August Newsletter “Facing your Fears”


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Joshua 1:9 says,  “ I command you-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

AN Acronym for FEAR





Screams of Joy at 9,000 FT.


Kip my Tandem Instructor and my soft landing

Taylor, Jonny Picard, Robert Tringale “Cookie”  my Nyack College Friends

July Newsletter 2008

Back from Africa Newsletter “Becoming Less”


(Click above on blue text to download newletter)

Scroll down to see added videos to old blogs.  IMPORTANT  go to “AIA Basketball” page to the right to see videos and see staff leaders from South Africa and Mozambique.  Also if you feel led to support them financially, get their newsletters feel free to contact them as I put donation information and emails next to their name.  Staff in other countries have a very hard time raising support even though the cost of living might be less than in America.  I pray the Spirit may lead you to continue to invest in these countries in prayer, resources and finances.  Maybe God might call some of you to visit, especially because they need help for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

or click here They play on some computers and don’t play on others.  I think you need adobe flash player 9.

For more videos and inspiritational stories of the olympics go here which was the website of the bracelts we handed out to everyone.

The Giants of Mozambique

Marshall’s Pics

Click abouve to see many pictures uploaded to a website thanks to our friend Marshall living in Maputo.  He was an instrumental part of some of the contacts with teams we played.

If you are familiar with the story of Caleb and Joshua in the Bible you might understand that we faced this story in many ways.  Caleb and Joshua were the two spies that had faith out of the twelve sent  to check out the “promised land” as the Israelites were coming out of their long testing in the desert.  They saw the land and the Giants of the land and believed that through God they could take the land.  Well  there are many giants in Mozambique.  Campus Crusade has infact labeled their vision “The Caleb Project” (hopefully I can share with you at another time).  The giants include the HIV or Aids virus which is prominent amongst the country.  extreme poverty,  crime, orhpans and many more.  We were confronted this situation and have been sent by God and prayerfully covered by you and thousands of others joined in prayer throughout Mozambique and South Africa to offer hope and make a difference.

Our first with the flood of media we said that we believe one of the solutions to these giants is empowering the athletes in the country particularly the basketball players to use their influence for Jesus Christ and to pour back into the communties.  This was a well received and new concept.  The teams we have played against have accepted our challenge to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and use their talents and other talents to pour back into this awesome country.

With an exception of playing the three time defending national champs we have done very well on the court and we are probably only a Div II  skill level basketball team.  However our clinics and game play has provided a platform of love and truth to challenge the people of Maputo and Matula in Mozambique to seek God to overcome many of these Giants in the Land.  There city is so run down and humbled that they are in a great position to receive the truth and transformation that Jesus can bring to a community and a country.

As a team we did face the Giants of Mozambique at the “Basket Show”.  Let me describe this crazy Mozambique thing.  A basket show is like a glorified high school dance with basketball in the center.  There were 5-6,000 fans and over 3-4 million viewers live on national television.  There were about 5-6 games that went only 2 quarters of competition, then a halftime dance group would perform and then the teams would split up and play against each other for the 3rd and final quarter.  It was extreme chaos!  Well we didn’t shoot well and got worked the first quarter then we had the post 1st quarter show at half court and we taught 5,000 fans to sing a Zulu worship song that we learned in South Africa and they sang it with us.  They went nuts!  So God is very creative.  After the game we were able to share with the Mozambique National team and challenge them with a relationship with Jesus Christ and to use the influence to transform the community.

Check out the crowd going nuts as their national team takes an early lead

Our NJalo Worship Song

….fastforwarding like 4 days.  The last night we were exhausted, played on dangerous conditions in the ghetto of matula, with bad refs, none of us wanted to share anything after the game and go home.  But we were encouraged as our Mozambique hosts and AIA volunteers picked up the slack and ministered powerfully to their fellow citizens.  We saw that God has now empowered them to do the work, they must needed to see from us how to do it.  Please keep them in prayer as their are about 100 people for them to follow up with.

Larry’s Commentary before the game of the Matula Court and Conditions




Wow your prayers have been paving the way as our team instantly bonded in training camp in Johannesburg South Africa. We had 3 guys from South Africa and one guy from Bulgaria join with us for 5 days of training. We are in Mozambique and have had amazing impact.

Prayer of the seceratary of Government of Maputo Province in Mozambique. The head of the sports department for the province. National press conference where we shared of purpose of integrating sports and Jesus Christ to empower their basketball players to help transform the community, their province, their country and the world. The concept of mixing sports and Jesus to change communities is new and well received. Bibles are like gold down here as many of the leaders and coaches are receiving the Bibles in Portuguese we ask them to promise to teach their kids.

We have visited an orphanage with Iris Ministries and played against their younger guys and loved on the kids, then shared testimonies. Their spirit is very receptive to the Holy Spirit in prayer looking for great things of God. We will go back to them in a few days.

Tonight we put on a “Basket Show” for over 6,000 fans and play an all star team from Mozambique. We will teach them a worship song we learned in the Zulu language and hope the Spirit of God hovers in the praises of the people.

Our clinics have been excellent in developing the fundamentals of the well talented players. They just need basic drills and discipline, they have been as hungry to learn about Jesus as they have basketball.

I have a lot to say and no time to do grammar check. I tried to load 10 pictures and it took alot of time and failed, sorry I will load them when I get back to the Us.

Our whole trip has been a blessing and our focus is prayer. Thank you for joining with us in making a difference in Mozambique and South Africa. I am grately humbled by the favor, protection and unity God has provided for us and the warm hospitality of the people.


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Some Lady Lion Love

South Africa Training


While the team was practicing the Team Director and I played soccer with some kids coming to a soccer camp for poorer regions of Limpopo the north most province in South Africa.  They were very good and I needed the work out.

Pray for AIA Basketball Africa Trip July 2-23rd




Follow our team blogs Here

Africa Logo - newsletter

Prayer Request:

1.Leadership-Unity, Commitment to work through conflict, wisdom and discernment for chaotic situations, Joy (John 17, Romans 14:19, James 1:5, Acts 13:52)

2. Team to learn to play basketball for Jesus Christ physically, mentally and physically,(Luke 10:27, 1 Timothy 4:7-8 )

3. For our AIA Missionaries in South Africa (Agery and Dirk) and Mozambique ( Fernando) to best use our time. (Ephesians 5:16)

4. For the strongholds racism and hatred, social injustice and poverty to be broken down. Jonah, Micah, Isaiah 58, Luke 10:27-35)

5. We will be teaming up with 3 South Africans and 1 Bulgarian and that our racial unity would be a witness that all people are created in the image of God and Jesus loves all of mankind. For the way we interact with each other to be the gospel to others who struggle with racism and wounds from Apartheid. (John 17:23)

6. Pray for the reception of the love of Jesus for the Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique national and local teams as we share our story and the story of the love of Jesus Christ at half times in our tournament in Mozambique. ( Acts 4:31)

7. Pray for us to be a help and empowerment for our AIA staff members already located in those countries. (Ephesians 4, Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 4:10-11,)

8. For leadership development of our teams for these young men to be empowered to be men who fulfilled their purposes in their generation. (Acts 13:36, 2 Timothy 2:2)

9. For vision for how to best minister before the World Cup 2010. (Proverbs 29:18, Matthew 28:18-19)

10. Physical protection from diseases, violent crimes and major accidents. (2 Samuel 22:32-51)

africa notebook

Families, IHOP, T-Bones, and more

Former Athletes in Action TCL player Steven Trout playing professionally for the Kansas City T-Bones

Pictures at Kansas City T-bones with Steven Trout who played with AIA baseball Texas in 2006.  I used to play against the T-bones.  Trouty is doing awesome and anchored in the Lord. I am staying with Jason and Debra Lester in Lebanon Ohio and their three boys Noah, Elijah and Jonah.  I will move to Xenia, Ohio when I get back from Africa.  Jason was the General Mangager for the Mineral Wells Steam the last 5 Years for AIA team Texas and the president of AIA Baseball for a long time.  Now he is encharge of the Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia, Ohio.

Lester son’s Elijah and Jonah helping me make a video.

Athletes in Action Texas Collegiate Player Scott Bittle Drafted in 2nd round by New York Yankees

     Scott Bittle of the Mineral Wells Steam Athletes in Action Team Texas was the 75th overall pick of the 2008 MLB draft.  Bittle played with us in 2006 and 2007 summers and tore it up this year at the University of Mississippi.  I texted bittle today congradulated him and dropped a prayer text for him.  I asked if he had anything he wanted to say for the blog and here is what the good old southern boy had to say, “I just want to say that I feel honored and blessed that the Lord has given me an opportunity to continue a career in professional baseball.  It is an honor to be drafted by such a distinguished organization like the New York Yankees.  I want to thank everyone that has helped me along the way.”  Bittle is definately got the stuff to play at the next level and the character as well.  Bittle leads by example on and off the field.  Scott had a pretty dirty slider in the TCL that would break bats but hitters would get like 3 foot base hits or dribblers.  I guess this year he got tired of that and decided to strike guys out as he had 130 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched.    
Please be lifting up Scott in prayer as this is an exciting time for him and everyone he knows.  With the blessings of playing at a high level there is also a hightened need for disernment in who to trust and getting involved with the right agents, friends, teammates and being wise with money and time.  Please be lifting Scott up to make an incredible impact in professional sports for Jesus Christ and for him to enjoy the moment.



By Taylor Hargrove

Below is an email I received from the newly married Kevin Mcarty who had been running alot of the show for Athletes in Action as a SID and Assistatn General Manager the Last three years in Mineral Wells Texas. 

Scott Bittle became the first Athletes in Action Alumn to be selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball draft when he was taken in the second round by the New York Yankees on Thursday. Bittle was the 75th overall selection and highest AIA alumn taken since Josh Donaldson was selected by the Cubs as the No. 48 player in the supplemental first round in 2007.



Bittle, who pitched for AIA’s Mineral Wells Steam in the Texas Collegiate League in the summer of 2006 and 2007, anchored the bullpen for Ole Miss this spring. The senior from Texarkana, Texas, notched eight saves with a 1.78 ERA while striking out 130 batters in 70.2 innings. Bittle was dominant for the Rebels in the post-season, striking out 12 of 13 batters faced in a 4.1 inning appearance against Missouri. Bittle also posted a 7-1 record in 2008 and limited hitters to a .145 batting average.
Bittle joined the Steam from Northeast Texas Community College in 2006 and made the TCL All-Star team as one of the team’s top pitchers. Bittle was limited but participated with the Steam again in 2007 and rejected a free agent contract from the Yankees before returning to Ole Miss for his senior campaign.

Bittle is the highest Mineral Wells Steam player to be drafted, surpassing Texas A&M’s Blake Stouffer and Mercer’s Cory Gearrin, who were both taken in the third round of last year’s draft.

Kevin McCarty
Graduate Assistant | Baseball Contact
Illinois State University Athletics
Campus Box 7130
Normal, IL 61790


 See write up  at




Some of you might be wondering what is up with the long hair?  Well besides the fact that I am trying to be a movie star 🙂   I am growing it out for locks of love.  If you don’t know what that is it is an organization that you donate your hair to (at least 10 inches)  and they make it into wigs for cancer patiences who need hair.  So I have a long way to go and a hot summer in Ohio and Africa to deal with the long hair.  But I definately understand why ladies take so long to wash their hair now.  I had to buy a head band to keep my hair out of my face for when I do activities it can get really annoying. 

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