In 2000, Harold Cooper was invited by AIA Canada to partner
with Campus Crusade for Christ Zambia (CCCZ) to assist in launching their
Athletes in Action ministry. That initial invitation has grown into the establishment and development of
sustainable sports ministries in South East Africa. There are now AIA ministries in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda,
South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Literally millions of people have
been exposed to the gospel through sports outreach and discipleship events.
During these 12 years, AIA ministry trainers and sports teams from around the
world have partnered in the establishment these AIA SEA international
Training Symposium - This
past December, AIA national staff from Zambia, Malawi, and South Africa joined
Harold in facilitating training for over 50 participants attending the intensive 5-day AIA Sports Ministry Training
Symposium hosted in Lusaka, Zambia.
Many were pastors and lay leaders learning for the first time how to maximize
the platform of sport to reach their communities, country and their national
neighbors for Christ. Additionally
there was a 4-day SEA
Regional Summit Meetings for the AIA
staff from those countries.
Youth Olympic Deveopment Centre - Determined to stay "in the race" the AIA regional staff
line-up on the track at the first of its kind, Youth Olympic Development
Centre (see photo above). The YODC was completed in 2011 as an investment and commitment by the
IOC to enable developing countries the opportunity to grow Olympic athletes
from within their country. In the back-drop is the under construction 30,000
person sports stadium. It is the second of its kind to be built in Zambia.
The world believes that sport makes a difference in individuals, communities
Athletes in Action believes that
JESUS is the ultimate change agent! These AIA staff are world
changers who have been changed by the world Maker. A YODC banner declares: “Home of tomorrow’s
These courageous AIA African staff
believe, by faith, that the God who created and sustains the world will raise
up tomorrow’s generation of godly heroes in their countries that will change their
Come and Do - AIA ministry is a "Come and Do" strategy, not "Come and Listen." Wednesday of the Symposium was a "Do"
day at the Campus Crusade office where the participants practiced the outreach
activities that would happen on Thursday at the Chawama compound. Hundreds of
children had a "play day" with our participants and then heard the gospel as
presented by our trainees. For many, it was their first time to ever be
a part of an outreach or to share the gospel with anyone. We know of over 115
that personally met and prayed with our trainees to receive Christ as their
event was partnered with Campus Crusade staff members who attend the church
located in Chawama. They will be providing the follow-up partnership!
There are too many wonderful stories to share in one article. To see Harold's complete report click here. We thank God for your interest, prayers and support!