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Field Story Italy

Planting Gospel Seeds on the Baseball Field

"Riding to practice, Graziana heard about the God who loves her by grace, no matter how many times she strikes out."

Across America, football season is ramping up and hopes are high that this is the year we’ll win it all. Baseball season has passed the trade deadline and some fans are waiting to see if their team has done enough, while others have given up and are waiting for next year.

Stadiums around the world are full of people looking for an identity in something larger than themselves. “The objective, always, is to come home,” says Ken Burns about baseball, and sports tantalizingly offer a home to athletes and fans alike.

When Paul traveled across the Greek world, he would routinely go to the places where people gathered looking for purpose in life. Then, using their own terminology, he would share with them how Jesus was the answer to their deepest needs.

With Fusion Athletics, we’re involved in already-existing sports teams to use the platform sports provide to share the gospel in creative ways. Time spent with teammates at practice, on the bench, and on the road experiencing the highs and lows of a season together opens a door to relationship where we can share the thrill of Jesus’ victory that doesn’t fade the day after a win, and sustains us through disappointing defeats. Sports teams provide ready-made community, so when we invite teammates and their families to a 4th of July party at the baseball field where they hear about freedom in Christ, or to watch the soccer World Cup together at our church and talk about the goal of life, or when we invite kids from the youth baseball team to youth group or Bible camp, they already know each other and feel like part of the group.

Graziana first came to know us as a teenager playing softball. Riding to practice, she heard about the God who loves her by grace, no matter how many times she strikes out. Curious, she agreed to read the Bible together. Then she accepted an invitation to Bible camp, and eventually was baptized and now is an important part of our church plant, Generation Next, as she continues to try to reach others with the good news.

Pray for Fusion Athletics, as we share that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things” (1 Timothy 4:8). Pray that our teammates will join us in running not just for “a prize that will fade away, but…for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25)!

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