BOYS WRESTLING CAMP

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This was a great summer of camps.  We are truly excited to see what the Lord has done and continues to do.  Our clinicians and speakers made a huge impact on our campers, staff and coaches.  We are also celebrating that we held the FIRST EVER FCA Girls Wrestling Camp this summer.  We are truly thankful for all of these opportunities the Lord blesses us with through FCA Wrestling.

Father & Son Retreat – 38 Campers;  3 salvation decisions indicated, and 9 “rededications” to the Lord.
FCAW Team Camp – 316 Campers;  22 salvation decisions indicated, and 52 “rededications” to the Lord.
FCAW Girls Camp – 28 Campers;  4 salvation decisions indicated, and 3 “rededications” to the Lord.
FCA Wrestling Partnership Camp with Southern Hospitality Camp at Camden Co. HS – 150 kids averaged at the FCA huddles each day.  3 young men made salvation decisions, and 16 recommitted their lives to Christ.
FCA Wrestling Partnership Camp with Vidalia HS Wrestling Camp – 82 campers (75 wrestlers & their 7 coaches) at the camp.  10 young men indicated salvation decisions, and 4 rededicated their lives to Christ. 

 June Totals for FCA Wrestling Camps in Georgia: 

614 campers, with 42 young people indicating salvation decisions and 84 rededicating their lives to Christ.   

FCA Wrestling-GA hosted our 2018 Team Camp at Emmanuel College, with two camp sessions during the week of June 10 – 16, plus a small Father & Son Retreat.  Please see the two attached pictures and the stats below.

Overall, (not including our FCA Staff), we had a total of 277 wrestlers and coaches at our 2018 FCA Wrestling “Team Camp”.  (Session One had 172 wrestlers & coaches;  Session Two had 105 wrestlers & coaches.)

By God’s grace we saw a total of 26 young men make first-time decisions for Christ, and 73 souls “recommitted” their lives to the Lord.

Here are just a few comments from campers:

1.      “I thank everyone involved in helping put on this camp.  I definitely grew in my relationship with the Lord.”

2.      “This camp was life changing.  It opened my eyes so much!”

3.      “I had strayed from the fundamentals of being a Christian and allowed my actions to be influenced by the world.  I would like to thank this camp for helping me renew my faith.  Please pray for the ones on our team who did not come this camp and are struggling in their faith.” (comment from a coach’s son)

3.      “Most of the guys on my team are believers and have grown spiritually from being at this camp.  This camp was like a slap in the face to wake them up in their need to pursue Christ.  Please pray for one of my wrestlers, who was adopted at a late age and is slowly growing up.  I have watched him at camp this week, and I see an emptiness in his eyes and face.” (comment from a coach)

God did a mighty work at our 2018 FCA Wrestling Camp at Emmanuel College.

Our Father & Son Retreat was very small, with two fathers bringing their sons to the camp.  However, because we enfolded that camp into the bigger “team camp”, the four fathers and sons had an awesome time and loved the camp.  Including these four extra campers, FCA Wrestling had a total of 281 campers at Emmanuel College during the week of June 10 -16.

We also worked with several other “partnership camps” this month.  

1. On our “Team Camp” (at Emmanuel College):  * Session One; was from June 11-14.  It had 155 wrestlers & coaches in attendance, and had 15 salvation decisions recorded, & 55 re-dedications to the Lord. 

* Session Two was June 14-17.  It had 175 in attendance, with 23 salvation decisions & 34 re-dedications.  

2. The Camden Co. partnership camp was from June 11-15.  Approximately 300 in attendance, 150 of whom attended the FCA Huddle faithfully each day;  We had 15 salvation decisions, and 28 re-dedications.  

3. The partnership camp at Reinhardt U. was from June 15-18.  They had 13 wrestlers & 3 coaches at the camp & all attended the FCA Huddles.  No decisions were recorded, but it was a good start for a new partnership.

4. The new FCA Wrestling partnership w/ Vidalia HS camp was from June 26-29.  We had 35 wrestlers & 3 coaches at camp.  All attended the FCA Huddles. There were 5 salvation decisions recorded, & 4 re-dedications.

We had the opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel with 500 wrestlers and coaches in June. FCA Wrestling Team Camp had a total of 440 campers (200 wrestlers & 40 coaches @ Session One; and 175 wrestlers & 25 coaches @ Session Two). Our incredible clinicians included John Azevedo (3x College Nat’l Champ, 3x NCAA D1 finalist, NCAA Champ; 1980 Olympic Team; current coach of national Open Champions, Titan Mercury); Mike McArthur (3x time NCAA All-American, alternate on the ’76 Olympic Team; coach of numerous USA Teams); and Tom Ryan (coach of the reigning NCAA champions, the Ohio State U. Buckeyes). God used these men, & others, to touch many lives. By the Lord’s grace, we saw 69 young men indicate “first time decisions” for Jesus Christ, and another 77 young men “re-dedicate” their lives to the Lord at our team camp in Rome. In addition, we saw 3 more “salvation decisions”, and 4 “re commitments” at our new partnership camp in Camden Co. That is a total of 72 “salvation decisions”, and 81 “re dedications” to Christ, this month. One of the “re dedications” made was by a coach this month. He decided to get baptized a week after returning home from camp. God is so good!!
We had the opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel with 500 wrestlers and coaches in June. FCA Wrestling Team Camp had a total of 440 campers (200 wrestlers & 40 coaches @ Session One; and 175 wrestlers & 25 coaches @ Session Two). Our incredible clinicians included John Azevedo (3x College Nat’l Champ, 3x NCAA D1 finalist, NCAA Champ; 1980 Olympic Team; current coach of national Open Champions, Titan Mercury); Mike McArthur (3x time NCAA All-American, alternate on the ’76 Olympic Team; coach of numerous USA Teams); and Tom Ryan (coach of the reigning NCAA champions, the Ohio State U. Buckeyes). God used these men, & others, to touch many lives. By the Lord’s grace, we saw 69 young men indicate “first time decisions” for Jesus Christ, and another 77 young men “re-dedicate” their lives to the Lord at our team camp in Rome. In addition, we saw 3 more “salvation decisions”, and 4 “recommitments” at our new partnership camp in Camden Co. That is a total of 72 “salvation decisions”, and 81 “rededications” to Christ, this month. One of the “rededications” made was by a coach this month. He decided to get baptized a week after returning home from camp. God is so good!!

Wrestlers get mat, life lessons at FCA camp

FCA Summer Wrestling Camp Nearly 450 wrestlers from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania are attending the wrestling camp at Shorter’s Winthrop-King Centre.

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2015 3:18 am | Updated: 3:20 am, Fri Jun 12, 2015.
Shorter reports

Each day this week, hundreds of middle and high school wrestlers are filling the gymnasium inside Shorter University’s Winthrop-King Centre to learn from world-class clinicians during the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Summer Wrestling Camp.

Nearly 450 wrestlers from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania are attending the camp that teaches the basics of the sport through a combination of technique training and competitive time, while also sharing the message of Jesus Christ.

Camp director Bill Gifford said the two-session camp, which runs through today, offers a valuable physical and spiritual opportunity for everyone from the coaches to their student athletes.

“The vision of FCA Wrestling is to impact the wrestling world for the Lord, and its mission is to encourage and build coaches and athletes with the gospel,” he said.

“When they come and see the quality of our program and they hear the message of our speakers, it touches lives. It’s the word of God at their level; it’s relevant to their lives, and we speak their language.”
Shorter University wrestling coach Josh Henson, a former NCAA All-American at the University of Pennsylvania, is teaching several sessions during the camp. He said the FCA camp’s goals align perfectly with Shorter’s mission of transforming lives through Christ.

“We are able to share the Gospel, and at the same time we are teaching these athletes elite-level techniques while exposing them to national clinicians who are Olympians and coaches of national championship teams,” Henson said.

This year’s clinicians include John Azevedo, an NCAA champion who also represented the United States in the 1980 Olympics; Mike McArthur, a three-time NCAA All-American who coached for the U.S. Olympic team; and Tom Ryan, a two-time NCAA All-American and current coach at Ohio State, which recently won the 2015 NCAA Division I National Championship in wrestling.

“All of our clinicians are world-class and are exceptional coaches,” Gifford said. “We want to have great coaches on the mats giving a great product at a great price — with a meaningful message to go along with it. That’s our philosophy.”

Sam Snider, wrestling coach at Gilmer High School in Ellijay brought 15 members of his team to Shorter University for the wrestlers’ first FCA camp.

“There is a great atmosphere here with good, quality coaches and people, so the kids are learning more than just the technique involved in wrestling. If you lose the character aspect of the sport, it all goes down the drain. Basically, unless Christ is in the center, it’s never going to last, and they’re seeing that here this week,” he said.
Snider, who has coached the GHS wrestling team to 15 state championship wins since 2005, said he spoke to a former colleague who attended the camp’s first session earlier this week.

“He called me yesterday and told me we were going to love it and that it was a great experience for him and his team,” Snider said. “I’ve had some very high-quality coaches tell me this would be a great place to come, and they were right.”

Taking the time to minister to the student athletes is an essential component of the FCA Wrestling Camp; however, another primary element to each session is making an impact in the coaches’ spiritual lives as well.
“Probably our most important ministry is to the coaches because when you reach a coach and help him grow in his faith, you impact somebody whose life is going to touch hundreds of kids for years and years and years,” Camp Director Gifford said. “The coach is the real influencer, and when he is walking with the Lord and being a strong, positive impact on his athletes’ lives, he will impact thousands of lives during his career.”
Gifford said the camp experience is just a portion of an ongoing relationship the FCA maintains with the student athletes and their coaches throughout the school year. He said the Fellowship of Christian Athletes offers devotional materials designed specifically for wrestlers, and many teams go on to hold Bible studies for their athletes throughout the school year.

“The great thing is that they love what they see and hear at camp, and they want to stay involved,” he said. “So we keep them involved through staying in touch. It doesn’t end after camp; this is the beginning. We had about 80 teams throughout the Southeast — over 40 from here in Georgia — that did weekly team Bible studies through FCA Huddles on the wrestling mats at their schools once a week this past year. This camp is just the start of great things for these teams, and we are happy to provide the opportunity to grow as athletes and Christians

God worked through FCA Wrestling-GA in a mighty way this summer, touching a total of 504 young people and coaches. Our team camps served over 400 wrestlers and 50 coaches in June. Another 50 fathers and sons attended our “Father & Son Retreat” in late July.

A big thanks goes to all of our ministry partners who helped provide scholarship funding, donated their time to help with camps, and prayed for our ministry this past summer. The vision of FCA Wrestling is “To impact the WRESTLING COMMUNITY for JESUS CHRIST”, through our mission, to INFLUENCE and BUILD COACHES and WRESTLERS with the GOSPEL.

Father & Son Retreat Photos

What an amazing gift the Lord gave us! We had twenty-four female athlete campers and four coaches at camp. Four young ladies gave their hearts to Jesus, and another three girls made recommitments.

Our clinicians, Amy Fearnside (just made the USA Team in May) and Coach Brittney Gadd (Brewton Parker Coach) did a phenomenal job of coaching on the mats and sharing their testimonies. Amy also spoke to the girls on “moral purity” and did a fantastic job! Hall of Fame Coach Jose Campo (our FCAW Dir. in CA.) was the main speaker, (he also is an FCA Chaplain for the men’s and women’s USA Teams). Jose shared a powerful message on “Choices have consequences”.

Guest Speaker, Kim Nolan, shared her compelling testimony and graciously opened the floor for questions and answers. WOW – I am just so incredibly thankful for how the Lord blessed this very special camp. Lives were touched and the girls cannot wait to come back next year.!!!!

Testimonials:

*I know it’s late but God is working. She has been in our room for 2 hours talking about God and life!

I asked her what the best part of the camp was and she said chapel.  You are doing what God called and it’s so worth it! It’s been 5 months since she even walked in here to talk –but tonight it is prayers answered and it’s like I got my little girl back!!! My son rededicated last weekend and my daughter this week because of FCA wrestling and of course God! – Marcus

* Thank you for all this ministry does and the outpouring of love to the Wrestlers!  They are truly blessed to have this ministry!  Such an amzazing time -The Littles

* Thank you for everything!  What an amazing day!  We watched facing the Giants on the way home. Nothing is impossible for God!  The Girls Camp was an answered prayer for us. -Coach Pinkney

* I just want to Thank You and your staff for an amazing girl’s wrestling camp this past weekend at Emmanuel.

My daughter just started wrestling a few months ago and was very nervous about attending the camp.

She had a wonderful time and can’t wait until next year. I appreciate all that you and your staff do and did to make her and the other girls feel at home.  Suzanne

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