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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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  • 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.

    YEAR

    # of BOXES PACKED

    2019

    GOAL = 400

    2018

    250

    2017

    166

    2016

    163


  • 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!"


    THE HASTINGS FILE

    Full Name
    Britton Marcus Hastings
    Birthday
    July 27, 1994
    Wife
    Morgan Hastings
    Hometown
    Shippensburg, PA
    College
    McDaniel College 2016
    Major
    Business Administration
    Minor
    Sports Management
    Sport
    Football - Wide Receiver
    Interests
    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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