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  • FCA Malaysia Trip

    by Heather Burnham (2019 CC FCA Summer Intern)

    My Team

    I joined a team of eight through FCA international to support FCA staff in Malaysia! Talk about an all-star cast!! We bounded quickly and have been continuing the inside jokes and prayers for each other.


    God doesn't call the qualified but he sure does qualify the called! We were the first team sent to Malaysia and it could not have gone any smoother! Glory to God!!

    My Experience
    I've said it once and I'll say it again, God is funny. And not just in the "ha-ha" sense (although I did spend a majority of the trip laughing with others). But think about it; the opportunity for this trip came out of nowhere for me and I had just returned from another FCA trip with my college lacrosse team which meant I had to fundraise again, I didn't know any of the people on my team well or anything about Malaysia, and I had nothing in common with the campers I interacted with. Despite all that I saw God's kingdom grow right before my eyes and made the best relationships with the coolest people (already a trend for my summer)!! On paper, this doesn't make sense but, because of faith, it doesn't have to.

    Another thing that I can't help but smile about is the theme verses FCA has chosen for this summer; Matthew 28:19-20 (The Great Commission). These are some of my favorite verses and are what I use to define what I feel God is calling me for. I didn't know these would be the verse before I joined the FCA family as an intern, but I know now it's not by coincidence but by design. Haha good one, God!

    My Huddle

    We served the Malaysia staff by volunteering at their sports camp, forming relationships with their campers, competing with and against them in sports, and sharing with them the gospel and love of Christ!

    My huddle was Huddle Love which is fitting as the word "love/loved." seems to be a theme in my life especially recently.
    Three of the girls in my huddle were Buddhist (the three on the right side of the picture/to my left). The one was already bought in to the idea of Christianity. The other two had limited knowledge but by the end of the week they unknowingly told me the gospel!

    Leading my huddle in discussion after listening to our speaker! We discussed how we are, in fact, created and with intentionally unique purposes!

    One of the five (yes, five!) meals we ate per day with our hosts! They love to show love through food and boy were we loved and loved well!

  • The Pickett's Trip to Singapore!

    When I mentioned to my husband Kevin that I was interested in going to Singapore to serve at the International FCA Conference in December and then asked him if he would like to go, he said, "What will we be doing there?"  I replied, "I don't know the exact details, but we would be available to serve in any way needed.  We met with Mark Stephens, the Mid-Atlantic Area Director for International FCA and Kevin posed the same question, I think he wanted a more concrete answer than what I gave him.  Mark said, "You both would serve in a ministry of prayer and presence."  So with that answer, we both proceeded to make plans for a trip to Singapore.

    Several weeks later, Carrie Hudson, the admin in charge of this conference, called and asked us about our service in our local church and what we may be interested in doing at the conference.  Knowing I had been a part of Mark's Thursday morning prayer team, she asked if we would be interested in leading a prayer team.  We both thought that would be a good idea and Kevin agreed to be available to help lead the worship music too.  So we organized a 30 days of prayer leading up to the trip and prayed together as a couple in preparation for leading this prayer team; a first for us and a first for International FCA.

    Mark's words were prophetic as we did serve in a ministry of prayer and presence while at the conference.  We started the day with prayer time at 6:30 am and then continued to pray throughout the day with FCA staff and often their spouses who were in attendance.  Our ministry of presence included hearing many of their stories on how God led them to Him, often in miraculous ways, and how God led them into sports ministry.  

    Needless to say, we were so inspired by these international believers and their passion for God and their service through sports ministry.  Many of them risk their lives, their property and their families as they live in Communist and/or very restrictive countries.  They are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, yet who struggle like we do.  They, like Paul, in Philippians 3:8-10, "....count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him......

    We have many God stories we can share with you that space won't allow in this report but here is one neat God story...

    We have made many new friendships and feel like we now have family all throughout East Asia.  In fact, we plan to continue praying with them via Facebook live video or Whats App.  We are honored to be a part of this amazing ministry and to continue to minister to our brothers and sisters in the LORD through this ministry of prayer and presence.

    In His Service,

    Kevin and Dawn Pickett  

  • Here's to 2019 - Desi Sweeney

    My life changed over the past four days as I had the best experience of my entire life. we go into this camp with the #1 goal of sharing the Word with others, but it’s extra rewarding that we gain so much in the midst of the giving. 

    I opened up the leadership camp application too many times without applying for it.
    I applied, but didn’t think I was going to be able to go as we didn’t have enough campers signed up yet. God reminded me that I should always remember his plan and faithful promises as I received a phone call on Wednesday inviting me to be a huddle leader. I hopped in the car on Saturday morning with friends and a grateful heart. 

    McDaniel fam rolled up to FCA Leadership Camp this week.
    We met new brothers and sisters in Christ, we laughed, we sang, we cried, we worshipped, and we shared the Word with high schoolers. We were there to not only pour into each other, but pour into them. We ended 2018 praising the Lord in fellowship and we started 2019 praising the Lord in fellowship. After midnight, we gathered in circles and prayed and prayed and prayed. All weekend we sang. There is so much hope and reminder in a room full of singing youth who have their hands lifted to Heaven. We slept on church chairs, we barely slept at all, we stayed up late for hours for and through Christ acknowledging His power and His Word and His Message and submerging ourselves in fellowship and then went and learned line dances and laughed until we cried. We learned to let go of what we are gripping onto in order to make room to allow God to put more in our hands. We played sports a little too hard, we competed, we learned how to work for the Lord in all that we do, we shared testimonies and thoughts and we opened our Bibles: we all - staff, huddle leaders, campers - had our lives changed, and most importantly: we got to play a part in other followers (or even non-followers) stories and walks of faith. My huddle told me they learned to be positive in all circumstances in order to change perspective - which is a game changer. To be servant leaders, and to give glory to God for everything. 

    God had been nudging me to seek out the FCA internship. I kept ignoring Him and listening to fear, even though I know my heart is in Him and in the FCA ministry.
    This weekend, I opened my bible in a circle of girls and tried to give them as much of Jesus as I could. Growth multiples in communities or circles.
    I solidified my passion for not only Him, but for this ministry and sharing his Word, even though I am new at this.
    Yesterday, God allowed me to cross paths with two staff members who talked to me about the internship. They needed one more girl intern.
    God couldn’t of made it any more obvious. I quickly became the newest FCA summer intern (Western Maryland) within minutes. I cannot wait to see how God uses me in that experience. 

    God let’s us combine fun, competition, and fellowship. We get to learn about Him through sports, through songs, through experience, through study. I got to play soccer for hours this weekend, but I also got to spend time with like- minded Christians and become a missionary of his Truth, all in the same day, all in the same building. 

    We have a platform. Leaders, athletes, followers of Christ. We learned to use our talents to speak of God’s victory. FCA unites us and changes our lives. This organization serves all. This organization glorifies Him. Let us be vessels. Let us be the salt and light.

    -Desi Sweeney, McDaniel College

  • A Gospel Opportunity Through a Shoebox - Operation Christmas Child at McDaniel

    McDaniel FCA hosted their third annual Operation Christmas Child packing party on October 28th.  Over 100 participants and FCA supporters spent the afternoon filling shoe boxes with items ranging from hygiene items to school supplies to toys and clothes. By the end of the day, over 231 shoe boxes were packed and ready to go with an additional 15 boxes needing a few additional items. OCC organizers and McDaniel students, Allie, Kaylee, and Megan, were thrilled that they exceeded their goal of 200 shoe boxes by 50. According to Connie Finch, the OCC Project leader, the girls went above and beyond by going "door to door" on campus collecting cash to purchase items for the shoe boxes as well raising $1378 through a fundraising page set up on the Samaritan’s Purse website to help cover shipping expenses.

    While each shoe box provides for the physical needs of children, more importantly they provide an opportunity to share the gospel. Each time these shoe boxes are distributed worldwide, the gospel is presented, and children are invited back to attend a 12-week Discipleship Program called The Greatest Journey (which is done in their language and through the local church). They learn more about who God is, who Jesus is and how they can grow in their faith. Once they complete the program, there is a graduation ceremony where the children wear caps and gowns, receive a "diploma" and their own Bible in their language. Over 157 million shoe boxes have been distributed by Samaritan’s Purse since 1993 which means over 157 million children have heard the gospel.

    The McDaniel OCC organizers are already looking forward to next year’s packing party and will begin planning within the next 2 weeks. A couple goals mentioned are a year-round collection plan as well as encouraging corporate/small business donations. Be on the lookout for opportunities to support McDaniel FCA and Operation Christmas Child throughout the year.




    GOAL = 400







  • Alyssa Schwartz FCA Testimony

    I grew up in a Christian household with my mother, father, and two brothers. We attended several different churches throughout my earlier years, but despite this we were constantly involved in the church. As many young people do, I attended church because that is what my parents did. It was fun and something to do but I was too young to have a personal relationship with Christ. I barley even understood faith and never read scripture. Moving forward, middle school gave me the opportunity to attend a strongly developed youth group. Two friends gave me this opportunity and constantly encouraged me to be a part of it. At this point, I started getting more serious with the content of the message rather than just the environment of hanging out with my friends. I eventually attended a Winter Retreat in January of my 6th grade school year. I was intrigued by my other friends' relationships with Christ, and I knew that I wanted that same connection. I made the decision to give my life to Christ after worship one night. I had spoken to my leader about what this commitment meant. She prayed over me and guided me through asking Christ into my heart. After this, my life was never the same, and I am so grateful for this.

    From this point on, the remainder of middle school and the beginning of high school felt so easy. I had like-minded friends, a great family, and support for everything I was involved in. I was simply going through the motions of school, three sports, and church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I could feel the Holy Spirit in my life, but I was never challenged to really step out of my comfort zone and stand up for my Savior.

    The first time I had to make a stand for my faith was in my junior year of high school. My closest friends who had been by my side since the 5th grade made the decision to hang out after prom and partake in drugs and alcohol. These were choices they had never expressed interest in before. After sorting through all of this in my head, I knew my morals and beliefs would not support me joining. It was time for me to make a choice that was hard but necessary. After attempting to change their minds, I made the sacrifice to lose the friends that had been my only outlet for years. My identity was changed and stripped away from with the loss of these friendships. It was at this point that I realized I was idealizing these people, and that their love for me was conditional. Through this situation I was finally able to see the only person in my life that would love me unconditionally was my Heavenly Father.

    It took me until the following summer to step back and see how I could live out my faith daily. I went into my senior year of high school on fire for the Lord. Senior year was the best year of my high school career. I found new faithful friends, joined more clubs and new activities, and had so many amazing opportunities come my way. Most importantly, I found my home for the next four years, McDaniel College.

    Coming into McDaniel, I was scared and nervous, but I found my friend group on the Hill quickly. I was able to connect with my lacrosse team and even find people outside the team to hang out with and balance my social life. Throughout my freshman year fall semester, I was peer pressured into doing things I regret more than anything. I became wrapped up in the wrong crowd, because I was doing all I could to fit in and be accepted by people I had barely met, even though it was through decisions that were not supported by my morals and faith. That fall was filled with mistakes; however, coming back to my home for winter break I was confronted by Christian friends and they spoke encouraging words to me about the changes I needed to make.

    When I returned to campus for the spring semester, I started coming to FCA on Wednesday nights. I immediately felt welcomed and loved by everyone in that room. I listened to Joe speak about college life and ways to avoid peer pressure and felt accepted and loved by God rather than the crowds of college. After attending FCA for the whole spring semester, I knew FCA was where I needed to be, a group I needed to identify myself with. When I tore my ACL and MCL at the end of my freshmen season, I immediately knew to only praise God as a way to push through. This was a valley that He needed me to get through. I prayed more and more and found strength in the limitations that a 9-month recovery gave me. My injury only made me stronger in my faith and more grateful for a healthy body.

    My second year at McDaniel started much more positive than the year prior. I knew from the beginning that if I surrounded myself by Christians at FCA, I would find the drive and motivation to worship and praise God. My relationship with Christ just kept getting stronger. I was more and more involved in FCA and by the summer before junior year, I was able to play for the FCA Women’s National Team at Lake Placid. I was able to connect and meet so many other girls that were going through the same phase of life as me. To this day I am inspired by the people I have met through FCA.

    Currently, I have been given the opportunity to speak at Fields of Faith in Carroll County, be a huddle leader, sign up for FCA leadership camps, and now I look forward to spending my summer doing two of my favorite things; praising my Lord, and playing lacrosse. He has blessed me with a body able to compete on the field and has given me the passion to worship and spread his holy name across McDaniel College, Maryland, and hopefully beyond these state lines. FCA has impacted my life so positively and helped instill in me a stable and passionate life for Jesus Christ.

  • George & Olivia's Incredible Camp Stories


    Serving at FCA Kutztown was an incredible experience. I made friendships with huddle leaders that I know will last forever, but more importantly I was able to connect with 11 other high school students and help strength their connection with Christ. In my huddle I had a camper who stood out the most and his name was Rayshawn, a 17 year old high school senior who was “accidentally” was put in my huddle full of high school freshmen. At first he seemed unhappy with his huddle and asked if he can be switched to a huddle with guys of his age which is completely understandable, but one of the FCA coordinator reached out to Shawn and explained to him how this is a god opportunity to be a leader to these younger guys, and thankfully he stayed. He lead the huddle by example, was very interactive in our discussion time, and on the third night he gave his life to Christ and encourage the younger guys to trust the process, to pray and read their bible. Shawn shared a little bit about his situation at home and being surrounded by drugs, violence, and gangs, but his trust in god is pushing him to be that light back at home and helping his friends from falling into the wrong path. Putting Raysawn in my huddle was no accident but it was God’s purpose because he was a role model to the younger students in my huddle.  

    -George Gil, McDaniel FCA '17

    I got the opportunity to serve as a huddle leader at Kutztown’s All Sports Camp with FCA. Myself and the other softball huddle leaders felt as though God truly handpicked our huddles as all of our campers seemed to be able to relate to our individual testimonies. There was one girl in my huddle who I felt may not know the Lord and I could see she was struggling with something in her life. I shared bits and pieces of my testimony with my huddle to get my girls to open up more. My huddle really opened up with each other and I learned more about the one girl in my huddle I mentioned. She relates so much to someone in my life who had a great impact on my testimony. In chapel one night, I found myself opening my journal to take notes as usual, but instead I started writing down a prayer and I lifted up the girl in my huddle. Short after, the Huddle Leaders were called up to stage to pray with those campers who want to give their life to Christ. I prayed with one of my campers from Leadership Camp, which was amazing and the next thing I know, the girl I was just praying for walked down and was ready to give her life to Christ. It was one of the most remarkable things I have ever been a part of and I thank God for letting me be a part of it!  

    -Olivia Kipe, McDaniel FCA '17

  • How We CAN Make the World a Better Place

    By: Dustin Miller

    Everyone knows what the “Golden Rule” is, treat others the way you want to be treated. Simple enough right? If this rule has been engrained in our minds from such an early age, then why do we have such a hard time following it? Seriously, stop and think about that for a second. I am still waiting for you to stop and think about it! Why is it so difficult for us to treat others kindly or in the same way that we would want to be treated back? The goal of this article is to get out what FCA is trying to do now with the people currently in the organization. FCA’s mission is to present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church. Fellowship of the church could be stretched as far as going out and treating people in an incredible and Godly way that blows people back. The challenge is expanding that group so that it can positively affect more people, which would lead to the world being a better place. I hope that all of you who read this article will either being to or continue to implement these values into your life. After you have begun this process, I would strongly encourage you to share this article, or share these core values with three people. If everyone single person shares it with three people, it will continue to multiply, and before you know it, you will have played a part in making the world a better place. You will be witness to living in a world where people treat another the way they want to be treated. And if people took the Christian value mentality, using some of the core values would make everyone a better person, even as Christians we work on this kind of thing everyday. Nobody is perfect, but by practicing some of these core values for not only Christians to live by, but for society to live by. These values, if implemented in a small grass roots movement could change the world, and for the better.

    Eight core values for everyone to live by: 1. GRACE- Giving people more than they deserve. Don’t be afraid to give somebody another chance, everyone is entitled to making mistakes every once in awhile. Treat others with grace and that grace will hit you in return at some point. 2. HOPE- This is not any promise from ever being harmed, but a value that establishes that GOD is always present. 3. FAITH- The way we get to an actual deep level of all and any relationships that we have. 4. LOVE- Loving unconditionally, even the ones who do not love you back, kind of like the expression, “Kill them with kindness”. 5. JUSTICE- FOR ALL PEOPLE! Not simply the individual! This is a construct that is in favor of those at a disadvantage. 6. JOY- It is extremely difficult to construct this concept into written “law” but acting with joy, this is an essential and necessary social value. Acting with joy in all things we do can demonstrate a more positive outlook on life, and you never know when this could be the difference maker for an individual. 7. SERVICE- There can be meaning found in serving others without expecting anything in return. It is taking out all the selfishness and taking away the self centeredness. The ironic part about this one, is that if you do your part and serve someone, hopefully they are practicing the same values and will serve you back. It will feel even better when you were not expecting it. 8. PEACE- Most people think this just means the absence of war or fighting, but it also needs to be a positive well-being. One must be at peace with himself before acting with peace towards others. Take the time to come to peace with yourself, you will be amazed at how it will change your life.

    FCA is trying to instill these values in it’s members, this organization is striving for the greater good. I am so proud and happy to say I am an active member in FCA on McDaniel College’s campus. I want to be the person who started this grassroots movement, which is called “FTGG” by the way and that is an acronym saying, “For The Greater Good”. So really take a good look at these values, implement them for yourself, and then share my movement #FTGG. Together you and I can make this world a better place, but it all has to start with the way we treat one another. Always remind yourself, treat others the way you would want to be treated.

  • Our Trip to East Asia!

    Our vision to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes is truly taking root. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes partners each of the 12 regions in the United States with an international 'Super Region'. The Mid-Atlantic region is partnered with East Asia.

    From February 19 - March 2, Ashli and I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand for the first ever East Asia Capacity Conference! We joined 9 other FCA Staff from the Mid-Atlantic, and 40 staff/partners from different parts of East Asia. In addition to the trainings on sports ministry through camps, huddles, community, fundraising, etc., we were rejuvenated by the relationships we developed with our East Asia teammates. We have some incredible, dynamic leaders who are making a great impact on this part of the world. Ashli and I also learned that approximately half of the staff from East Asia are serving in 'closed countries', places where you can be imprisoned because of your faith (some have experienced this personally).

    In 2011, I first felt God calling me to full time ministry. It was in Haiti on a dirt field, playing soccer with kids that didn't speak English; I realized the power of ministry through sports. God spoke to me in a similar way while in East Asia. Through stories of an FCA teammate developing relationships by playing soccer with 7 Muslim students every Sunday. Another FCA teammate who has been imprisoned 7 times because he is bold in his faith. Others who are faithfully serving in countries where less than 1% of the population are Christian. They are not always able to publicly verbalize their beliefs, but they are faithfully living out their relationship with Jesus through sports ministry.

    The last 4 days of our trip the Mid-Atlantic Staff split up and visited different staff throughout East Asia. Ashli and I went to Singapore with Reon (Singapore's Area Director) and his wife, Rosemary, who were incredible hosts. We saw the sites, ate the food, and got to see FCA in action. We visited 2 campuses, a coaches huddle, staff meeting, and  helped with a lacrosse clinic. Our biggest take-a-way was the amount of quality time we spent at each ministry. On average, it was 3 hours. The Coaches Huddle, for example, started with 2 hours of basketball, 30 minute small group/huddle time, then 1 hour for lunch together. That is how you build deep, authentic relationships! 

    I am extremely excited as this is just the beginning of the relationship between the Mid-Atlantic and East Asia. As of June 1, 2017, Mark Stephens will become the Regional International Coordinator and continue building upon this relationship and ministry partnership with East Asia. Carroll County FCA is honored to be a supporting partner of this growing ministry. Our local leadership board is discussing strategic ways that we can work together with our East Asia teammates, and we pray you join us!

    Thank you for your continued support. 

  • Welcome to FCA!

    We are beyond excited to announce that Britton Hastings is joining FCA Staff!

     Over a year ago Ashli and I, along with our staff and Leadership Board, began praying that God would call the right person to join us in going after this vision to transform Carroll County. Our prayers were answered last Friday when Britton accepted the position to become the Southern Carroll FCA Area Representative!

    Britton is a recent graduate from McDaniel College who brings a vibrant ministry background to FCA. Through high school and college, he has lead Young Life in many different capacities. When arriving on campus as a freshman football player at McDaniel, Britton helped establish and grow the first FCA Huddle, as well as leading an FCA Bible Study for male athletes. As a junior in college, Britton interned at Crossroads Community Church where he helped serve locally and abroad.

    While at McDaniel, Britton was instrumental in the life-change of his roommate and teammate, George. Britton invited George to FCA on campus as a freshman where George received his first bible and heard about Jesus clearly for the first time. George is now a key leader at McDaniel FCA and is leading service projects on campus through Operation Christmas Child. All because of the influence of a bold teammate.

    Britton will be going to FCA's National Support Center in Kansas City, MO from February 20-22 for training before he begins the fundraising process. Once fully funded, Britton will serve Southern Carroll County (Liberty, Century, South Carroll, the feeder middle schools, community teams, etc.). We are excited to watch how God uses Britton on these campuses and in this community!

    Why are you excited to join FCA Staff?
     "I have been working in the South part of Carroll County with Young Life at Century High School and South Carroll High School. That experience has given me a heart for that part of the county. Having a small taste of FCA in high school and then helping to start the FCA huddle at McDaniel College really made me interested in FCA. I had never been involved in a ministry that had a goal of reaching athletes and coaches specifically. I have been playing sports my entire life and feel called to full time ministry. Having a passion for both sports and middle and high school kids only makes sense for me to join the FCA family!"


    Full Name
    Britton Marcus Hastings
    July 27, 1994
    Morgan Hastings
    Shippensburg, PA
    McDaniel College 2016
    Business Administration
    Sports Management
    Football - Wide Receiver
    Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Hiking, Movies
    Favorite Food
    Tacos, Apple Pie & Ice Cream
    Bible Verse

    2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”

    Interesting Fact
    Graduated from college in 3.5 years and got married 2 weeks later!
    Favorite Vacation
    Honeymoon in Punta Cana

    We would love to invite you to help Britton join FCA staff by supporting him on a monthly basis!

    Support Britton!

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