Go and See: Basketball on Wheels
October 26, 2017
“It’s a classic FiveTwo story,” wrote Rev. Larry Courson, pastor of Peace Lutheran in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They [Michigan Adaptive Sports] wanted to start Wheelchair Basketball, but had no gym or idea how to do it. We offered the gym. Great, but now no coach. Not sure what to do. Then God stepped in to provide everything.”

By “FiveTwo story,” Larry was referring to the feeding of the 5000 and how Jesus had placed the resources to feed the crowd, in the crowd. The disciples just needed to “go and see…” (Mark 6:38)

Every chance we get we remind ministry leaders of this truth: everything you need to reach the community is in the community. We need but to go and see.

What happened when the people of Peace went and saw?

“The head Recreational Therapist we’re working with had an internal interview with Daniel, who had played in a national championship wheelchair basketball game. Now we have a coach.
“What about volunteers? We contacted the Veterans Administration and other local teams. We received three adult volunteers to help coach.
“We reached out to Concordia University Ann Arbor. Six women’s basketball players and their coach helped lead the Clinic.
“We contacted the wheelchair company, whose owner happens to be a Lutheran from up north. He had worshipped with us about two years ago. He brought 14 wheel chairs and is coming back in December.
“We didn’t have enough basketballs. I contacted the Dexter Rotary club: a dozen new wheelchair basketballs.
“Thrivent gave us a $250 action grant for snacks, and local stores and University Lutheran Chapel Common Cup Coffee House provided drinks, fruit, etc.
“Scouts and Little League baseball players volunteered. The local ambulance company offered ambulance and paramedics to be at the event on stand by. And one of our guys stepped up to help with fundraisers to purchase basketball wheelchairs to be kept at Peace.”
“Everything necessary was already here. We just had to let God work through many different people to bring the resources together.”

Larry’s humility keeps him from noting the contribution he and Peace made to this ministry’s success: they were obedient to Jesus’ five and two command. They discovered what Jesus had in place and simply brought it back to Him for blessing.

The outcome? 

“The next clinic is December 9th. Then practices on Mondays in Peace starting in January.
The goal is a competitive team in 2018.”

Fun. Competition. Relationships. All flowing from the unconditional love of Jesus who leads us to go and see and serve.

Where do you need to go and see in your community? What group of people are in need of your divine discovery so that they, too, can experience the gracious presence of Jesus?  

by Bill Woolsey

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