By Jay Thatcher, NE Regional Director
Not long ago my family and I were invited to attend a DeSales University Alumni Celebration, in conjunction with the final Men’s Basketball game of the season. The Alumni celebration afforded me an opportunity to connect with players I had the privilege of coaching years ago, and I enjoyed catching up with many of them. But in the main event, although a crowd of 475 encouraged the team right up to the final buzzer, the game ended in a devastating, season-ending loss, 76-67.
Just as the game ended I received a text message from Saints NJ Basketball Coach, Carl Bogan. You see, while I was enjoying the collegiate game, our missionary-athletes were also on the court at Eastern Correctional Institution, at the southern end of Maryland’s Eastern shore – and they had played two games in the same time frame as the collegiate game I had just watched!
The text message read: We lost both games (60-57) & (62-48), with 336 in attendance and
31 first-time professions of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!
I had spent the game sitting next to a distinguished gentleman whose son had graduated from the university in 2014, bringing the entire family back for the Alumni festivities. Right after I received the text message I turned back to my new friend and innocently asked where he was from… and he said, “Maryland”. I replied, “Wow, I just received a message that our ministry team just lost two basketball games in a prison in your home state of Maryland. But the real game today was our half-time presentation during which one player shared his personal testimony and another player preached the Gospel to over 300 men. 31 men made first-time professions of faith in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior!” The distinguished gentleman’s faced changed immediately, and he said, “What? That is what it is all about! Amen!”
God’s timing is impeccable! God’s Kingdom is at hand and His mission to deliver the lost is the real game. Life becomes overwhelming when we continue to strive for the things that perish, but when God grips our heart with the treasure of being on mission for Him I agree with that Father ……“This is what it is all about, Amen!