International Camps Help Fellowship of Christian Athletes Spread the Gospel Around the Globe
300+ International Camps Will Bring the Hope of Jesus to Coaches and Athletes in All Corners of the World, Including Lacrosse in Korea and Israel
(EDITOR’S NOTE: First in a two-part series on Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ International Camps planned around the world.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The vision of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) is to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
That vision will be realized through 300-plus International Camps this summer in more than 40 countries around the world.
“We praise God for FCA International’s Camps growth this summer!” said Dan Britton, Executive Director, International Ministry. “As Camp ministry is growing internationally, we are thankful to God for His help in completing a new resource, the International Sports Camp Manual, which international leaders will be able to use for training and to build and run FCA Camps in their countries. We are also immensely grateful for the translation of our summer camp devotions and small group materials into eight languages: Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Ukrainian, Russian and Urdu. This summer is sure to be an amazing testament to God’s faithfulness as we reach coaches and athletes through the sports they love for Jesus Christ.”
This week, Mark Stephens, FCA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional International Coordinator for East Asia, and his 17-year-old daughter, Lilly, are traveling to South Korea to run an FCA lacrosse Camp and introduce both girls and boys to the sport. Lilly, a player for Urbana High School in Maryland, will help coach in the girls’ Camp. For the boys, FCA is partnering with the Korea Lacrosse Association. As a whole, lacrosse is relatively new in Korea, with just 16 high schools in the country offering the sport.
Mark, Lilly and the rest of their group will take with them more than 200 pounds of lacrosse equipment to leave behind—hopefully along with a love for lacrosse and a passion for Christ. Lilly will share her testimony with Camp attendees, and Mark will speak on the 2018 FCA Camps theme of “Strong,” based on the Bible verse 2 Timothy 4:7.
Under the umbrella of the “Strong” theme, Camp attendees worldwide will hone in on the fact that believers serve a strong God, and how His followers are called to be like Him in every area of their lives—including sports. The coaches and athletes who attend FCA Camps will discover that polishing their athletic skills is important, but strengthening their faith in Christ is crucial.
In Korea, Stephens’ group with also partner closely with FCA Korea, which is active in the country and has made significant inroads in the witness for Christ over the past several years. Attendees to the lacrosse camp will consist of young players from local schools and churches, as well as family and friends of FCA staff. Stephens also reported that this month’s Camp is the third for Korea, but the first focusing on lacrosse in the country.
The lacrosse Camp in Korea actually began with a connection through the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). Frank Kelly III, a longtime leader within FCA Lacrosse, attended this year’s annual U.S. Lacrosse Convention and met with an FIL representative and the director of the Korea Lacrosse Association, which helped spur the Korea Camp.
Kelly and Britton, the founders of FCA Lacrosse, are also currently in Israel for a lacrosse trip along with FCA Lacrosse staff and volunteers for the FIL World Lacrosse Games. There are 46 countries participating in the World Championships, and FCA Lacrosse has sent a group called “Team Serve” in an effort to serve the FIL, the Israel Lacrosse Association and as many of the visiting nations as possible. The FCA Lacrosse squad will scrimmage as many as 14 different countries’ national teams, as well as share more about FCA and the Good News of the Gospel.
“This is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Britton added about the Israel lacrosse trip. “We pray for FCA Lacrosse staff and volunteers for safe travels, for protection and stamina as we serve—and for our opportunities to bring honor to the Lord through the sport of lacrosse.”
This summer, upwards of 800 FCA Camps in the U.S. and internationally will reach about 115,000 coaches and athletes, who will work on their athletic skills and team building while strengthening their faith in Christ. Those who want to be a part of FCA Camps can find Camps by sport, day or location through FCA’s easy-to-use Camps site. Last summer, new attendance records were set as 113,000 coaches and athletes converged at 780 total Camp events in 45 states and in 41 countries around the world, where 9,417 coaches and athletes made first-time commitments to Christ and 10,997 recommitted their lives to Christ.
To find FCA Camps in specific areas or to inquire about volunteering at an FCA Camp, visit www.fcacamps.org. Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.