Ipoh B.U.G.
Official blog for Ipoh's BIG ULTIMATE GAMES.

IpohBUG's Mission : Loving the Youth for Jesus Christ.

IpohBUG's Mission : Loving the Youth for Jesus Christ.

Run for the Nation 2009 (Ipoh)

By Coffee Shop Preacher

First team to go...




1 stretching, another one??? hehe...



Serius la sikit...



Eh, advert for deodorant?



This is how we run, ibu KETAM ajar anak KETAM



Ah kak, are we lost?




Praying...




See? we can do better than the American sprinters...



Eh... boy, you are suppose to run, or pray...



the final team reaching the last checkpoint, Elim Gospel Hall



Worship time



Prayer time

 

 

IpohBUG in KL

By IpohBUG

Our IpohBUG senior football team visited Kuala Lumpur on 3-4 October 2009 to play two friendly matches. Twenty players were chosen for the trip. Upon arrival on that Saturday afternoon, IpohBUG played against the team from Taman Megah. Our boys put up a superb performance and beat Taman Megah team 4 - 0.
After the match we were treated to a sumptuous dinner by bro. Peter Wong and family. In the evening the two Brazilian coaches, Romao and Fladimir came and shared with the boys about their playing career and also how they received Jesus Christ into their lives.
The boys got up early on Sunday morning and got ready for their second match against the boys from Brazil Football Centre. Our boys had a shaky start during the match and found ourselves trailing by 3 - 0 after fifteen minutes. However, our boys managed to control their nerves and played their normal game. After a much better performance in the later part of the game, we still ended up losing 4 - 1.
Our boys showed great sportsmanship and discipline during both the matches. The trip have definitely given them much experience within the playing field and beyond. We shall train harder and get ourselves more organized before we return to Kuala Lumpur again.
Well done, boys. We are really proud of you.
Team picture with the boys from Brazil Football Centre
after the match (IpohBUG 1 - BFC 4).

IpohBUG team having breakfast on Sunday morning @
4 Oct 2009 before the match with BFC.


The IpohBUG team in their new jerseys.



IpohBUG team captain, Darveen, in action against team
from Taman Megah (IpohBUG 4 - 0 Taman Megah).



Our boys from IpohBUG.





 

How do we reconcile sport and Christianity? That's the question we've been looking at for the last two team talks. Having set out the issue in the first team talk, last week we answered the objection that Christians shouldn't be involved in sport because of how fallen the world of sport is. In answering this we said that our moral rebellion against God isn't something that we can locate in particular environments, contexts, or activities like ‘sport' or ‘nightclubs', instead its found much closer to home - in our hearts. Consequently sport is as fallen as the people who play it. However Jesus' call isn't so much to withdraw from the world and fallen people, instead he came into the world to redeem the world and now by His Spirit and word he calls His people to do likewise.


As human beings we're not very good at living balanced lives - we tend to extremes. So if one extreme is to think that ‘sport is bad and Christians have no place playing sport' then there's a parallel error that we can swing to on the other side. Let me explain. We understand that it's OK for Christians to be involved in sport, and we see that Christ came into the world to redeem the world so we now see our involvement in sport exclusively in terms of ‘being in it to win it'. We want to win many people for Christ, and so we get stuck in to the world of sport to reach the unreached with the good news of Jesus.


Of course there's nothing wrong with this per se; everyone needs to hear the gospel - it literally is an issue of life and death, but what I'm suggesting is that if we're not careful this view can become ‘unbalanced' in two ways.


1. We can make sport a ‘tool' for evangelism. As we see people's great need to hear the gospel, then all things seem to pale into insignificance and so we start to think that the only thing that matters is evangelism. The world rapidly becomes polarized into that which helps us evangelize and that which distracts us from evangelism. But we need to be clear that whilst sport may be a very effective tool for evangelism it is much more than just a tool for evangelism. God made the world and everything in it and he declared it to be good and sport is part of this original creation. More than this God is redeeming this world and making the ‘new creation'. As such God is affirming the dignity of what he has created and showing that sport is not just a ‘means to an end' but can be an end in itself - a good gift given and redeemed by a loving heavenly Father. We need to be heard loud and clear saying that sport isn't just a tool - sport is good and I'm born to play!


2. We can make evangelism into something that we think earns favor with God. Often when people grasp the significance of the gospel then they kind of start to see Jesus like a coach - on the side of the track, thumb on stopwatch, shouting at you the athlete to try harder and witness to people. So we try as hard as we can to ‘run' hoping that if we do enough then Jesus will be pleased with us. Now this puts us under enormous pressure to perform and ultimately starts to undermine the work of the cross. Nothing we can do can make God love us any more and nothing we can do will make Him love us any less. Someone has said that Jesus is not so much like the coach on the sideline, but he is more like the air in our lungs - as secure in his love for us he empowers us and equips us by His Spirit in us to do his will.


I wonder - how balanced is your outlook as a player living for Christ? Do you tend towards one of these extremes? Do you hear others making this mistake? Or by God's grace are you on a more even keel, living for Christ, loving sport and trying by the power He gives you to tell others this amazing news?


[This article was written by Pete for Christians in Sport dated 17 September 2009]

 

I wrote last week that given the present significance of sport in our culture this is a big issue, an important issue, and it's a relevant issue. Some claim that Christians shouldn't play sport because it's a morally compromised culture and the recent headlines make a pretty compelling case; blood capsules in rugby to make illegal substitutions, Jamaican sprinter's taking banned substances, diving in football to win penalties, and we could all list many more. How can Christians be involved in such an environment? Shouldn't they be distinctive to the world rather than complicit in the world's godless existence? Won't Christians themselves become morally compromised in this culture?

In answering this question it's important to say upfront that we're considering the issue ‘in general' but I'm not legislating for any individual and their own specific decision. Each person needs to inform his or her conscience and make their own decision before God. However, it is important to see that there's an error in thinking that ‘Christians shouldn't play sport because sport is bad' and primarily the error lies in where we locate the problem of sin.

To believe that Christians should stay separate to the world of sport is most often linked to believing that sin is a matter of environment. It's to divide the world up into immoral places like, sports pitches, bars and nightclubs and moral environments like churches, and the family home. However this is to grossly underestimate how deep rooted our problem before God really is. The problem with the world isn't that there are certain dark corners that need God's divine light, the problem is as Romans 1:21 puts it we have all rejected God and so our ‘foolish hearts are darkened'. That is why Jesus teaches that our moral rebellion against God is located in the very core of our being - our hearts; ‘For from within out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder , adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.' (Mark 7:21-22).

Sport may sometimes look worse than other areas of life, but a careful analysis reveals that it's no worse than what takes place behind the closed front door of our homes. Lying, cheating, hurt, anger, sexual perversion and unfaithfulness - in thought or deed, (to mention but a few), aren't caused by ‘wrong place, wrong time' but occur at all times and all places. If we really were to expect Christians to retreat from every area of life where we saw a failure to live up to God's standards then we'd face the impossible task of having to run away from ourselves.

This is not to say that there aren't some environments where following God's way isn't particularly difficult and so perhaps some contexts that it's wise for Christians to avoid. But we shouldn't forget that Christ was regularly found amongst ‘sinners' in the very context that the so called religious elite would never be seen in and so we must never draw lines between the apparent ‘clean' and ‘unclean'. Sport may be fallen but this is only because fallen people play it - not because there's anything inherently wrong with it.

Christ's call has often been said to be that those who follow him should be ‘in the world but not of the world'. This is tough, and to be honest it's a lot neater and easier to draw lines in the sand than it is to get stuck into the world in all its mess and falleness. But then again we could do a lot worse than ask ‘what did Jesus do'? Didn't he live right in the middle of this fallen world? Didn't he come to the world to tell the world about how it might be reconciled to him - the creator and redeemer? And isn't this now what he calls those who follow him to do as we remember that with this call there's also a promise... ‘and surely I'll be with you until the end of this age'.


[Note: This article was written by Pete for Christians in Sport dated 10 Sept 2009.]

 

A number of years ago I remember chatting to a good friend about playing rugby, like me he was a Christian and he was perplexed that as a Christian I was still playing. "What's wrong with playing rugby?" I asked. "Well there's so much cheating and aggression in the game isn't there?" he responded. At the time I didn't know quite what to make of this. Perhaps he was right, perhaps I should give it up. But then God had created me with the gifts and a passion to play. So how should I reconcile this tension?

Many people face this dilemma, and at Christians in Sport we are asked this question in different forms hundreds of times each year. Equally the Christian community has ‘answered' this question in many different ways, sometimes it's a thought through response, and more often than not it's a response that has emerged ‘organically' over time. Over the next few weeks I want to work through some of the different responses to help us see some of their pitfalls, and ultimately to help us to understand better how the Bible would have us reconcile this apparent tension. Of course we may have to take a week's break every now and then if something significant happens in the world of sport but barring interruptions we'll try to work this question through in the next few issues of our ‘team talk'.

To start with though let's just notice a few things. First, this is a big issue. As a proportion of the population the number of people playing sport is big (globally and in the UK) and it's getting bigger. Current estimates are that about one third of all adults play sport formally or informally once a week and that number is increasing - particularly in the UK with increased investment around the ‘Golden Decade' of sport.

Secondly it's an important issue. Some people may think ‘look why bother trying to figure it out - aren't there more important issues to get caught up in?' Well, it's an important issue for many people worldwide who feel like they are ‘wired-up' to play sport and yet passionately want to faithfully serve Christ - they long for an answer. But also it's important because as C.S Lewis famously wrote; ‘There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.'

Thirdly it's a relevant issue. Of course it's relevant for Christians who are passionate about sport, but I'd suggest it's also relevant for everyone else: If we can't understand how sport and Christianity are reconciled then what it really exposes is that we don't understand how our Christian faith engages with the world around us. It means that we have a very limited view of our relationship with God. Of course we may say ‘Christianity's not just for Sunday' but in practice we don't know what difference if any it makes to Monday through Saturday.

Sport isn't more important than other activities we can engage with in God's creation - it just so happens that I love it and have the privilege of working in this specific culture and writing about it. But at least it is no less important than other activities in God's creation, and as such this tension needs to be engaged with.

[Note: This article was written by Pete for Christians in Sport - 3 September 2009.]

 

Usain Bolt - 9.58!

By IpohBUG


When Usain Bolt crossed the line of the 100m men's World Championships and the clock showed a new world record of 9.58 there were many things that demonstrated how special his performance was. Most poignant of all was the reaction captured by the BBC of Michael Johnson; He stared at the studio monitor in disbelief, utterly speechless. That the man who left the world speechless in Atlanta should himself be speechless says all we need to know about Bolt's run. Quite simply it took the world's breath away.

In the ancient world, particularly in Greece, supreme athletes were so revered that some were worshipped as gods and Usain Bolt is rapidly being treated with similar adulation. Whilst it's important to say that such a response to a created human being is ludicrous, we do of course want to affirm that there is something profoundly ‘special' about this athlete. He takes only 40 steps to complete the 100 whilst all other athletes take about 45. He isn't the quickest out of the blocks but by 25m (at the end of the ‘drive phase') he is level with the field. And as everyone knows, once he's level at this stage then the race is already over.

In Psalm 8 it is written ‘you have made him (mankind) a little lower than the heavenly beings' (8:5) and it's at times of sporting brilliance like this that such a verse really gels with our experience, for there is something ‘other worldly' and ‘ethereal' about watching Usain Bolt run. But lest we get carried away with this man's greatness scripture has a wonderfully balanced outlook on things as it compares men and women to the creator God: ‘what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?' (8:4)

At the moment many are speculating about how fast Usain will run - will he break into 9.4, are we to expect another giant leap forward in the World record? But whatever his final achievement over this distance, and however spectacular it turns out to be, we all know that he has limits. He may be supreme among athletes but he is still a limited human being. But God, the creator who made Usain Bolt is limitless.

In sport we love debates about who is the best, and at the moment it's obvious that Usain Bolt is the fastest of all time. He's the best. Such comparative words though have no place with God. We should never speak of God being better, or even the best, when compared with anyone or anything else - he is ‘the only' - beyond compare, and a proper view of God should either leave us speechless or bursting forth with praise!
Note: This article was written by Pete for Christians in Sport @ 20/08/2009.

 

Watch out for this!

By IpohBUG


 





Last Sunday, youth from Elim and Cornerstone Sanctuary enjoyed a friendly Ultimate Frisbee competition. In a 3 games series, the score is currently tied at one game each. The deciding game is to be played this Sunday. Come and support the teams.
All the best guys and gals. May the better team wins!

 





One of the strategy of International Sports Coalition is the Proclamation by Sports People. In this strategy the coalition supports sports people as they proclaim their faith. One sports person who has been proclaiming his faith on and off the field is the Confederations Cup 2009 best player, Kaka.
At 25, Kaka is a unique character among global football icons: profoundly religious and he never followed the nightclubs-casual sex script that so many of his colleagues live by. Linked to the Brazilian Pentecostal church rebirth in Christ since his teenage years, Kaka thinks his religious views explain how he can reconcile in harmony the life of a sports icon with that of a family man, without getting distracted by the millions of dollars he has amassed in the course of his career.
Kaka said, "I have my Biblical values, and I set those above everything else. In my scale of values, money is not a priority. I get pleasure and joy from playing football, I feel love for the sport."
When Kaka was presented by Real Madrid to their supporters, 50,000 came to cheer him on. In view of his popularity and great following, when Kaka speaks of his faith in the Lord Jesus, people would stop to listen.
We pray that many more Christian sports personality will take on the challenge to propagate the gospel to their fellow professionals and faithful followers.
To God be the glory.

















 








Brazil and USA gave us a spectacular ending to the Confederations Cup 2009. USA showed the world that they are a team to be fancied in any competition by their 2-0 semi-final victory over Spain and almost taking down Brazil in the finals. With a 2-0 lead from the first half, USA were unable to hold out.
Goals from Luis Fabiano in the 46 min and 74 min plus a thunderous header from Lucio in the 84 min was enough to land Brazil the Confederations Cup. Brazil picked up the tempo in the second half and dominated the field. They were truly deserved winners.
However, the ultimate winner was not Brazil but the Lord Jesus when some of the Brazilian players were seen parading in their "I love Jesus" and "I belong to Jesus" t-shirts during the celebration. The most obvious was when Lucio was lifting the Confederations Cup surrounded by his fellow teammates and official while proudly displaying to the world looking on that he loves Jesus.
These Brazilian players have been propagating the Gospel to the world at large on many occasions. They have shared their testimonies at many Christian gatherings and are great living testimonies for Jesus. This is part of sports ministries' strategy of reaching the world through sports.



 

Golfing for Christ

By IpohBUG


Golfer Kenny Perry has a message for fans or media who think he is still crushed or depressed by his recent Masters playoff loss: His faith in Jesus Christ is enough to take care of any professional distress." I wasn't disappointed, that's what people don't understand," Perry said after the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Thursday, where he is a two-time champion of the PGA Tour event." I have been so blessed, I could never be disappointed or upset with my life."

Perry, 48, capped the golf season of his life in 2008 with three PGA Tour victories and a spot on United States' victorious Ryder Cup team. In 2009 it even got better with a victory at the 2009 PGA Tour event in Phoenix and his strong showing at the Masters tournament. Playing in the major championship closest to his hometown of Franklin, Ky., Perry played steadily, if not brilliantly, in moving to the top of the leader board at Augusta National Golf Club. He was in the final group on the final day. In the crowd: PGA Tour chaplain Larry Moody, who had spoken to Perry about the international platform to give glory to God with a victory. But an 18th hole missed putt left Perry in a playoff with Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell. A poor shot on the second playoff hole cost Perry his chance; Cabrera captured the victory, becoming the oldest champion in Masters history.

Even so, it didn't leave Perry with a crushed spirit or crushed faith." Jesus is No. 1 in my life. I hope that comes through in everything I do," he said. Perry already had spurned the conventional Tour wisdom by citing his faith in saying earlier in the year he didn't need a sports psychologist, a staple to many players on the tour. In the aftermath of his Masters loss, the outpouring of support for the kind, Christian way he handled defeat was enough to lift his spirits. "I got a lot of letters in the mail which said, 'You must be a Christian because of the way you reacted,'" Perry said. "That's what I want people to see in my life."

While he didn't take home the Green Jacket given to Masters champions, Perry did take home another chance to help others -- being able to give more money to a scholarship fund at Lipscomb University, a Christian college in Nashville, Tenn., that he and his wife have established for kids from the Franklin area to attend at a reduced rate. "We now have $1.5 million dollars in the trust fund endowment for kids and a Christian education. When I do well, it's just more money to God."

Perry said the idea to give back to God with each of his golfing successes came when he was broke and didn't even know if he would ever make it to the PGA Tour. A church member in Franklin loaned him the money to make it to tour qualifying school one last time in 1986, with Perry promising that if he ever achieved his golfing dream, he would find a way to give back to God." Our goal is that if a kid chooses a Christian education, they're not going to be held back for lack of money," Perry said in a 2005 story in The Links Letter. "It's a great story I love to tell, because it shows how God has used me week in and week out and the money goes to further His cause. It gives kids a chance to know the Lord."

On a warm Thursday (May 28), Perry's opening round 64 at Colonial Country Club put him near the top of the leader board. But he said the highlight of this week in Fort Worth, as it is most weeks on the PGA Tour, is the weekly Wednesday Bible study. Led by Moody or a local pastor, the one-hour study brings together more than 30 PGA players, caddies and officials to read and learn from God's Word and pray for each other. "I'm always inspired by the Bible study and inspired by the number of young guys who are there," Perry said. "Guys like Ben Crane and Aaron Baddeley and Justin Leonard. They are really the future of the tour."

[This article is taken from BP Sports.]

 

Tchoukball

By IpohBUG






Tchoukball, a game where some of us have played at least once or even more, but for me, I never enjoyed the game and never really understood why all the rules were there to limit our freedom, and particularly why can’t we intercept opponent’s ball.

After attending the tchoukball training in Malacca, not only have I not dislike it, but fell in love with the game. The nature of this game is so well-designed that sportsmanship is upheld with the highest priority and not neglecting the level of competitiveness of the game. Before this, I really love playing ultimate Frisbee. The reason being, unlike other team sports where victory is everything, sportsmanship is the core value of the game. It is so well-disciplined that refereeing is not needed even in the official rule of the game. Now, I have found something a lot better than ultimate, it’s none other than tchoukball.

Why do I like tchoukball? Frankly speaking, for all sports that I have played, I am much disadvantaged due to my physical limitation. Many a times, I lose out because of my height and size. Tchoukball as in its purest form, doesn’t discriminate, regardless of tall, short, thin or fat people, this game is perfect for all. Size does not matter in this game. This game focuses on the tactical aspect and accurate judgment. No one is allowed to intercept opponent’s ball and so everyone in the team is responsible for every action that is done. With a limit of maximum three passes, the team will need to try to score by shooting the ball at the mini trampoline and ensuring that the opponent team fails to catch the ball when it bounces off the trampoline and outside the D-zone in the game field. The beauty of the game also lies in the 50-50 possibility of the goal. If at all the opponent team manages to save the goal by catching the attempt, it will be a different scenario altogether. Defense will turn to attack in a matter of seconds and it will give the team a chance to score against their opponent.

For those who have yet to learn the game or still disliking it, please give yourself a chance to learn the most beautiful team sport game on earth. Come to B.U.G. or even contact me (Vincent 013-5208898) if you want to learn the game. Steven or I will be most happy to share with you what we have learned in Malacca.

 



That Barcelona more than merited the trophy - shouldn’t be questioned. That Messi emerged triumphant from his duel with Christiano Ronaldo for the unofficial title of ‘best player in the world’ - seems clear-cut. That Xavi and Iniesta dominated possession and showcased the beautiful and ruthless artistry of a passing game that cut United’s 5 man mid-field to shreds - is beyond doubt. But that 20 minutes into the game anyone would have known this would be the narrative of the Champions League Final – is shocking.

Things seemed to be heading to such a different conclusion. The early goal that United conceded seemed to knock them sideways. There was a tangible sense of shock, injustice even, having started the game so well. Until Eto’os goal, United looked every bit the champions elect, poised to make history in winning back to back Champions League Finals. United were full of verve and confidence, stretching the Catalan giant’s defence, out-working them in midfield. Ronaldo was consistently able to isolate defenders and had produced 4 shots in as many minutes. Pique looked hesitant, Anderson even managed to nutmeg Yaya Toure. It really did seem just a matter of time before United scored and continued their inevitable march towards the trophy. It seemed like that…

But then the goal changed everything. Suddenly the Barcelona passing engine clicked into gear. In a moment new confidence was breathed into the diminutive players of Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi. They found an extra yard of pace, an extra second of thinking time on the ball, and United seemed rocked to the core. Everyone waited for the impact of the famous hairdryer-treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson at half-time, but try as he might through motivation or substitutes he seemed as powerless on the sidelines as his team looked on the pitch.
It’s a curious quality of sport that something so important like the outcome of a game is so far beyond our control. Thankfully there were no controversial moments or dodgy refereeing decisions that turned the game, but even so; did the Barcelona players really think 20 minutes in that they were going to waltz away with the trophy? Could United have foreseen such a swift turnaround in their fortunes?

We may talk of Messi ‘pulling the strings’ of a game, or Pep Guardiola ‘master-minding’ victory, but the reality is that no matter how great any player or manager is – it’s an illusion to portray them as in control. There is only one person in control, God who reigns in heaven and does whatever he pleases. Great players may have incredible skill and drive, but do they have the great humility to acknowledge this reality about God. And if I can be so bold – do you?
[This article was written by Pete for Christians in Sport dated 28 May 2009]

 













On the 19th April 2009, Sports Partnership Malaysia in partnership with Indonesia Sports Partnership was in East & West Timor for a sports mission. Throughout this trip, we were able to cast and share the vision about Sports Ministry and Partnership to the church leaders.

During our stint in Timor Leste, we did conduct 3 Kids Games and soccer training. Our first Kids Games was in Kupang where we had about 600 children. The following day, we divided into 2 groups. The first group was sent to Soeh and the other group was sent to Dilli.

Back in Dilli, we were there for 5 day. During our stay in Dilli we had the opportunity to share in the children church and to the young adults. We did share to two leaders from Atauro regarding Sports Ministry and how can we be a blessing to them.

As an individual, God did spoke to me in many ways. As a team, he did challenge us in many different areas. As a team we stood together to achieve what was supposed to be done.

Timor Leste is entering ‘Into a New Era of Fruitfulness’. There is much work that needs to be done in Timor Leste. I urge those who are under the ISC (International Sports Coalition) umbrella, to look forward in going into Timor Leste and to help and encourage our brother Jerry who is part of the ISC and the Squash Mini Region.
Note: This article was written by our Emmanuel.

 


[This article is taken from BP Sports dated April 25, 2009.]
Adam Bruckner knows poor. He runs a homeless program at the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Philadelphia. He works with inner-city youth and can rattle off various poverty statistics for the City of Brotherly Love.
But Bruckner has never witnessed anything like the destitution he saw in Calcutta, India, last summer. “The depth of poverty in India, especially Calcutta, changed everything I thought about poverty – and not in a good way,” Bruckner said. “There are 500 street homeless in Philly. There are 70,000 in Calcutta. That’s unsheltered homeless. It was gross, compared to American side of things.”
This trip was not Bruckner’s doing. He was an invited guest of – you’d never guess this – an NBA star. Bruckner, 33, is good friends with Kyle Korver, 27, the sweet-shooting guard/forward for the Utah Jazz. If one were to list the perks that typically come with having a multimillionaire professional athlete as a buddy, working with the needy, crippled and dying in a third-world country would not be high on the list.
Yet in a league saturated with avarice and materialism, Korver isn’t typical. While many of his self-absorbed peers take long sips on the cocktails of their opulence during the offseason, he ardently looks for opportunities to serve others and fulfill Scripture’s mandate to help the poor. This passion stems from the model displayed by his remarkable family, whose legacy of Christian faith dates back generations. Korver’s grandfather, Harold, raised six boys, three of whom followed him into pastoral ministry, including Kyle’s father, Kevin.
In the late 1980s and early ’90s, the Korvers and their congregation in Southern California, Emmanuel Reformed Church, embarked on a massive civic restoration program in the city of Paramount. With the help of city officials, the Korvers transformed Paramount from a dangerous, crime-riddled area into a city that earned national awards and recognition from President George H.W. Bush.
Kyle would often accompany his father on cleanup days, which left an indelible mark on the youngster. “That’s where some of his multi-cultural, inner-city stuff cultivated,” said Kevin, who is now the senior pastor at Third Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.
Despite the Christ-like examples of servanthood around him, Kyle’s faith remained on slow-burn early on. It was intimidating, frankly, to feel like he had to live up to the standards of his family. He was a good kid but his faith lacked substance, which led him to dabble in NBA nightlife during the early part of his rookie year (2003-04) with the Philadelphia 76ers.After reaching a spiritual breaking point later that season, he fully committed himself to the Lord and started using his unique platform as an NBA player to share the love of Christ. His new mission: to spread the gospel in the winsome ways he had observed during his childhood.
“They’ve all been great examples,” Korver said of his family. “Growing up, you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing. It takes you awhile to find yourself and until you do, you find yourself in somebody else’s shadow.” Korver wears altruism like a comfortable shirt. In 2006, he started the Kyle Korver Foundation to provide structure to all the charitable ideas floating in his head. Last summer, he crisscrossed the country to raise support, and he recently hired his younger brother, Klayton, to oversee some fundraising initiatives.
He and some buddies from Creighton University, where he enjoyed an All-American career, are involved in providing medical supplies to a South Africa orphanage. And his NBA-sponsored “Kyle’s Coat Drives” have collected more than 3,000 coats for underprivileged children. “It’s all a big work in progress,” Korver said of his foundation.
His compassion is best on display in the dark, unwanted places of the world. In 2005, he and Bruckner, a former player for the Philadelphia Kixx pro indoor soccer team whom he met through 76ers chaplain Kevin Harvey, started a Bible study at the Helping Hand Rescue Mission for young Christian adults who wanted to make a difference in downtown Philly. Before long, the two started meeting some local kids from the dangerous projects.
At first, some of the older teenagers were leery: Who were these two Caucasian adults intermingling with dozens of African-American kids? It quickly became evident that the 6-foot-7 white dude wasn’t an undercover cop; he was one of the NBA’s best young players, a long-range bomber who set the 76ers’ season record for three-point field goals made (226) during his second year.
But he sure didn’t act like a star. There was no pretension about him. He listened to the kids and joined them in pickup games at some of the 14 different hoops he had installed at five local inner-city schools. He bought them 76ers tickets. He gave some of them his cell phone number and invited them to his house. He ate Thanksgiving dinner at one family’s home. He provided tutors, computers and medical supplies to schools. In addition, he and Bruckner started a youth Bible study at the mission. “The kids are used to him now,” said Bruckner, who lives in Korver’s house in the Philly suburbs. “He’s just Kyle Korver.”
Because of his offseason home and love of the area, Korver remains tied to Philly even though the 76ers traded him last December to Utah where he is currently averaging 8.4 points a game as a reserve for the two-time defending Western Conference Northwest Division champions. “There are probably only a couple athletes in all the sports in the city as popular as Kyle is,” Harvey said.
Korver’s kindness isn’t confined to U.S. borders. Last summer marked his fourth overseas trip with the NBA’s humanitarian “Basketball Without Borders” program. Before arriving in New Delhi for the NBA’s structured agenda – camera-friendly basketball clinics, restaurant appearances and work with AIDS families – Korver took Bruckner and a missionary friend to Calcutta, far away from the publicity-conscious NBA representatives, where they visited the home and missions of the late Mother Teresa.
Not even the worst ghettos he has witnessed in Paramount and Philadelphia could have prepared Korver for the shocking images in Calcutta. The poverty was overwhelming. Naked children ran through the streets, many of which were filled with filth. Grown men stooped over to brush their teeth with sand and street water. And oh, the smell of the place.
But there, in the unlikeliest of destinations for an NBA star, is where Korver feels the greatest satisfaction, a fulfillment that no game-winning three-pointer can replicate. He thrives in places where hope is on life support. It makes him feel alive. It helps him understand why so many of his family members have devoted their lives to serving others. And it brings him closer to the Savior.
“The biggest thing is, I just want to feel him more,” Korver said. “I’m just learning how to pray better and be still with God – how to listen to what he’s saying and hear his voice.”

 


This writing is part of an e-mail written by Victor Chua to fellow Christians concerning RunNat 2009. Victor Chua is also a member of the Sports Partnership Malaysia (SPM) team. The Christian sports ministry body in Malaysia is now officially registered as Sports Partnership Malaysia of which IpohBUG is affiliated to.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In October 2007, FGA KL organised a prayer run called Run For The Nation, that covered 160 km of Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas including PJ and Subang. A total of 105 runners took part in this relay event with each team running 5 km. As we ran past houses, buildings, schools, religious sites, shops, government institutions and people on the streets, we prayed. We prayed for God's hands to be upon our city and our nation. We prayed for revival and transformation. Then when the last teams came in we gathered in a hall and prayed corporately.
A prayer run allows us to cover much more ground than a prayer walk. We literally claimed the entire city for God that day! Just like the story of the passover when Moses instructed the Israelites to paint the doors of their homes using the blood of lambs so that they could be protected from God's judgement, when we passed all these places, we asked for God's protection upon our city and our nation.
These individuals were not seasoned long distanced runners. Some did not even run casually before this. They took on the challenge of the event and trained for it. Many will tell you that as they ran and prayed, they experienced a tremendous breakthrough as they prayed through the tiredness in their bodies. Romans 12:1 which says, "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him" took on a whole new meaning!
This October, we want to revisit the event by taking it to all the 13 states in the country. We are looking for Christians from different churches to help us organise the event in their capital town. So for Perak, we are looking to organise the run in Ipoh and for Johor, it will be held in Johor Bahru, etc. These runs will take place simultaneously on the 10th of October 2009. Run For The Nation 2009 is endorsed and supported by NECF Malaysia.
We hope that you are bold and excited enough to take on this challenge.
We look forward to hearing from you. God bless you richly!
In Him
Victor Chua
Run For The Nation 2009 Organising Committee Chairman

 
















A group of IpohBUGgers were in Indonesia from 18-22 March 2009. During our stay in Jakarta, we had the privileged to assist GenB (ABBA Love's sports ministry arm) in running Kids Games and Teen Games for a Christian school in Cendrawasih.
We had a great time with the students that came. It was a great learning experience for the IpohBUG team. With the exposure, we are now considering launching our own Kids Games in Elim Gospel Hall.