Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The New Teammate

Every weekend,  I post lesson plans for the upcoming week in all five of my academic classes and I stick to them to the letter. But today, my fourth period  eighth grade Bible class took a break from the script. You see, we walked next door to the Westbury church of Christ building and witnessed a new birth. Zoee, one of my basketball players, gave her life to Jesus and was immersed by our middle school administrator, Casey Farris. Many of our students had never witnessed a baptism so Casey Lankford, one of our campus ministers, walked them through what was about to happen. All of us had spoken to the roughly one hundred young people present that it was a sacred and joyous event, shared by Zoee's biological family and school family. The post below, from June 29, 2009, is about a baptism which took place in that same location with a different back ground. PS: Welcome to the family, Zoee!

Joe became a Christian yesterday. Right at the end of our English speaking worship, Joe was baptized into Jesus by Vito, our Chinese minister. (As our Chinese group does not meet in the auditorium, our baptisms are often in the middle of our English or Spanish services.) As we began our Chinese assembly soon afterwards, Joe explained how his struggle to accept Jesus was due to his upbringing. In China, he was raised under communism and taught the Party was God. Sunday, in front of several hundred English speaking strangers, he declared that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and had his sins washed away. That can be understood in any language.

Let me give you a little background on how Joe heard about the Lord. On Sunday afternoons for the past nine years, our congregation has opened up the WCS gym to the Chinese community for basketball. During these sessions, play would stop for a time and a Bible study would be conducted. Some would say the return on the time spent in a sweltering gym is too meager. After all, in the nine years of Sunday afternoon hoops, there only two Christians to show for it. (Besides Joe, ShaMin, one of our translators also came to know the Lord in the gym.) We are often short sighted in our views of spiritual success. The Scriptures teach that any increase is from God and it is our job to spread the Word. Jesus taught in a variety of locations; the seashore, in the temple, on a mountainside. Why not a basketball court? I tell my students, who don't all believe me, that the most famous athlete in the world is Yao Ming, because he is from China, the most populated nation. Do you know that 12 million Chinese folks watch every Houston Rockets game on television because of Yao? There is gut wrenching news that Yao's career is in jeopardy from a recurring stress fracture in his foot. Houston is holding our breath- Yao is such a hard worker and great teammate. But, worst case scenario, I have a new favorite Chinese roundballer picked out. He's almost two feet shorter and will never make millions shooting baskets. But, while the basketball court did not lead Joe to fame, it led him to an eternal contract with the Savior. That's pretty good compensation in any league.

Click here to see the funniest commercial ever with Yao Ming and Yogi Berra. (VISA) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PkiFlMiyGQ

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Sherry Ann said...

Wow! The angels must be dancing with joy! The Bible says that over one sinner who repents, the angels are rejoicing!!! What a sight to behold :))