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Truth for Youth: Sports Outreach

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2023 7:00 pm

Truth for Youth: Sports Outreach

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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March 31, 2023 7:00 pm

Truth for Youth host Colby Hales interviews Dan Naravaez from "Sports Outreach" 


Africa needs Jesus. Give a radio and give hope. Many parts of Africa do not have the means of connecting to the Internet, so join with the Truth Network and Transworld Radio to put the Word of God straight into the hands of those most in need in Africa.

Visit and click on the Africa Needs Jesus banner, or call 888-988-5656 to pledge your gift to put a wind-up radio into the grateful hands of people desperately in need. Welcome back, everyone, to Truth Network. This is your Truth for Youth host, Colby Hales, and we are back with another interview.

I'm super excited to be able to get this out to y'all. This is Dan Narvaez here with me, and we're going to talk a little bit about spirituality. We're going to talk a little bit about sports outreach and what they do and the events that are coming up.

So, Dan, thank you so much for coming on today and talking to us. You know, it was amazing last year when we got together, and we began to talk about the amazing ministry of sports outreach, and so we're going to talk about it domestically, and then I want to talk about it internationally, and I brought a partner friend of mine, Bob Allen, here, who handles our sports outreach international training aspect of our coaches. So, you know, on a domestic side, we are excited. We literally have just launched 12 new coaches in various states. We've gone now up to 29 coaches in 10 states here in the United States. We have launched several new coaches here in Lynchburg. We have launched several new coaches in Charlotte. We even opened up a new office in Charlotte, which is awesome. And then we opened up a new office in Alliance, Ohio, with Coach Morgan Kaiser. So, we are just expanding. We're so excited about the growth.

But let me share with you how we've gotten there. So, 35 years ago, Russ Carr just got on a field, and it was a baseball field. And that baseball field now is called Russ Carr Fields at Westmont College. I had the privilege last year of doing a baseball camp at Westmont College. By the way, the Westmont College baseball team right now has only been caught three times and stolen bases. I just talked to Coach Tyler just a couple of days ago.

He's ecstatic. That's awesome. And so we've been able to do things like that. We go out into universities. We go into high schools. You know, I'm working right now at Lake Norman High School.

I have seven, which I call the Magnificent Seven. We are stealing five bases average per game right now in nine games. So, we're just like roadrunners right now.

It's been amazing to be able to watch these kids develop over this past year. And you know about sports outreach, what we try and do is to partner with churches. So, we need churches. And right now we're doing a tremendous outreach in the Charlotte area with churches, in the Mooresville area with churches, in the Winston-Salem area with churches, and here in Lynchburg with churches.

And we want to partner with you. And what does that look like? Well, we have sports outreach coaches right now in every one of those cities that can conduct a sports outreach program.

What does that look like? Well, it could be baseball. It could be soccer. It could be football. It could be foosball.

It could be basketball. Whatever the sport may be, we step on the field with the level of expertise that each coach has, and then we step off the field. And here's the most exciting part. We share the Gospel of John. Praise God. That's our passion. So, I want to share a couple of examples.

Yes, please. One that you didn't know about until just a few minutes ago. But last year I worked with Jake Coonan from Mount Tabor High School for a couple of years, and in our last session he gave his heart to Christ. What's beautiful about that is now he's the starting second baseman at Princeton University, and now he's sharing the Gospel. Well, along that, I then brought along Carson Sherry, and Carson is a junior at Lake Norman High School where I'm now an assistant coach there. And I brought Jake and Carson together.

We did a camp at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. That was awesome, having the two of these speechsters there now. We've done so many things together, and I'm bringing them together because Jake is now starting to influence Carson.

Well, that influence got even better because literally just last Friday, Carson came up to me and said, Coach, I'd like to talk to you. I said, okay, what's up? He said, I want to give my heart to Christ. Praise God. And so we spent an hour just last Friday in his car, and we went over several verses of the Gospel of John, and then he gave his heart to Christ. He didn't know how to pray.

He hadn't prayed in who knows how long. And I said, okay, well then I'll help you out. But what's most important is that the prayer come from your heart. Jeremiah 29, 11 says, I know the plans I have for you, Carson, plans for welfare, not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. So it's not the words that you say, it's your heart matching those words and saying, I want to give my all to Jesus Christ. That's what he did, and that was an amazing part of what we were able to do.

Praise God. It's so neat to see how God has just been using you, not only through your impact in sports outreach, but all around the nation, within schools. Now that you're an assistant coach at, you said, Lake Norman?

Yeah, Lake Norman. That's awesome. And just for everyone that doesn't know, Dan is an incredible baseball coach. We did an interview last year where you talked to, went into that in depth, and he helps now students be successful at stealing bases. He was, now tell us, Dan, what were you at your prime?

Led the nation's stolen bases for two years in a row, stole 63 out of 67 bases, the only college, university, division one player to do that. And yeah, I could run a little faster those days. That's awesome. So obviously you have a real skill there, but then now God developing that to now be able to not only transition from teaching and coaching kids, but also teaching and coaching them from a gospel point of view. And so bringing your aspect of coaching and teaching in that area to sports outreach has just been so exciting. And sports outreach has been doing a lot of amazing things, not only internationally, but globally as well, which we'll talk about. But lead with us a little bit about what sports outreach is doing now.

You're right. So we've got in these coaches right now, they are out in the field. They're sharing. They step on the field, as we call it in my little orange band here. They step on with their expertise, and then they step off the field. And when they step off the field, they're able to share the gospel.

John, right? So in fact, in April, I'm going flying out to Westmont College area, but we're going to go down to Yorba Linda. I've got two now Westmont College kids that are now coaches at sports outreach. Wow. And the three of us are going to come down with another coach that we have down there, and the four of us are actually going to do a baseball camp and share the gospel with hundreds of kids. Hallelujah.

It's going to be an amazing thing. And we're able to do that all across the United States. It's fascinating. But our coaches are day in and day out going into communities, going into tough neighborhoods, whether it's West Charlotte or here in Lynchburg or it's in Ohio or California or Texas. And they are sharing the gospel using their expertise in sports. So that's what we do.

That's sports outreach. But we need our partners. We have business partners that partner with us.

We have church partners that partner with us. And one of the ways they can do is obviously we have an upcoming golf tournament again. Yes, sir. We still need a couple of teams. Yes, sir.

So I would love for them to contact me again, and I'd love to get information out to them. For sure. But those events also help us to support and fund our local coaches, right? So this is really an amazing opportunity that the churches have, that a business has, to partner with us to support these coaches. Because these coaches, quite frankly, a lot of them are either working full-time or working part-time, or we have just a few coaches that are full-time supported, right? So a lot of these coaches, they want to give their life fully. Right.

But, you know, obviously they need help and support. And so we would encourage all businesses, all churches, all business leaders to contact us. And we want to be in schools. We want to be with universities. We want to partner with them because we have something great to offer in our sports.

That's awesome. So partnering, prayer, all of that stuff. I often say that money is not everything, but it takes money to do everything. And so partnering in that aspect financially with Sports Outreach is significant and goes a lot further than just your pockets and someone else's pockets. But it goes to advancing the spread of the gospel, which ultimately at the end goal is what it is. So we have about a minute left. We have an event coming up in Winston-Salem, which is a huge way that people can come support and sponsor. Share a little bit about that with us in this last minute.

Yeah. So we've got the private beautiful chorus of Bermuda Run West. It cannot be played unless you're a member there. So obviously most of the folks out there listening to me today are not members.

So this gets you an opportunity. It's $100, which we've kept it at that, even though prices raise. We kept it at $100.

So it's $400 per team, which is awesome. We would love for you to join us. My phone number is 336-995-0255.

So that's 995-0255. Hit me up. Give me a text.

Send me a call. Hey, I'd love to join it. That golf tournament, we have about four teams left to fill, possibly five. And so we would love to get that shored up. We're going to have Publix there. Of course, Truth Bad Broadcasting has been a tremendous supporter.

Thank you so much for doing that. And we have other Chick-fil-A and other sponsors that come and support us. But our biggest donor is Davenport Engineering. And I want to talk a little bit about Davenport Engineering in our next session because they are a local business in Winston-Salem that are now supporting us internationally.

Praise God. Well, thank you so much, Dan, for coming on. We're going to get into our next segment on what Sports Outreach is doing internationally, which I can't wait for.

But thank you for talking about domestic. Welcome back to Truth Network. This is your host, Colby Hales, for Truth For Youth. And I'm still sitting with Dan Nervayez, and we're going to talk a little bit now about internationally and globally what Sports Outreach is doing.

So I'm going to turn it over to you. Tell us what they're doing and how they're expanding into multiple different countries. Yeah, so 35 years ago, Russ Carr, the founder of Sports Outreach, went to Africa and kicked the ball around. And in kicking a ball around, he found this common denominator of sports, that anyone from all races, all ages, it didn't matter who, what, where, loved that particular sport. Well, he did something amazing because then he started to share the gospel with them. And that launched Sports Outreach today. Wow. Yeah, that's awesome.

So now, fast forward 35 years, right? So now we're in 10 countries. So we're in the Dominican Republic, we're in Brazil, we're in El Salvador, we're in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, we're in Croatia, Uganda, Kenya, India. And in all of these countries, we have literally over 100 coaches right now ministering over the last 20, 30 years sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now what's fascinating about that is what has transpired just in the last year, because actually now we're introducing some new countries that are coming in, potentially Zambia, potentially South Africa. We have several other countries down the road that we potentially are bringing in. And what is fascinating is the partnership that we have with the churches here in the United States in our international field.

What does that look like? Well, our churches love missions. Churches want to support missions. Well, we go a step further and we say, why don't you just come out to the mission field with us? Come serve in those 10 countries.

If you have a heart for any of those 10 countries, come serve with us. Because we can actually take care of your entire mission trip. We have a wonderful young lady. Her name is Devin Timm. Her email address is dtimm at sportsoutreach.

Awesome. She's an amazing lady. She's able to coordinate all of those trips.

Right now, we actually have 17 trips right now that churches are going to be leaving the United States to going into our 10 countries in the mission field. Praise God. Praise God. And I got to tell you, this is where I get really excited.

I love it. At the Dominican Republic, just got back about a month ago. So last year, we led 82 Kids to Christ. More importantly, we actually placed and trained and developed Jorge Bautista, our coach.

Well, he's been discipling those believers over the last year, every Friday, week after week after week. So then we go back this year and we have four baseball camps and here was the great part. In the first baseball camp, no one came to Christ. You know why?

Why? Because they were all saved from last year. That's awesome. So here they are already saved. So they are all in their discipleship program. So we ended up meeting with those kids afterwards.

He had about 21 kids that he was discipling over the past year, which is amazing what he's been doing. And then we went into a church. We started a chess ministry there. You know, we went into a public school. Now, this was amazing. Recy Cardi.

Okay. She's a nurse administrator at a hospital in Orlando, Florida. She went in there and she did this amazing illustration where she had water. She put dye in it. That's our sin. And then she started pouring bleach. And the next thing you know, the sin got wiped away. Wow.

That's the blood of Jesus and cleansing us of our sin. Amen. And literally, this is what she did. She said, now, if anyone wants to give their heart to Christ, come forward.

This is in a public high school. Right. Forty-five kids came forward.

But then she said it a step further. I want to know if you really want to give yourself totally to Christ as Lord. Wow. And those same 45 still came forward. Praise God. And so we were able to see 87 kids come to Christ in a high school, in a chess thing that we did, in our baseball camps that we had. And it was truly amazing.

Well, now, let's now transition to the future. Right. Right. A wonderful friend of the ministry and personal friend of my wife and I, John and Nia Davenport, out of Winston-Salem. Their company is called Davenport Engineering. They are an amazing company.

They have given over a million dollars to charity over the last 20-plus years. And he was supporting me personally in my outreach to Winston-Salem. Right? And then one day, he just said, he said, Dan, are there any other needs that you have? And we started, I said, yeah, I want, we have this medical center.

I have this wonderful man named Robert Katende from the Disney movie, The Queen and Cat. Right. Right, yeah. I said, you know, he has this amazing vision to build a medical center because in a 25-mile radius, people just die. They have no care.

Right? So they need a medical center there. So John meets Robert and I, and we have our meeting. And then a couple of months later, he gives me a call. And he says, he said, Dan, how much did you say you need? I said, well, I think we need about 87,000.

And he said, well, why don't I give you 100,000? And now we're going to Uganda, Kenya right now in August 23rd to the 28th. We would love for you. We need doctors, nurses, carers, pastors, anyone, churches to come and go with us on that mission trip. So we want you to give us a call. We want you to go on our sports outreach website.

Contact Devontim, like I shared, and join us. And, you know, we need more businesses like that. We need more Christian leaders like that who have a vision to meet a need in another country. We need more churches that are willing to join us in that. Those 17 churches, we'd love to do 34 trips.

You know, but we need more churches, more pastors that have a vision for an international outreach that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am privileged right now to introduce to you an amazing man. His name is Bob Allen. He's part of our international team right now.

He goes into foreign countries and actually trains coaches. And I just want to introduce him because I believe he has a tremendous vision of what we want to do with our coaches as well. And so, Bob, here you go, brother. Praise God. Thank you, Dan. Yeah. Dan, you're a tough follow-up, I'll tell you that.

Passion's amazing. But I do want to talk about what's going on, and particularly I do a lot of work in Africa. And right now there's a big problem and a huge opportunity. Forty percent of the population in Africa is at the age of 15 and below. Forty percent, almost half of Africa, and a large, large portion of that are orphans. Either they've lost a mother, they've lost a father, they've lost both, or they've been kicked out of the house because their family can't afford them. There's so many kids on the street.

It's just incredible. And there's another problem, is that a lot of the churches are older churches, and there's huge generational gaps between the leadership of these churches and these 15-year-old kids. They can't connect. They don't know how to reach these kids. And yet here's sports ministry. The one thing that can connect everybody together is through sports. And what a beautiful thing to have a coach step into a kid's life, an authority figure, somebody that they look up to and automatically give and look for that authority, to blove on them, to give them grace, to teach them, to be their partner. But not only that, I'm seeing truly amazing responses to coaches that are bringing kids into their home. They're giving these kids that are literally thrown off the streets, bringing them into their home, feeding them, clothing them, and then they're out there on the field playing and having the joy of their life.

And I'm seeing that over and over again. So there's this amazing opportunity through sports ministry to change the trajectory of Africa. And not only Africa, we can assume that this is happening in South America. Look what's happening into Eastern Europe right now with the explosion of war. You can imagine the number of orphans that are out there.

It's just massively growing. So how do we approach these? How do we try and get connected to all these coaches? Well, one of the solutions we have at Sports Outreach is that we want to build an international training platform, one that can be put out there to anybody in the world who has either wants to start a sports ministry, doesn't know how to do a sports ministry, wants to figure out what's the next step or how do I do this in baseball, basketball, football, flag football.

Chess, all these different sports. We're developing that. But not only the ability to try and mechanically put something together, but we want to bless these people. We want to teach them how to evangelize. We want to teach them how to disciple. We want to teach them leadership skills.

We want to build them for life so that they can pass that on to their kids. Amen. And so we just see a tremendous opportunity and we're just saying, let's just go do it. It's the time is right.

The time is now. Let's build this. Let's get these guys. Let's start mentoring these coaches and start building relationship with these guys. Let's see what we can do. I love that. They say the first best time was yesterday.

The second best time is now. And so that is so amazing to sit here with both of you and see how passionate you are about what God is doing, not only through individually each of you, but also through Sports Outreach as a just program for all of these kids, all of these families. Not only through sports, but also the ability to go build a hospital where there isn't a hospital. And I think that it is so beautiful. And here at Truth Network, we're so blessed to partner with y'all. We are so excited for the golf tournament. But thank you both for sitting here and sharing a little bit about the way God is leading y'all. So thank you so much both for sitting here and doing that. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 23:04:52 / 2023-03-31 23:14:09 / 9

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