What's Been Going On
We are two months into the 2018 season, and there is a lot of excitement here in Atlanta over this young and yet extremely talented Braves team that currently finds themselves in first place in the National League East. The last five years have been a long five years of rebuilding and rebranding an organization that once dominated their division for an entire decade in the not so distant past. Only a few familiar faces still remain from the playoff team of five years ago, but these young new faces are offering hope for what the future holds here in Atlanta.
These past five years of rebuilding in Atlanta have been challenging for the players and have presented some challenges as the chaplain as well. The work that we do (UPI) in partnership with Baseball Chapel is work that requires depth of relationship with the players that we are trying to serve. When the team that you serve is a revolving door for five years with different players coming and going every month, depth of relationship is difficult. However, as anyone who has played the game knows, its a game of adjustments and ministry in the game requires adjustments as well.
The nature of the game has changed in many different ways over the last decade and one way that it has changed is in the increasing movement of players from team to team. The days of franchise players who spend ten to fifteen years with the same team are gone. And so, one big adjustment that we have tried to make over the last few years is developing a strategy to better equip and empower the players themselves to do the work of ministry wherever the tides of trades and transactions may take them.
"Baseball is a game of adjustments and ministry in the game requires adjustments as well."
We have been increasing our efforts to teach and train guys how to form and facilitate small groups on their teams that can still function and flourish in the case of their sudden absence. So far this season, we are seeing some encouraging progress in the amount of players that are actively reaching and teaching their teammates how to obey Jesus. There are even some Major League players who have responded to the call to lead and teach some Minor League players within the same organization through a video conference call once a week.
And so, as the game continues to change the methods may have to evolve; but the mission will always remain the same. Please pray for these players who are stepping up as leaders among their teammates, and please pray that some of their teammates will be ready to step up whenever the season brings change.
How You Can Pray
- Opportunities and boldness to reach more players this upcoming season
- Blessing for each staff member's personal relationship with God
- Health for the staff/board and their families
- Spiritual growth in the German study group
- Premarital counseling that staff members are currently leading
- Wisdom for selecting mission trips and international missionary partners
- Westons transitioning into new condo
- Kayla Weston-Aanderud beginning OB-GYN Residency
- Brian Aanderud beginning language school in the Army
- Blessing to see Danny Farquhar recovering from brain aneurysm
- Thankful for Simon's health after an accident
- Thankful for the discipleship relationships that are becoming fruitful
- Thankful for God's provision and protection
- Thankful for growth in the German study group
- Thankful for numerous opportunities with the Grace Baseball Team
- Thankful that Drew Weston is pitching well with the White Sox Extended Team
- Thankful for Marissa Weston's full tuition scholarship
- Thankful for Nick Graffanino's scholarship to Grand Canyon University
- Thankful for the continued favor we experience in MLB clubhouses
What's COMING UP
- 11 MLB chapel services
- 5 MLB Bible studies
- Mickey speaking at Vally Baptist Church
- Mickey leading UPI South Korea Mission Trip (June 4-12)
- Mickey at Camp of the Woods
- Tom speaking at Laville Church
- Tom speaking at Epworth Forest Youth Conference
- Tom officiating a wedding and conducting a funeral service
- Tom leading UPI Belize Mission Trip (July 26-30)
- Brian performing two weddings
- Brian visiting Twins and Royals in Minnesota
- Simon doing baseball clinics in Germany
- White Sox Extended Spring chapels every Tuesday
- Braves Minor League small group every Tuesday
- Arizona Men's Group every Wednesday
- Atlanta Men's Group every Thursday
- AZL White Sox Chapel every Tuesday
- AZL White Sox Bible study every Thursday
- German Bible Study every Friday
The fact that you're even reading this proves your concern for the mission that God has given us. We want to thank you for your participation, financial support and your prayers.
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