Baton Rouge

About the Mission

Established in 2012, this unique project will challenge you to get outside your comfort zone as you partner with a racially and culturally diverse group of churches, community organizations, and volunteers to reach youth and families from the Gardere neighborhood. The current political and social climate in the United States is often focused on division and conflict, but with SportQuest Baton Rouge, you will have the opportunity to participate in urban ministry that emphasizes a Gospel-driven commitment to unity and the power of Christ to transform hearts, minds, and entire communities. As you use your athletic talents to share the Gospel during camp, you will realize your teammates, ministry partners, and the campers are more like you than different from you. When you worship with church families from multiple denominations, you will gain a deeper understanding of the division-shattering power of the Gospel. “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another,” Jesus tells His followers (John 13:35). We still have this same opportunity to show others we are disciples of Christ every time we step on to the football field, soccer pitch, basketball court, or dance floor. If you love sports and want to cross racial and social lines to love and serve others, then Baton Rouge is the project for you! 

Discover more about what God is doing in Baton Rouge.

Project Summary

Dates: June 2018 (exact dates TBA)

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Training Camp: TBA

Sports: Basketball, Football, Soccer, Dance and KidsGames*

**Play a different sport than what is offered but still want to come to Baton Rouge? No problem!  We will also offer “KidsGames” for young campers (ages 10 and under) that includes high energy games and recreational activities geared for smaller children. This camp will be led by athletes from various sport backgrounds who feel called to serve younger children.

Age Requirement: Applicants must be between 15 - 25 years old

Cost: $550.00**

** Does not include domestic travel to project location

 

 

Testimonials

  • Jessica J.
    "Serving in Baton Rouge with SportQuest was an incredible experience. God developed my character so much during this mission trip. The SportQuest team I served with became like a second family to me, and I've stayed in contact with them ever since. SportQuest definitely made a positive impact on my life and helped me to significantly develop my relationship with Christ."
  • Debbie C.
    "SportQuest Baton Rouge has been an awesome experience. God has really touched my heart through getting to know these kids. I built some close relationships with the kids in the Gardere community, and I was able to share my story of God's love with them. Building trust with these kids has laid a foundation to build on in the years to come, and my life has changed through the understanding of God's calling and purpose for my life." 
  • Danielle T.
    "Over the past several years, the Lord has used the Baton Rouge project to teach me what it means to live missionally every single day right where I live. I felt called into missions when I was 15 years old, but my only image of missionaries at that time were people who lived in foreign, mostly third-world countries. I expected to "GO" after college, but God made it clear He wanted me to move to Baton Rouge and continue to study. And since then, the Lord has challenged me to go deeper and deeper into ministry in my local community, reinforcing the Great Commission into my heart—to make disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.  That's everywhere from my own backyard to the other side of the world! SportQuest Baton Rouge is in my backyard, and I love it. The PWP Project only happens one week out of the year, but then I have the other 51 weeks to continue to build relationships with the kids and sow the seeds of the Gospel in my neighborhood."
  • Kent H.
    “Through the Baton Rouge project, God has shown me how I can connect to the kids through basketball and use that connection as a way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • Baton Rouge City Info

     

    Project Coordinator: Danielle Thomas

     

    Population: About 230,000 people

    Baton Rouge Demographics: 54.5% African American / 39.4% White / 3.3% Hispanic / 2.8% other

    Gardere Demographics: 63% African American / 24% White / 13% Hispanic 

    Capital: Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana

    Official languages: English, Cajun French in some rural areas

    Most popular sports in Baton Rouge: Football (LSU, Saints); Baseball (LSU); in Gardere, football, basketball and soccer are the most popular sports

     

    Political Situation:

    Poverty and racism are huge issues in Baton Rouge. One area this is seen clearly is in our segregated school system. Over 80% of the public school student population is African American and over 80% of the private school student population is White. The public school system is failing, but many racial minorities cannot afford private school tuition. 

     

    Spiritual Climate:

    Churches in Baton Rouge, much like the school system, are segregated racially. However, in the past several years there has been a concentrated effort in the Baton Rouge faith community to unite to address issues we see in our city. Partnerships—such as the ones that exist in Gardere—are springing up, and positive changes are happening. The kids in Gardere are open to hearing the Gospel. Most have been exposed to some Christian teaching in the past, but have not attended church consistently. If you ask them what it means to become a Christian, they will not have an answer (yet!). One of the greatest challenges to proclaiming the Gospel in Gardere is that people are struggling with poverty, violence, incarceration, and other family issues. It can be hard to grasp the concept of a loving God when you are personally suffering, and it can be hard to understand how God is a Good Father if you have not seen good examples of fatherhood. To make matters worse, many people have been exposed to the “prosperity gospel,” causing them to be hardened toward a religion that “doesn’t work” when it “doesn’t pay off” financially or otherwise. 

     

    Prayer:

    Pray for community organizations who are serving year-round in Gardere: The Gardere Initiative, Gardere Youth Alliance, Gardere Christian Community School, SportQuest, Young Life – for strong vision and leadership, a spirit of unity and willingness to partner, and for the Gospel to take root in and through their work
    Pray the power of the Gospel will bring healing and transformation to the Gardere neighborhood and overcome all of the social ills residents are experiencing.
    Pray the Kingdom of God would come and that Gardere and the entire city of Baton Rouge would be completely transformed!

     

    Points of Interest:

    • LSU
    • State Capitol
    • USS Kidd Museum
    • Baton Rouge Zoo
    • Anual Mardi Gras Parade
    • Whitney Plantation
    • Swamp Tours

     

    Typical Weather (for summer):

    HOT (over 90 degrees with almost 100% humidity) and RAINY (lots of heavy rain storms)

     

    Typical Foods:

    Boiled crawfish, jambalaya, boudin balls, gumbo, etouffee, lots of other Cajun and Creole dishes!

     
                                                    
     
                                                   
     
                                                    
     
                                                    
  • Dear Parents,

    We are thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in your child's life this summer. Thank you for supporting your son or daughter as they step out in faith and seek to encounter all that God has for them. May this moment remind you of the dreams that God has placed in your heart over the years. Are you walking in all that God has for you? We want to encourage you to believe that it is never too late to step out and surrender your will for His will. What we do in this life really does matter for eternity and obedience is always better than sacrifice. We love, appreciate, and pray for you as a parent. Please let us know if you have any specific prayer requests or questions.

    We understand that the safety of your child is very important to you and it is equally important to us. In the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, we highlight and discuss questions that are important for you to review. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have regarding your child's upcoming SportQuest experience.

    Below we have included two letters from SportQuest parents.  We hope these letters encourage you, excite you, and bring you peace as you prepare your child to "Go" on this experience of a lifetime!

    A Mother's Story by Carrie, Kansas

    We have three sons who have all traveled multiple years on PWP Projects. We have had a son travel with SQ every year since 2000! I asked each of our boys how SportQuest made a difference in their lives. Each one of them mentioned that it was through SQ that they became aware of the need to share the gospel to every corner of the earth. Ryan mentioned that it made him see things in a different perspective and made him grow in different areas of his life. Kyle and Chris mentioned how it made them want to reach out to others.

    Kyle traveled to Kenya in 2010. I want to share a heart-wrenching story that occurred after his return from Africa. He had been home for about an hour and was full of stories, but because of the wee hours of the morning we all decide to go to bed and catch up on everything else the next day. Kyle decided to have a bowl of cereal and my husband and I headed off to bed. As I was getting ready for bed, I decided to visit some more with Kyle as he ate his bowl of cereal. As I entered the kitchen I noticed Kyle standing with his back to me looking at the food in the kitchen cabinet. He was not moving, not making a noise but just standing there. I asked if he was OK and nothing came out of his mouth. He continued to stand there just staring. I didn't go over there but just stayed silent, waiting for his next move. With his back still to me I heard the words in a tearful cry "WE HAVE SO MUCH. THEY HAVE SO LITTLE". He said "I thought I knew....I've heard missionaries talk....but I didn't know. Mom you think you know, but you don't know." It took him a while before he turned around, but when he did his eyes and face were so filled with tears. I will never in my life forget that picture of what I saw in my son.

    Kyle gave a presentation to our local church after his return from Africa. The church was packed with those not only from our church, but from our community. This 19-year-old son of ours was emotional as he shared about the people of Africa. His life will never be the same.  Kyle has always been a child that respected us and gave us no trouble in high school, but he now has a passion for missions and others. What a blessing to have SQ be a part of our children's lives.

    I'm tearful as I am thinking right now of what SQ means to us.  We have always been a basketball family, and we enjoy sports immensely. We believe so strongly that God has blessed the boys with a talent of basketball that can be used as a platform to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We believe this is what SQ wants to do – use sports as a platform to share the Gospel. God has given kids so many talents in different sports not to bring them glory, but to bring GOD the glory. 

    I would like to reassure any parent that is apprehensive to send their kids overseas. We know that God loves our kids more than we do and that we are called to be witnesses. We definitely prayed over the trips our children took and of course when we saw how God provided the finances for these trips it confirmed that they were to be there.  We had problems with Kyle's shots and our medical clinic was very against us sending him to Africa. However, God really taught me something when my child looked me in the face and said, "Mom, we have a God that can keep me safe, and I'd rather die sharing the Gospel than to stay back home to just work and make more money."  This 19-year-old was teaching his mom to trust in God as he felt he was being called to serve Him in sport missions.

    A Parent's Perspective by Chi-Chung, California

    My wife and I are privileged to have sent our daughter on two summer missions trips with SportQuest -- the first at the end of her junior year in high school to Costa Rica and the second after graduating from high school to Belgium. We wanted her to use her God-given abilities – in her case basketball – in an environment where she can be a blessing and encouragement to others. We looked at a number of organizations and prayed that God will give us a sense of peace and direction. There were several key reasons why we decided to go with SportQuest. First of all, they are clearly missional -- the theme of Playing with Purpose is clearly in their DNA. Secondly, they were responsive. Throughout the process of learning about the organization they were always the first to respond back. Though SportQuest is located in Indiana, they were able to put me in touch with a local staff member in California who was kind enough to meet up with us for a cup of coffee during the investigation process. Thirdly, they are serious about safety. I appreciated how much attention they put into ensuring the safety of their missionaries. On her first trip to Costa Rica, they arranged to have her fly out of California to the East Coast with another athlete so that she would not have to fly alone. Once they touched down they were met by SportQuest personnel and taken to a local hotel where they could spend the night before flying out to Costa Rica the next morning. Once in the designated country, SportQuest provided a week of training and orientation so that each athlete is prepared physically, mentally and spiritually for the work ahead.

    Fundraising is always a major concern and challenge. However, we've found that SportQuest walks with you throughout the process, providing wonderful tools and ideas to journey the fund raising process in faith. We also appreciated the updates when gifts were sent in so that we knew where we stood on the fundraising side throughout the process.

    We've been thoroughly blessed by our relationship with SportQuest. We've seen our daughter's love and passion for God grow through her time with SportQuest over the past two summers. As a parent, there is no greater joy "than to see our children walking in the truth" (3 John 4). Thank you, SportQuest, for helping our daughter walk and serve with passion and purpose.

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Contact Us: 317.270.9495
P.O. Box 53433 Indianapolis, IN 46253
info@sportquest.org

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