One Life at a Time

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Cleveland Metro Area

The Cleveland Metro Area worked with the Glenview High School football team for a summer football camp during July, 2018. It was a three day camp, and a number of the FCA Board members were present and helped as huddle leaders. In this case the huddles were prayer and bible study groups of about 10 football players. There were about 70 boys aged 15 to 18 at the camp each day. For a number of us on the Board being involved in this football camp was a new experience, and I can tell you that we were all positively affected.

Amazing things happen when you are moved by the Holy Spirit to reach out to others. On the second day of the Camp, several of the Board members were standing on the side of the field watching the coaches and young athletes going through the football drills. We noticed a young fellow just hanging around, not participating in the drills. He stayed to himself off to the side, and was dressed in hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, covering his head and face. We were not sure what to make of him. Was he going to cause trouble? This was a rough neighborhood and we know that many, if not all, of the young athletes participating in the camp are constantly being pulled in the wrong direction.

Our Board Chair, Dr. Tim Vala, decided to go over and talk to the young man. At first he was reluctant to give his name, but eventually did. Tim spoke to him for a while and then handed him one of the FCA Bibles that we were giving to each athlete at the camp. The young man moved away from us and sat down on the edge of the football field, holding the Bible. A little while later we noticed that the young man was lying on the ground reading the Bible. He kept reading for at least 30 minutes until the drills were stopped for lunch. We all then went into a nearby church fellowship hall for our bible study and lunch. We saw no more of the mysterious young man that day or the last day of the camp. We did find out that many of the boys at the camp knew our hooded young man.

A week later at our Board meeting, our Area Director, Steve Sanders, read a text that he had received from that young man. It was a very well written text thanking the FCA for the Bible. Steve informed us that the young man is the son of the biggest gang leader in Cleveland. I can only imagine the negative forces pulling on this young man as he struggles with the right path to choose for his life. However, I do not question that the interaction that day, when he received the Bible, and positive influence from the FCA athletes, whom he knows, have pulled him, and will continue to pull him, in the right direction.