Basketball Camp in Montana: more than just hoops

20170720_085938My daughter and I were grateful to be part of a mission team from Hebron Church that served in Billings, Montana this summer. Along with teams from several churches across the USA and a dear brother in Christ from Zimbabwe, our teams led sports camps and Vacation Bible Camps for one week.

The sports camps offered were soccer, baseball, football and basketball. We helped lead the basketball camp. We had more than 50 kids each day. The younger players (grades 3-5) came for a 3-hour camp each morning and the older players (grades 6-8) came for a 3-hour camp each evening.

Led by legendary Georgia High School basketball coach and Hebron member Phil Hall, our team helped the players improve their skills in dribbling, passing and shooting. The kids loved playing games of course.

Our team got to know the kids and of course grew to love them. We learned from them what it was like living in Montana. My daughter Emma Grace and her best friend Anna Beth especially connected with the girls at the camp. Anna Beth’s brother, Graham, connected with the boys and had a great time interacting with them.

At the end of each session, one of our leaders would share the good news of Jesus. On the first day of the camp, Coach Hall talked about our Creator God and the beauty of his creation. On the second day, Kip Stokes used a free throw to explain how God offers us the free gift of eternal life through Jesus. On the third day, Andy McGill used a colorful bracelet to explain the gospel. And on the final day of the camp, I wrapped it up by telling the story of a guy named “Z” that met Jesus (Zacchaeus) and how his life was changed.

It was exciting to see boys and girls who realized the love of Jesus and the salvation he offers. More than twenty of the basketball players indicated that they trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior during the basketball camp. Praise God!

The church we worked with in Billings is now making home visits to follow up with each child and their family to answer questions, invite them to church, and help them in their journey of faith. One of the girls was baptized a few weeks ago!

In total, we heard reports that more than 70 children made professions of faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord during the sports camps and Vacation Bible Camps. That’s why we went to Montana!

Continue to pray for Fellowship Baptist Church and the followers of Jesus throughout Montana. May they be bold witnesses for Jesus and may God continue to use them to share the gospel with everyone who will listen.

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