Head Football Coach Mike London Resigns

This past Sunday UVA Head Football Coach Mike London officially resigned. Thank you sincerely for your prayers for him and Receivers Coach Marques Hagans since the last newsletter. This is one of those times that the Answer to our prayer was for God to do something different and greater than we expected. It is still possible that coaches and staff may be retained when a new head coach arrives. Please pray for Coach London as he searches for a new job and for the current staff and coaches that they may even retain their jobs.

The search for Coach London's replacement is on and it's an important one. This coaching hire will also directly affect our engagement and access to the football team at UVA for years to come. Since Sunday my prayer has not been for a specific man to come and bring "Wins" to our program, though I am hopeful and compelled to ask in that manner -- Most importantly, my prayer has been that the Lord would place a new head coach that will aid in the greatest effect among the team and administration for the Gospel to take root and change lives. More than worldly success our hope is in God to radically change lives through the saving knowledge of Jesus. And that the eternal hope, trust, joy, and dependency in Christ will fuel lives for greater change in the community and on the field.  I hope you will join me in praying this way.  A head coach's perspective of our ministry can be a game changer as to how we get to relate to and pursue the players and other coaches for Christ.


Minions, Vikings, and Lightning McQueen!

      The local masses descended upon the Lawn at UVA Friday night as the University’s brightest opened their doors to trick or treating families in the community! Among the mob of candy coma hopefuls waiting in lines to snag a sweet treat at each door, our little Lightning McQueen and Mommy were able to capture this photo with none other than Cav Man himself.
        Amidst the chaos of costume adorned students and families a greater sense of their need of the Gospel swept over us. Our prayer is that this forward thinking Ivy League school of the south will experience God’s love and forgiveness in radical ways.

      During our visit I was also privileged to sit down with Head Football Coach Mike London in his corner office on Sunday following a much needed win by the Hoos! His perspective that his identity is not found in his success on the football field is rare in college football and it was exciting to forecast my future involvement with the program. Over the past few years of his tenure at UVA, he and the coaching staff have experienced a lot of difficulty -- not to mention one of the nation’s toughest schedules this year. Please remember Coach London and Wide Receiver’s Coach Marques Hagans in your prayers as these men both mentioned their need for prayer while they spend their lives building men of character on the football team in a very critical environment.
     
We cannot thank you enough for the important role you play in our ministry together!
                   Praying for you,
                                         Connor and Bekah


PUKE!

    Hours seemed like days -- Up and down, up and down the boat bobbed. The horizon my only steady reprieve on the rolling open ocean. I braced myself from one gut exploding convulsion to another. What had promised to be a fun, relaxing company event filled with hoisting exotic fish from the deep, had quickly become one of the most miserable experiences in my recent memory.  

     In our convenience saturated safe society it is not often we get the privilege of pondering the reality of death – yeah, I thought it could actually happen. My mind raced with scenarios of never reaching shore for over 5 hours during our travels through the choppy waters 20 miles off shore. Dark cold sprays of ocean showered me incessantly stealing my heat and numbing my limbs on the two hour journey back.  Death is real and it comes upon everyone - some sooner than others.  

Boat.jpg

    My mind tossed in time with my gut from soul steadying scriptures to imaginings of my own end. Why not me? A hometown girl in her twenties was recently murdered by her own husband with their kids still in the house. A few years ago, a college student riding a long board to class fell and instantly- dead. Tomorrow is promised to no man.  “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time then vanishes” –James 4:14.

    As I think back to Sunday’s experience I am genuinely grateful to have suffered.  My prayer now is that I wouldn’t quickly forget the hours of that day when I clung to Christ as tight as I clung to the railing of that pitching boat.  Let’s not dismiss our sufferings flippantly but allow them to strengthen us; to preach truth us. Let them inform us of the greater realities that are so easily drowned out by media.  Eternal consequences hang in the balance for our souls. The fight is real – let not our faculties be lulled to sleep!

     This is just one reason we can’t wait to get to UVA and minister to the athletes of the hope and joy that remains in Christ alone. Not only do temporary difficulties fade as light and momentary afflictions, but the eternal weight of glory that is to come ministers to our spirit and encourages our soul to joy and faith.

     Christ is not only our bulwark throughout the tempest of life’s buffeting, he is our great Savior who testifies to our Father that we may enter eternal joys.

We are so thankful for you and your continued support of our ministry together!

                                                                                Praying for you,                                                                                                                 Connor and Bekah




You have the power to change the world.

You have the power to change the world!

     This sentence is one I have wrestled with for some time. How can someone like me change the world?

     Awe gripped me while listening to a friend of mine share his story. God powerfully and dramatically altered the course of generations within his family beginning with a “happenstance” presentation of the gospel on a college campus. After being moved by the message of Christ, he went home and shared his new found faith with unreceptive and even confrontational parents. Years of further conversations ensued along with many trips home with strategically invited Christian friends. Finally through occasional interactions with these “college kids” and, more importantly, God’s power, his once stubborn parents were radically transformed. The bonds of addiction which had gripped them were loosed and family relationships restored. But God didn’t stop there. His sister, a runaway at age 16, returned home no longer fleeing from the abuse doled out by her parents. And not alone, but pregnant and with a boyfriend.  The Spirit’s further pursuit quickly resulted in their coming to faith in Jesus. To this day they remain a testament to a Christ initiated and sustained marriage and the proud parents of children that also know the living God. Many lives restored, many wounds healed, and not just on earth, but for eternity.

One message, one night, one college student…..

 The brutal fact is that we have no power within, or of, ourselves to change the world, but the reality is...

God does.

And even more amazing -- He uses us, though small and weak, as instruments of change.


Tour de Ft Collins

Tour de Ft. Collins

A huge thank you to all of our partners who made it possible for us to get out to Colorado! Through your gifts and most importantly your prayers we were able to experience God's grace in amazing ways.

God has already provided abundantly for us. As many know, we opted not to rent a car, but to rent bikes for the week. Well.. we proved the old proverb true, "a man makes plans but the Lord directs his path." The forecast in the land where we are told has 320 days of sunshine a year was rain, rain and more of the wet stuff. After coercing my pregnant wife go for a 5 mile bike ride in the "mist" on day one, we decided that we would have to trust in the Lord's provision for transportation while out in a rainy Fort Collins for the week. 

And, oh, was he gracious to provide. We met a cyclist from Boulder who was kind enough to let me drive his Colorado infused 1990 Forerunner (his description not mine) whenever we were in need to get to the store. And I met a "high rolling" pastor with a benz (220k miles+ on her) that shuttled us to and from our meetings. He was even gracious enough to invite us to his home for dinner on more than one occasion.

But the highlight of our week was learning more about our dependence on our Father's provision not just for transportation, but for our soul's greatest needs and for our daily sustenance as well. This is what makes getting into full time ministry so exciting.  We can't wait to get to "Grounds" as they say at UVA and share our greatest eternal hope with the students there.