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.