Dave and Connie Deal, Athletes in Action, Cru
AIA Sport Chaplaincy
As an evangelism and discipleship ministry, AIA is focused on the word “every”. It’s an integral part of the Great Commission and one we take seriously! To that end, AIA’s Global Leadership Council recently gathered with several experts (from within and without our organization) to help form new strategies that will help us reach more people with the Gospel through sports chaplaincy. With the power of the Holy Spirit we are seeking to build “bridges of relevance” between believers and nonbelievers. Our desire is to develop volunteers and AIA associates around the globe that will be trained and who will train others to reach “every”. Our great desire is to see that there is a Christ follower on every team, in every sport, in every country. Combined with a new emphasis on Church Sports, and accelerated by Global Major Events and AIA Media Strategies, we believe the goal is attainable in this generation!
May saw Dave host the AIA Country Leaders from 5 East Asian countries in Singapore. These gatherings are really fulfilling for him as he cares for and encourages this select group of men. What a great time to be together, to hear from one another and from the Lord, to cast vision for the future of AIA in this critical part of the world. Summer is an especially important time as camps, tours and projects from around the globe come to these countries to help accelerate the spiritual movement building that is taking place year round. Please pray for these leaders representing South Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Singapore and other parts of East Asia!
We have had a great summer together as a family. Luke is off to junior high camp at “Hume San Diego” this week and also served on “Impact,” (a missions trip) a couple of weeks ago in Payson, AZ. We pray these experiences will have a deep effect on his personal faith.
Abby and Hannah have enjoyed some play dates with friends, lots of swimming, and we all loved time with family in Williams, AZ, over the 4th of July. This week, we are headed to Cru’s U.S. Staff Conference in Colorado, and we will have a chance to visit Mount Rushmore and South Dakota at the end of the month.
Home Away From Home
One of the most natural, and most enjoyable parts of our job is hosting baseball players and their families in our home. Whether it’s marriage & family counseling, encouragement to pursue purity, training in evangelism… or just providing a rare home cooked meal, we enjoy journeying with these guys & gals and we look forward to seeing how God will use them. Please pray for players & wives like those pictured above. They are some special people!
Changing Lives in the Indoor Football League
On the field, the Arizona Rattlers had a successful year, ending as champions of the IFL. Off the field, Dave has just completed his 20th year as chaplain for the team. Although teams, leagues (moving from the Arena Football League to the Indoor Football League) and players change, he is grateful for the continued privilege of teaching, mentoring, & encouraging men weekly to walk with God and to be spiritual multipliers.
(You may have noticed that) Men are not usually inclined to focus on deepening relationships! But this year’s Bible Study helped remind us that the Holy Spirit wants to help us do just that. We took several diagnostic tests that helped the guys understand how they are individually wired in the areas of apologizing, expressing appreciation and assessing their own anger… and what God has to say about these (and other) facets of relationship building.