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Southwest Virginia Huddle - Bringing 2010 Into Focus

In the fall of 2009, the Southwest Virginia huddle was born. Formerly Team Acts, the group decided to become an FCA Endurance huddle in order to reach more people for Christ. Huddle leaders Mark Long, Ryan Day and Mike Medlin knew this was God’s plan. “We have been able to build so many more relationships,” Day said, “and God has confirmed several times that this is His will for our group.”

Since its formation, the Southwest Virginia huddle has had the chance to minister to many athletes through races, training and Bible studies. The huddle volunteered at events during the season, setting out to minister to other athletes in order to show them Christ’s love. One way the group did this was inviting individuals to participate in group prayer. “There’s nothing more encouraging than to pray before and after events, ensuring that God gets the glory,” Long said. The huddle also used its Bible study, which started over a year ago, to invite athletes to build relationships outside the athletic arena.

As the huddle considers its 2010 goals, one event that sits high on the list of priorities is the Wilderness Road Ride, a road bike ride of various distances that draws in many cyclists each year. This year, the Southwest Virginia huddle was named the beneficiary for the event, but along with the title comes a lot of work. The huddle is responsible for all aspects of the event from registration to post-race cleanup. But the Wilderness Road Ride is definitely a blessing for the group. “This will be a great way to give exposure and visibility to FCA Endurance to generate interest and recruit new members,” Long said. “It’s a God sized undertaking that requires us to be humble and surrender it to Him, but we are excited to see the many ways that He will be lifted up and glorified through it.”

The Southwest Virginia huddle plans to get together early in 2010 to discuss other personal ambitions and volunteer opportunities, but the most important goal for the Southwest Virginia huddle greatly overshadows any single event. “Our number one goal is to bring glory to God and to put Him first in everything we do,” Long said. “Without Him we are nothing and our efforts are meaningless.” For the huddle, a very important part of bringing glory to God involves meeting athletes where they are. “Jesus always met others where they were,” Day said, “and He built the relationship from there.”

As it moves into a new year with new goals and challenges, the Southwest Virginia huddle understands the importance of putting God first and earnestly seeking Him to discover His plan for their lives. One thing the huddle knows for sure is that God has called each individual to minister to others through endurance sports. “We have an awesome opportunity to reach the hearts of so many lost in our endurance sports arena,” Day said. “If we look hard, we can see just how each person is searching for answers to life.”

This statement holds true for all Christian athletes. This New Year is an opportunity for us to devote our training, our schedules, our sports and our goals entirely to God. Once we do this, we will witness God move in the hearts and minds of those around us.

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” - Ezekiel 36: 25-27

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