Riding with Jesus

Daniel Iuras trained for months for Romania’s national cycling tour, Tour of Romania. He’s cycled in years past, and as a character coach in Romania, prayed this year would be no exception. Iuras trained for months, as this was prime time to share the Gospel with fellow riders.

But when the Romanian Cycling Federation decided to break the tour down into certain town clubs due to COVID-19 regulations, his town of Cluj didn’t make the cut. Iuras would not race. His hope deflated, but God soon brought him in on a bigger plan. He would find a way to ride, though not how he originally planned.

Iuras reached out to the federation and asked to be an assistance car during the race driving up and down the mountain and give water to the cyclists. The federation couldn’t believe he was asking to serve, but quickly accepted his offer.

On race day, Iuras filled his car with water bottles and other fuel for the cyclists and spent the next six hours handing out supplies and speaking words of encouragement to not just the cyclists in the lead, but those in the back. They were grateful for the water yet surprised by the support. Iuras was asked why he volunteered to serve when he couldn’t race, and this opened a pathway to share exactly the reason why.

“When they asked, I said, ‘My Father sent me,’” Iuras noted. “It’s a way to open their minds, a way to talk about God.”

The federation, coaches and riders couldn’t believe Iuras’ desire to serve without receiving anything in return. But the heart of Iuras is to serve, however that looks. It’s what brings him joy, and a way to live out the example of Jesus.

“Jesus loves to be famous with small things, like water,” he said. “All day long, God gave me this huge honor and privilege to see Him this way.”

Although most Romanians are Orthodox, many of them only acknowledge God and believe He stays in Heaven and the church but not in the everyday. “They think it’s just prayer in church, but I show them we can talk to God right here,” he shared.

 

**Read the rest of the article I wrote about the great work going on in Romania through cycling over at FCA!

 

Coming Alive For Christ

Hutha is a dead man come alive who risks all for the sake of Christ.

The FCA India leader holds tight to the words of Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

God set Hutha apart to be a messenger to the nations, and he enthusiastically follows the call. After all, if it were not for Jehovah Rapha, he would not be touching the lives of hundreds of villagers throughout his country by his story and a soccer ball.

As he began to know God in 2004, Hutha fell mentally ill in a spiritual attack. While he prayed for healing, his village ostracized him, thinking he was drunk or wild, calling him “Mental Man” and refusing to use his real name.

He remained in a hospital for one year.

His family, steeped in black magic and the Hindu culture, sought help from witch doctors, who suggested they use the blood of a chicken as sacrifice. Hutha refused and said he would rather die in the name of Jesus.

 

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It is an absolute privilege to share this incredible story of my good friend and spiritual role model, Hutha, over at FCA.org. Please click the link to read the miraculous journey of this leader.

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The God of healing is restoring hearts through sport, and there is even more of His work to be done. The vastness of Hutha’s region in India requires resources to travel and gas to power Hutha’s motorcycle. Please pray for volunteers to join Hutha in his work, and for finances to be able to go where God sends him across the region.

Click here to support Hutha’s ministry, and visit fcaworld.org to learn more about what FCA is doing in India.

Strength and Wisdom

When FCA South Asia leader Adam* and his wife first married six years ago, they began to pray for a child. They prayed and waited, and prayed some more, yet no baby year after year. In the fifth year, God answered with a little girl. It was all, Adam acknowledges, God’s ways in His timing.

So, he knows a thing or two about patience, prayer, and perseverance, traits that serve him well in sports ministry. Adam carries himself with gentle strength and wisdom shaped by experience, attention and humility. He is dedicated to transforming lives and has a heart for the coaches and athletes in his region.

Adam, who joined FCA in 2012, first realized the potential for spiritual impact through athletics at an in-country sports conference. He met coaches whose lifestyles and hearts were different than of those he usually saw in the athletic arena and this piqued his curiosity.

Influenced and intrigued by these leaders, Adam then locally attended the Sports Leadership School in 2008, followed by a 3-month training in Africa, and began volunteering in sports ministry. He pieced together a blueprint for his own developing ministry within soccer.

 

 

Read more over at FCA.org.