AIA Camps Update Newsletter 20192019-10-25T16:42:14-04:00


How Team AIA Helped David Find Jesus

David grew up in Winnipeg and loves playing basketball. His family has faced some challenges, as his mother passed away a few years ago and his father is in and out of jail. David’s younger brother and older sister are teenage parents, and David hopes to be the first of his six siblings to graduate from high school.

In the midst of challenges, basketball brings David so much joy. He works hard to develop his skills by attending free AIA sports clinics and competing in summer tournaments, where his diligence has enabled him to excel at his favourite sport. Last year, when David heard there was a tournament at a nearby inner-city school, he assembled a team to compete. His work ethic and talent immediately caught the attention of the AIA coaches. After an exceptional performance, David was named MVP of the tournament and given a scholarship to attend AIA’s elite Overnight Basketball Camp.

“Between the two years of attending free AIA sports clinics, overnight camp, and the Lord working on his heart, he accepted Christ!” – Dallas Williams, AIA Staff, Manitoba Camps

Your generous support allowed David to experience a safe place to make friends, encounter positive role models, and hear the gospel. He made lasting friendships with coaches who desire to see him succeed on the court, in the classroom, and in his faith. Together, these coaches are working to help him find a local church that can continue to foster his faith. This upcoming year will be exciting for David, as he has already been scouted by a local Bible College in Manitoba, and is considering playing for their basketball team after he graduates from high school.

In the spring, before summer camps even begin, close to 12,000 youth in and around Winnipeg hear about camps and attend free local sports clinics and tournaments. Team AIA allows us to continue impacting more teenagers like David.

Church Partnership Camp Helps Alex Find Jesus

At one of our camps this summer, our coaching team learned from Alex’s mom that he came from tough home environment. The night before camp, there was a horrible fire in his apartment complex. He was quite shook up for the first few days of camp, clearly distracted by the memory of the fire, and as a result didn’t participate in any of the activities. Seeing a child in need of love and support, his coach Jeslyn sat with him the entire third day. Alex began to open up. He talked about the fire, but even more about his life story. Jeslyn was able to share the love and message of Jesus, and that Jesus wanted to be the source of comfort in his life today and every day. For the first time, Alex began to really listen and hear the truth found in scripture as Jeslyn read it to him. That day, Alex made the decision to invite Jesus into his life. The transformation was immediately evident. Jeslyn shared, “Alex was transformed from the inside out, and it was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He began to smile and laugh. The rest of the camp he enthusiastically participated in activities and engaged with other campers and coaches. He was finally able to experience the real lasting joy and hope that is only given through Jesus.Your partnership helped AIA team up with the local church and CityKidz to offer a free week of sport camp so that kids like Alex could find the One source of comfort in their time of need.

Our experience as a church partnering with AIA was amazing! The coaches and program was incredible, but the best part was that this partnership allowed us to reach kids with the good news of Jesus Christ! Our partnership with AIA has allowed us to dream big and look forward to what regular sports ministry looks like in downtown Hamilton. We’ll definitely be working with AIA again

Pastor Kevin, Hamilton

Throughout this week, I saw a ton of growth in the campers’ lives. We focused on the total athlete, both on and off the field. At the beginning of the week the kids would often squabble among themselves and struggled with listening to the coaches. By the end of the week the campers had made great strides in working together as a team, communicating with each other effectively, and listening and respecting the coaches. It was a great encouragement to see them grow. At the end of the week they were even begging their parents to let them come back. The greatest privilege was being used by God as I led a young camper to Christ! Thank you for making this dream job possible!

Coach Jonathan, Atlantic Canada

32 athletes in a communist country decide to follow Jesus

T eam AIA’s investment in AIA Soccer Tours helped us expand our reach in Southeast Asia. We saw God open more doors to proclaim the gospel than we ever could have imagined!

In a communist country that is opposed to the gospel, your support allowed us to host multiple Sport Days where hundreds of local athletes attended. This granted us the opportunity during our final Sport Day to openly share the gospel with more than 140 student athletes.

AIA Soccer Tour director, Brian Fowler, shares:

“One of the most impactful days of ministry happened on our second Sport Day. This event was toward the end of the trip and was a culmination of the relationships we had been building during our two weeks in the country. It was a day full of various sports activities and competitions, as well as a soccer tournament. During lunch we had the opportunity to share testimonies and the gospel. All glory to God — 32 people decided to follow Christ for the first time that day! I’ve heard from our local contact with an update and the local church is already meeting and beginning discipleship with all of these new believers.

  • Hosted 2 sport days, helping local
    staff build relationships with 248 university athletes
  • Played 4 soccer matches, helping local staff build relationships with 3 professional soccer teams, and
    1 university soccer team
  • 113 people heard the gospel and 32 people accepted Christ!

3160 KIDS


This last quarter of ministry was a huge success thanks to our generous team of donors like you!

In our 40th year, there were 117 camps across Canada, including one in almost every province and our first ever camp in Nunavut! We were able to give over 100 coaches the opportunity to be trained in sport ministry and the privilege of sharing the gospel with youth who are eager to hear about the life-changing message of Christ. These coaches left a lasting impact on campers, modelling truth, love, and encouragement as image bearers of Jesus. One parent shared, “My daughter was able to have a great chat with a coach and talk about her struggles, so thankful that there are young faithful role models for her to look up too!”

Over 3000 young people had a life changing week at camp! Praise God that 240 youth like David and Alex made first-time commitments to follow Christ, marking a pivotal point in their life and helping to build a foundation for their spiritual journey.

Thanks to partners like you along the way, we’ve hosted thousands of kids every year for 40 years, and we are just getting started! In 2020, our God-sized dream is to increase our impact by adding 20 new camps, including relaunching camps in Quebec. With God, all things are possible!

Your support of this ministry also helped us reach the world. Thousands heard the gospel as teams travelled to South East Asia, Guamatala, Mexico, Panama, Nigeria, Honduras, and Egypt. These tours were catalytic for local staff and gave athletes an opportunity for God to work in them and through them. Your partnership is helping AIA impact athletes at every level of sport across Canada. This fall, thousands of university athletes on 24 campuses had the opportunity to connect with AIA to develop as a Total Athlete — physically, mentally, and spiritually — learning that their identity is found in Christ and not in sport. Professional players across almost 25 teams are attending Chapel and Bible Studies and learning how true victory is found in Christ and not in competition, with seven players in the CFL accepting Christ the first few weeks of the season! This year’s Grey Cup breakfast in Calgary will once again allow players to share their faith with thousands of fans, youth, inmates, and single moms during our 41st Annual Grey Cup Week. Thank you for being a part of Team AIA that has impacted kids through Friday Nite Basketball, wrestlers in our elite amateur ministry, and so many more! At Christmas, Dave Klassen will be sending you a letter with more highlights from the year and a special opportunity to give to our staff and ministry. Thank you again and God bless!

By Morgan Donaldson

A Special Message from Our National Director

Thank you for being a vital part of our team. A team made up of donors, staff, coaches, student athletes, churches, parents, volunteers, and more. As part of our team, you play a crucial role of impacting this country and the world with the gospel. I am honored and humbled to be leading this ministry and I desire to see more lives impacted for Christ this year. The AIA Staff and I look forward to encouraging you with more stories at Christmas and giving you a special opportunity to invest! I can’t wait to see how God works through our team. Let’s go for it together!

Dave Klassen.