are part of our ministry! We have a great staff of people, Jenny Stump, Rick Straley, and Josh Erd. Our board members, our banquet committee, and those who helped underwrite the Champions Dinner. We are blessed with many huddle leaders, volunteers, coaches, and parents who have taken time to lead and direct the students. We thank God for the many student leaders who have invested in trying to lead their peers and change their school for Jesus Christ. And we thank God for the home team members, those who support this ministry through prayer and financial giving.
Our greatest praise and thanks goes to our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the powerful Holy Spirit who is working through this incredible team of staff, volunteers, leaders, coaches, students, and home team to make an eternal impact!