T.I.A. “THIS IS AFRICA!”


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.

Taylor

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Some Lady Lion Love

South Africa Training


Shooter

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


JUNE NEWSLETTER

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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 http://www.aiabaseball.org/news/?id=7722

May Newsletter OREGON, OHIO, SOUTH AFRICA and MOZAMBIQUE


maynewsletter08doc

 

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. 

Just Short


In my final season coaching at Thomas Jefferson High School I wanted to go out with a bang winning the state title.  We went out with a bang making it to the state championship and we choked loosing two games in a row to Ralston Valley a very good team who we had beaten twice this year and owned the last couple years.  But we got banged up and did not play our best baseball.  As dissappointing as it was as we debriefed after the game I thanked these young men of about 15 seniors many of whom I have coached or been around the last 4 years for the journey.  Winning is nice but it is the process of the journey winning or lossing and our responses to the results of the games of life that make our character.  It was a very sentimental season for me and I am proud to have got to coach such a dedicated, hard working group of future leaders.

      I do remember that God used a state championship lost in 1997 to completly change my life.  Baseball, my idendity, my glory, my stats were all my God and it had to get crushed in order for the real Lord of my Life Jesus Christ to be able to take his rightfully earned place in my life.  I am praying for the coaches and players that get their identity in a game (baseball as awesome as it is) would see that the only true fullfilment comes from a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.  And playing for his glory and using our platform of sports to impact others instead of self worship, pride or even just competition.  All the trophies in the world, all the gold medals, all the wins mean nothing in the realm of eternity.  When we stand before God we cannot take those with us but the character that is developed from those and the influence we use to impact others can make a mark on history. 

Please pray for The Thomas Jefferson Spartans to set the vision on a higher goal.  To use their talent to help change communities, young men and families. 

Rocky Mountain News Articles

Final Four Game

TJ looses state-championship

Denver Post Articles 

Mustangs take two

TJ Jouranl article on State Runner-Up

 

Matthew Mankoff Steinmark Award Finalist

 

Video feed of final state championship

Oregon- a breath of fresh air


 

After a busy weekend I went to Oregon for a follow up retreat with Campus Crusade for Christ for some financial seminars to be a wise steward with the money that so many generously and sacrificially give for me to minster to influential athletes. 

 

I got alot of wisdom, fellowship and a good heart check and refresher for my motives to be out of the abundances of the love of Jesus.

Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School Baseball goes to State Championship


Four years of investing in these seniors and I am very proud of them as this weekend we enter into the Colorado 4A State Championship game! Their talent along with our great coaching stuff should get us a ring!

Check out article from the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News

TJ the diamond of DPL baseball

Taking nothing for granted

 

 

 

 

More Photos

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