a DEFEATED season

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Peace Prep and oaksATL put together its first official athletic team this fall, a under-7 soccer team. Game 1, our kids scored their first goal a few minutes after the whistle blew. You'd expect kids to be jumping in the air cheering ecstatically. Not our kids. They looked around with blank expressions on their faces. Almost dazed. No smiles. Unsure of what emotion to feel.

For youth in our community, most haven't had too many moments of being celebrated in life or being cheered for. As the faithful parents, teachers, and coaches on the sidelines cheered for our kids, it became evident they didn't know how to respond.

It wasn't until nearly halfway through the season, we began to see small glimpses of a smile when someone scored a goal or made a great play. We ended up having a "defeated season". Yes, we lost every game. And, even though we lost every game, we saw tremendous transformation in the way the kids viewed themselves and their teammates.

Traveling home one Saturday in the team van, I began to hear some laughter in the back seat; then some joking; I even saw a few smiles. They were having fun together. They were becoming a team. You could sense our kids were feeling like they accomplished something; like they were a part of something - a team, their school, a community. I noticed they even starting walking with their heads held a little higher. During the last game of the season 6 goals were scored, a season high! Our U7 soccer team might not have won a single game, but God used this season to build character and further shape the future for our youth.

Thank for your continual support and giving our kids the opportunity to play soccer, be a part of a team, get a taste of accomplishment, and to be celebrated. Thank you also to FCA Urban Soccer for your support and the opportunity to be a part of your soccer community.

Matt Maxwell
English Avenue Site Director

Family

fam·i·ly

ˈfam(ə)lē/

a primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring's, the principal function of which is provision for its members.

As we celebrate and reflect on these past five years, the word FAMILY best encompasses year five. As we embrace God as our Father and Jesus as our older brother, we recognize that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Urban Soccer is a spark for deeper relationships to develop and we have seen this especially take off in year five through providing for each other's needs. 

"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude."
1 Peter 3:8

Join us to:  

*CELEBRATE the athletes, their families, donors and sponsors  

*PLAY games, be inspired and even meet new friends  

*EAT the ever so yummy CFA food  

*EXPERIENCE the vision for the next phase of ministry

Come and see how God created a FAMILY with FCA Urban Soccer; beginning from ground zero in 2010 to a life-changing ministry in 2015.

RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKET TODAY!

(tickets must be reserved by midnight tonight)

Through the Eyes of an Intern - 03/16/15

Growing up in a middle class white family in North Augusta, SC doesn’t leave a lot of room to be in an environment exposed to different cultures. Although, I hadn’t been exposed to many different people groups growing up, I longed to be around them. I had the opportunity to take an internship with an FCA inner city soccer league May of 2013. This was the first time in the States that I would be able to not only see intercity life from the outside, but be involved with them first hand.

If I was looking at practice from a soccer perspective, it was more or less a nightmare. I had warm ups, drills, and games planned that failed miserably. The kids didn’t listen to a word I said, and there was a fight that broke out among them. Need less to say, it was completely different than what I expected. I learned from that point on to throw away all of my expectations and meet the kids right where they were. They were growing up completely different than me. They wore the same shoes every day, knew more about the “world” than I ever did at that age, and they experience more violence than I probably ever will. I saw how their world was different. I began to really understand and just listen to the kids, to be understanding and patient. From being present around them, I began to love them. I wanted more for them; I wanted them to personally know Jesus.

Jesus is beyond any culture. He meets anyone right where they are. He not only meets us but he sees us, hears us, and understands us. This is what people really want from relationships: to be heard, seen, and understood. This internship allowed me to do just that. I was and still am comfortable with approaching people who are completely different than me without expectation. Being around inner city culture changed my entire perspective forever, because I connected with people from the inside.

  

By: Emily Dodd

FCA Chaplain at Emory University

Moving Into the Old Fourth Ward - 02/19/15

"For those of you who don’t live in metro Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward is located on the eclectic Eastside and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Atl. It’s home to historic architecture, fun shops, up-and-coming restaurants... and the highest concentration of poverty in the southeastern region of the United States."

  

In the past year, you may have heard us talk a lot about the Old Fourth Ward and our work in this neighborhood. For those of you who don’t live in metro Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward is located on the eclectic Eastside and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Atl. It’s home to historic architecture, fun shops, up-and-coming restaurants... and the highest concentration of poverty in the southeastern region of the United States. Shocked? Yeah, I was too. The O4W has the largest population of section-8 housing in our region. The average household income is $3,000.00 annually. Some residents pay as little as $12.00/month for rent and out of 700 housing units only 25 have a male presence.

These statistics really only scratch the surface of the devastating conditions my neighbors live in. Drugs, violence, prostitution, gang-activity, sex trafficking, malnutrition, and neglect are just a few of the daily realities our kids are faced with. I moved here a little over a year ago and I have seen first hand and can testify that this neighborhood desperately needs attention, support, and the love of the Church. 

Urban Soccer Director, Adrienne Saxon, had the desire to extend our reach to the O4W a little over a year ago and has been conducting soccer clinics for the past 6 months. With in the first month, 50 kids were showing up every week to hear about Christ and learn how to play soccer. We were able establish a partnership with local church, Blueprint, to supply volunteers. This Spring Season, we are welcoming FOUR new teams from the O4W into our league-family. This is an enormous step for us, not only as a soccer league, but also as missionaries and stewards of the Gospel! We take our work very seriously and know that we have been entrusted with some very special hearts. 

We look back to where we started and are in awe of God's faithfulness. We look forward with expecting hearts, anticipating God to use our humble efforts for His glory. 

By

Samantha Walton

FCA Urban Soccer Assistant Director

Restoring Hope - 01/23/15

Guest Post by Amanda McGill

 

Have you ever just been so disappointed that your heart literally fell into your stomach?

If you asked me on Saturday if I have felt what it truly feels like to be disappointed, I probably would have given you the “DUH” look; everyone has felt disappointed in someone or something at one point in time. But then Sunday happened. I felt a level of disappointment that I could not even fathom. My heart was broken. No, my heart is shattered.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a coach to an inner city soccer team here in my city. The love that I have developed for these boys and girl has been completely unpredictable. I try to instill in these precious children the importance of sportsmanship and respecting not just our own team, but the teams and coaches we play. It’s not about winning all of our games; it’s about portraying the love that we have been so graciously given.

On Sunday, I received word that my kids were on the field using profanity to the other team. There is no doubt in my mind these children know this is unacceptable. Maybe outside of soccer they can get away with this behavior, but when they are on the field, they are mine; and it will never be acceptable for my children to use that language. Within seconds,  I experienced embarrassment, anger, and disappointment.

When I thought I experienced all the disappointment I could in one day, I was then informed that some of my boys were arrested. As my eyes filled with tears, for the first time in my entire life, I felt what it feels like to have my heart ripped out of my chest. For the first time in my life, I felt what it truly felt like to have a broken heart.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Working for the kingdom of God was never promised to be easy. In this time of heartache, I have to continually remind myself that I am not the one in control. God continues to provide evidence on how important it is to dive into these boys’ lives and show them love. The Lord was at work on those soccer fields long before I stepped foot on the sidelines, and I pray that He uses me for His glory.

Far be it from me to not believe,

Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me ,

Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You

Through it all, through it all

It is well.

 

 

Written by Amanda McGill

Urban Soccer Coach


Check out her blog at: https://therootrecords.wordpress.com

Faithfulness - 01/09/15

faith·ful
ˈfāTHfəl/
Adjective
1. Loyal, constant, and steadfast.

    What an amazing word. When I read that definition, the first thing that comes to my mind is the faithfulness of God; His loving kindness and steadfast commitment to us in all situations. I also think of a higher call for us as believers to strive after this seemingly daunting word. To be faithful is to stick with something even when there seems to be nothing left; Commitment isn’t meant to come with conditions… it’s meant to be eternal. We are so thankful and in awe of faithfulness when it has to do with God’s relationship with us. His forgiveness of sins, His steadfast love, and His promise to never leave or give up on us. But when it comes to our own faithfulness, sometimes it seems that we have given up all hope of learning to be people of commitment. Maybe it’s something that my generation struggles with more than previous ones. I’m not really sure, but I do know that I see it as a problem, both with those around me and myself. It’s a sad, but true reality that this beautiful characteristic is unsettlingly hard to find in todays emotion driven society. I want for a second, to make us think about what it really means to be faithful and challenge us to ask God to convict and change us if need be.

I see it all around me, every day; people giving up. Giving up on jobs, marriages, friendships, ministries, financial security, good health… the list could go on forever. We have a problem with thinking:
    a. Commitment isn’t necessary and a specific call from Christ himself

    b. If we feel like something isn’t right, it must be time to move on

    c. We simply don’t have the ability to stick it out when the going gets tough.

I think that we have blinded ourselves into thinking that it’s better to be rid of something that is unpleasant, instead of asking for the strength necessary to make it through it. To be sure, it calls us to be more and give more. It even calls us to do things that we simply don’t have the strength to do. But if I asked you if you have the desire to become spiritually, emotionally and mentally stronger, my guess is that you would answer with a resounding YES! I know with 100% certainty that I do not what to be in the same place next year that I’m in this year. I want to grow; I want to become more of the woman God has envisioned me to be.

So I wonder what would happen if we disciplined our minds and hearts to pray diligently for strength instead of asking for another door to be opened? What if we decided that we would sacrifice our emotional comfort for the betterment of something or someone else? What if before we even started, we set our minds that no matter the outcome or success, we would stick with something until the end… no exceptions.

We could no longer rely on our own strength, because that would be impossible. We could no longer accept that we are what we are, and we can’t be anything be more. We could no longer be satisfied with this continual “starting-over” and abandonment of responsibility.

We could however, actually be who God says that we are. We could be Jesus- driven, status quo opposers who choose eternal favor over temporal satisfaction. We could be a people who know the capability of their God and their identity as His children.
We could be people who do great things, because great things take trial and error and faithfulness through failure. We could have meaningful careers, lasting marriages, deeper friendships, and stronger character. 

Sign me up for that please. I want to be that person. I want to know what that means… I want to know what it means to be faithful.

Do you?

 

Samantha Walton

FCA Urban Soccer Assistant Director

The Truth About Fundraising - 12/08/14

Some of my favorite responses when telling people I raise support for my job:

  • "I told my son, he better not be a college graduate begging people for money to work a Christian job."
  • "Wow, you're one bad chick!"
  • "I could never do that."
  • "Good for you... (but their non-verbal communicates the opposite)."
  • "When are you going to get a real job?"

These are just a few of the many responses I have had when I tell people that I raise support. Because our culture values independence above everything we have become so resistant to ask anybody for help (in more ways than one). Not to mention, people get squirmy talking about money! Tehe. Here are some un-truths and truths that I have found to be encouraging to me while fundraising. 

Un-Truths about Fundraising

  • I am asking you to buy my groceries.
  • I am doing this because I couldn't get a different job.
  • What people choose to do with their money is none of my business.
  • People will be compelled to give without a direct ask.
  • Everything would be better if I could accomplish the mission independent of anyone else.

Truths about Fundraising

  • I am inviting you to join me on a mission for the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • I choose to serve in ministry with FCA because I feel a clear calling from the Lord to do this work.
  • I have a unique opportunity to challenge those around me to consider where they are investing their resources.
  • A request to everyone is like a request to no one.
  • The very essence of fundraising allows for the mission to be a team sport, not an individual one.

 

Fundraising is something that has been a part of my life for the past ten years. I honestly cannot imagine NOT fundraising as a part of my job. I love being able to share the stories and empower people to make a difference in the world. Something that once was a burden has now become a joy for me. 

Application:

1. Co-laborers - If you are someone who also raises support for your job, be encouraged! This could be a great cornerstone to your ministry, not the achilles heel.

2. Givers - Thank you to those who are cheerful givers! To those who may find giving more difficult, I would challenge you to think about "people who ask you for money" differently. View us as people who are inviting you into a God-given secret mission that you could be honored to play a small part in. 

Adrienne Saxon
Urban Soccer League Director

Bankhead: City of Refuge Fall 2014 Season in Review - 11/11/14

Bankhead / City of Refuge Soccer had a successful 2014 Fall Soccer Season participating in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Urban Soccer League. The team earned the runners-up spot in its first season, winning four games, losing four and tying one.  Off the field, players memorized bible verses and were involved in ten bible studies.

Players

We began the season with eleven players, but ended with eight. One player could not continue due to medical reasons. Two other players had challenges with making practices and games.

The eight players who continued consistently attended practices and games. 

Parents/Volunteers

One of the main reasons we were successful was due to the participation of dedicated volunteers and parents.

From providing weekly snacks, to cutting grass and painting soccer fields to teaching the children bible lessons, to driving the van, this was a collaborative effort. Without the level of volunteer support, our first soccer season would not have been a success.

At our final home game, we treated the players, volunteers, and parents to a surprise. We gave out chick-fil-a sandwiches as well as a thank you card and a picture of the team to all volunteers and parents

Soccer League Participation

On the soccer field, we saw steady improvement. After starting the season with two loses, the team ended the season with four wins, two losses and one tie. The two loses were to the eventual champions. We are honored that in our first season, we came second in our division.

Six out of the eight players who completed the season scored goals for the team.

2015 Outlook and Resources need

In 2015, our goal is to continue to develop our 13 year old and under soccer team. We will also begin a six through eight year old program to build a feeder pool for a  future under ten year old team. In addition to this, we will partner with a local middle school (Kip Ways Academy) to provide volunteers to assist coaching its soccer teams of 50 plus kids in the Spring season.

In addition to these opportunities to serve, we will implement a refereeing program for our young volunteers, ages fourteen through eighteen. The goal is to take two to three of them to the referee course in January 2015 and to pay them $20 per game that they referee. This will be a great way to teach them responsibility and provide a means of employment.

Our main challenge is finding an approved location to practice and play games. We will be working with local officials to make this a reality. Parks and Recreation charges $60 for every hour we have to use its fields. We are seeking a waiver on these fees as well as permissions to use vacant land in the area.

Lusenii Watson
Bankhead / City of Refuge Site Director

Interview With Zaniah - 10/03/14

Last week at practice at Vine City, I took one of our kids aside to do an interview. This sweet girl is named Zaniah and she is both an awesome soccer player and amazing student. The first week I started coming to Vine City, she immediately attached herself to my side. It’s been so fun being a part of her life and hearing about her hopes and dreams. She is a very special little girl and we are sure that the Lord has great plans for her life.


Interview with Zaniah on September 23, 2014:

Samantha: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Zaniah: Well, I would want to be a lawyer so that I could make the money to start my own restaurant.

Samantha: That’s awesome! What are some things that you love about your life right now?

Zaniah: School, ummm bein a kid, good grades, and my mama

Samantha: When you think about who you want to be in the future, what are some attributes that you aspire to be?

Zaniah: Tall! Pretty… like beautiful pretty! Nice clothes, nice, fun, and happy.

Samantha: What character traits do you see in other people, such as your mom, teacher or coach that you want to be like?

Zaniah: Yeah! Especially in coach… I want to play rough and don’t cry when I get hurt. Oh, and I wanna really try.

Samantha: Do you mean kinda like being diligent?

Zaniah: Yeah! Diligent is a good word.

That's all I could get out of her, but hopefully it gives you a little look into what her world is like. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide for her physical, spiritual and emotional needs during these crucial years of her life; And as always, thank you for your support of FCA Urban Soccer :)


Sam Walton

Assistant Director of Urban Soccer

A Little Goes a Long Way - 09/16/14

I’ve been working with Inner-city kids for about five years now. It started with mission work over seas, then with the Boys and Girls Club and now with FCA. In the past five years, I’ve experienced some of the greatest joy I’ve ever known working with these kids; and also the deepest sorrow. I have learned so much about the way that God works and how He works through us.

I started out working with inner city youth because I saw the desperation and wanted to help change the world. I went in with my spirit full, ready to see lives transform in from of my face. To my disappointment, what I saw was anything but (what I considered at the time) miraculous. It was more like permanent exhaustion and discouragement and seeing the same kids make the same mistakes a hundred times over again.

I would love and pray and love some more. I would write them letters of encouragement and tell them every day that I was proud of who they were.
Yet, what I thought would happen in months, slowly started to take years. I got discouraged and upset.

I questioned God so many times. I wondered if what I was doing really mattered at all. “Hello?? Don’t you see me? Don’t you care about these kids?? How am I supposed to do the same thing every day, and never see any improvement?”

This was my struggle for years. I wrestled with the thought of, “why even bother…”
All the while, God was teaching me something about HIS character and about the way that HE works. How often I see myself as the one who has to figure everything out, when in reality, it’s already been done.

What I didn’t know then, what I couldn’t see, was that:

God is a patient God.
His timing is so drastically different than ours. Change doesn’t have a time-line or schedule in God’s eyes. It happens exactly when it’s supposed to happen in as little time or as much time as is needed. Sometimes we get these ideas in our head that if we can do X, Y and Z, then it will get done faster and we can stop waiting around. That is so opposite of how God actually works. Our life is to be lived by FAITH; not just in our salvation, but in every area of our lives. We are to trust that what is supposed to happen WILL happen when it’s time.

Being a follower of Christ doesn’t equate to making a few big decisions at a few moments in life; it means making a lot of little decisions every single day.
Mother Theresa said, ““Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
I have found that when I aim for big results in a short amount of time, I lose focus on the moment at hand. God has given us one day at a time, one moment at a time. He knows we can’t handle more than that. The little things we do, in the small moments of our lives hold so much worth and importance. A lifestyle lived in the present takes an enormous amount of faith, humility, and patience. But in the end, it will yield amazing fruit.

WE can’t change people. God changes people. We just love people for who they are and where they’re at in life.
I used to think that if I wasn’t always telling people what they needed to fix and how they could fix it, then somehow I was not living out my faith and truly believing it. What I was actually doing was trying to take the place of Jesus and do His job for Him. And trying to do God’s job for him comes from an attitude of distrust.
We have a duty to show others the love of Christ. But the fate of others is NOT our burden to bear. God is a sovereign God. He is, after all, our creator and father. He is big enough to finish the work that He has started in someone. We may never see the end result, but we have to release that into God’s hands and love people for who they are now and continue encouraging them with the love of Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts and guides us into truth. We need to let Him do His job.

It has been a long, beautiful and sometimes painful journey working with inner-city youth. It’s taught me things that I never would have known and stretched me in ways I never knew I needed growth. I have come to know more deeply the character of Jesus and how he truly is our provider in every way possible.

 Samantha Walton
Assistant Director of Urban Soccer

Remembering the Why and What For - 04/08/14

We are halfway done with the season! Can you believe it? I spent some extra time today thinking about why I serve with FCA and I would love to share it with you.

I bet you didn't know that when I was in the 8th grade I was at a private Christian School in Atlanta on the verge of being expelled for having over 20 referrals. Because my dad was a pastor (that's my theory at least) the school decided to give me a second chance for 9th grade. Which unfortunately, was not any better. I was not a believer, I had such a hard heart, I didn't care about school, I was disrespectful to all of my teachers, and I constantly played the victim. I was in really bad shape. Everyone around me was concerned that there was nothing that would motivate me to be different. And if I am honest, I didn't think there was either.

However, God had a plan for me. The one thing I did care about was sports, specifically basketball. I would play all day long in my front yard and everyone knew that it was all I cared for. My sophomore year of high school, we got new basketball coaches. They were actually the boys state championship winning coaches and they took a very holistic approach to leading their players. Knowing my track record, one of the coaches told me at the beginning of the fall semester that I would not be allowed to play basketball if I had more than 4 referrals by the start of the season. That really got my attention and I was determined to change my ways. He gave me something to fight for. Something that I actually cared about. For me, sports was truly a lifeline and a hope.

One year later, a friend who I met through travel basketball died in a car accident at 16 years old. I came to the harsh realization that if it had been me in that car I would have died and gone to hell. That was the day I gave my life to the Lord. God used basketball to wade through the deep and dirty waters surrounding my heart. He met me in a familiar place, which was the basketball court.

I am telling you this story for a few reasons. First, I want you to know my story and how God rescued me. Second, because I believe the heartbeat of this ministry is giving kids who were like me, a reason to care and a reason to work hard. Third, because it is through the emotionally safe place of playing sports that I pray our kids come to know the Father's heart for them and ultimately give their lives to the Lord.

This is why I serve the under served youth in Atlanta. 

Why do you do what you do? And what is the change you are hoping to see?

Adrienne Saxon
FCA Urban Soccer League Director

 

Sophie - 09/25/13

It's 4:35 on a Tuesday afternoon. I am finally, in the car outside my house, ready to go to the boys and girls club for soccer practice. Shoot, but I forgot to fill the water bottles up. Time to turn the car back off so I can take my keys to open the front door and make it to the kitchen sink.

We are 4 weeks into the season, my volunteer coaches don't really need me at practice anymore, but I like to be present. This day felt different though. I wanted to serve, without stepping on my volunteers toes!

I'll admit to you, that I am usually so wrapped up in whatever strategy I have to grow and improve the soccer league that I have a hard time just taking a mental break to engage the kids we are serving for more than a few minutes.

However, I required myself to be different today by sitting to chat with a few of them. So I walked into the club and sat down at a table with 2 girls playing checkers. Deandre later challenged me to a game. He was actually pretty good, though I let him win. Hehe. As I am walking out, I decided to stop by the program director, Ms. Patrice's office to chat. She begins asking me about soccer and during that time a little sweet munchkin walks in with her head held low. I couldn't help but ask...

Me: What is your name?
S: Sophia.
Me: That's a pretty name. My name is Adrienne, nice to meet you. How old are you?
S: 6... no, 7.
Patrice: She just turned 7 on Sunday.
Me: Well, Happy Birthday Sophia!

Silence... She actually looked 9 or 10 to me, but whatever.

Me: Do you play any sports?
Sophia shook her head no...
Me: Is it because you don't like them? Or you've never had the chance?
S: I never had a chance.
Me: Ms. Patrice, is there anything I can do to help with Sophia?
Patrice: I don't know. She was caught standing on the desk in the computer lab.

Is she serious? I got in trouble for that exact same thing, but I wasn't 7, I was in the 8th grade!

Patrice: Sophia, why did you stand on the computer desk?
Sophia shrugs her shoulders
Patrice: You should never do something without understanding why you are doing it. Did you know it was wrong?
S: yes
Patrice: Then why did you do it?
Sophia shrugs her shoulders again
Patrice: Why was it wrong?
S: ...because I could have gotten hurt.
Patrice: What else?
S: ...because I could have hurt other people.
Patrice: I was just sitting here talking to Ms. Adrienne about the soccer teams and do you know you have to be disciplined in order to try-out?

Ms. Patrice carried on with her mission to help Sophia fully understand the seriousness of her misconduct. In the meantime, I was having flashbacks of the exact conversation Ms. Woodruff had with me in 8th grade.

Patrice: Sophia, I want you to sit here until the end of this period, then I want you to apologize to Ms. Simpson and help her clean the table tops before you leave.
S: Yes, ma'am. as wipes the tears from her eyes.

I watched little Sophia and couldn't imagine her doing something out of rebellion. After all, she wasn't yet two days past seven years old and seemed to be so respectful to Ms. Patrice. I just wanted to wrap her up in my arms and tell her that God has a huge plan for her life.... but I didn't. Instead, I asked her for a hug on her way out and told her I would come check on her next Tuesday.

Ms. Patrice told me about her home life. She and her 8-year-old brother are cared for by two separate grandparents. She said Sophia has been acting up and is starting to get a bad reputation at school amongst her teachers. Her brother was left at the boys and girls club one night and Ms. Patrice couldn't get a hold of his grandfather so she had to call the cops. Though she has been serving on staff at this club for nine years she said she still cried all the way home that night. Especially, thinking about how little the boy reacted to his grandfather abandoning him for the night. She said, "I'm a grown woman, i'll be okay but I just can't imagine what HE felt like."

Me: Ms. Patrice, would it be okay if I came in to chat with Sophia once a week? I would really like to mentor her if you think that will help.

I can't help but think about intersections. If I had not been led to sit down and engage with the kids today, I would have not had the opportunity to sit in a very important meeting Sophia had with Ms. Patrice. My life would not have intersected at such a raw and vulnerable place for Sophia. Besides, she made such an impact on me.

I saw a quote the other day from an urban ministry in Atlanta stating, "We believe in building boys and girls, rather than repairing men and women." The next generation needs us. I am convinced that 10 minutes with a 7-year-old would not amount to hours, days, and years spent trying to re-direct an adult. We all deserve to feel valued, important, and loved.

Today, was a reminder of how I want to spend the rest of my life intersecting with people, young and old, in vulnerable places to infuse hope through Jesus Christ.

 * Fellowship of Christian Athletes works hard to protect the privacy of the children we help. As such, names and images have been changed in this story. Thank you for understanding.

By

Adrienne Saxon

FCA Urban Soccer Director

In the Flesh - 07/20/13

Backbone: Urban Soccer League

Flesh:
-When I get phone calls from children begging me to take them to church on Sundays
-When I am calling parent after parent reminding them about soccer practice Tuesday
-When I am at a coffee shop working on spring scheduling for the Soccer Academy
-When my van is immersed in soccer equipment

This is what i've dreamed of. This is what i've waited for. This is the 'unknown' that I tried so hard to portray to my supporters. This is the flesh.

It's so easy to miss it, so easy to forget the blood, sweat, and tears it took for the vision to become alive.

And what's the goal? Life change - transformation. How exactly is that measured??

For me, It's a gut feeling. A display of excitement in a child's face every time they see my van come around the corner. The rest is a mystery. Maybe over time, little by little, it will be revealed. But regardless, we will be there.

For neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:7

*January 24th, 2012 marks the first practice of Allen Hills Soccer Academy*

By:

Adrienne Saxon

FCA Urban Soccer Director

Fellowship Christian School - 07/20/13

Fellowship Christian School serves at Allen Hills

I wanted to let everyone know how your toiletry donations were put to use on Saturday at Allen Hills.  FCS donated 31 cinch bags and with the large amount of items that you donated we were able to fill each one up with soap, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant.  There were 26 children who participated in the soccer sessions which left 5 to give to children in the neighborhood who watched but didn't play.  While its hard for a child to get too excited about soap and such, I'm confident that your gifts were very well received when the children took them home. The soccer is a blast but the main purpose of these trips is to spread the word of God.  After the first hour or so of drills and instruction by parents and players we take a break under a large tree and the kids have a healthy snack and some water. During that break two of your children stand up and give their testimony and talk about the importance of doing well in school and about how God guides them in all things.  Wow do they do a great job. James and Bill do an amazing job as well, of keeping the kids interested and connecting the dots for them.  The kids have loads of questions and comments that are funny, insightful, and at all times, come from the heart.  Then the soccer games begin with teams consisting of our players and the kids mixed together.  Your children do a terrific job of instructing, encouraging, and recognizing good effort and performance.  The Allen Hills kids are disappointed when we reach the end of the day and most of them ask when we will be returning.

Kathy and I are new to FCS but we are no less proud of how this team and these children of ours take their Saturday afternoon to work with these kids and to spread the Word.  They really are a blessing. 

-Glenn Barham, Parent from FCS that spearhead donation drive

My Favorite Sayings - 07/20/13

Here are few of my favorite, "Miss Adrienne..." phrases from the kids in Allen Hills.

-"Miss Adrienne, when I turn 18 and get a car, i'm gonna come to this church every week." -Brandon, age 11

-"Miss Adrienne, can we play soccer every Saturday?" - Alexuis, age 11

- JC: Miss Adrienne, when you coming to get us for church?
MA: I'm on my way i'll be there in about 10 minutes, be looking for me outside.
JC: Okay, you wanna know why?
MA: Why?
JC: 'Cuz I had to go off by myself and get my prayer time in.
Jon Corey, age 8

-B: Miss Adrienne, I told my teacher you was my role model.
MA: Aww really? That just made my day! But why?
B: 'Cuz you is... (pause)...honesty and kind.
-Brandon, age 11

-Group: Look y'all! Miss Adrienne, how come they got your picture in this magazine!
MA: 'Cuz i'm famous! (joking)
Terrrell: Miss. Adrienne, you is NOT no famous!

-"Miss Adrienne, Marquez asked me if it was 2 o' clock (soccer game) yet, almost every hour this morning!"
-Ms. Holmes, Marquez' mother

-D: "Miss Adrienne, why are there so many light skinned people at this church?"
MA: "Deharrius, they aren't light skinned, they are white!"
D: "Ohhh.."
-DeHarrius, age 6

- See more at: http://fcaurbansocceratl.org/my-favorite-sayings#sthash.N3VLDpUO.dpuf