Robert & April Brooks                                                                                                        642 Calann Drive, Elyria Ohio  44011


                                                                                                                                                                               UPDATE: January 2016

New Year/Same Vision & Mission

AIA logo 640x480.jpgApril and I are off to a fast start in 2016.  We are also at the halfway mark of our 10th year on staff with Athletes in Action.  We are thankful for your faithful giving that has allowed us to see lives change through the ministry over the past ten years.  Your support not only provides for our needs, but also affords us the opportunity to share the gospel, introduce others to Christ, and to disciple men and women as their lives are changed eternally.  Not only do we say THANK YOU, but those who came to know Christ and those who will come to know Him as Lord and Savior through this ministry say THANK YOU as well.  

 

Although the season has ended, we are as busy as we were during the season which is exciting.  April has a speaking engagement coming up the first week of February and is busy with kids and their school activities. Robert is busy preaching, coaching 5th & 6th grade boys’ basketball at Open Door Christian School, and preparing to perform a wedding ceremony in March (former couple from our couples study).  Here is our long overdue update of two pages of sharing with you the wonderful things the Lord is doing through this ministry.

 

Expand the Influence

Christmas Wrapping

April and the ladies from her weekly player’s wives Bible study volunteered to wrap gifts at the Elyria Mall.  April stresses that serving is an important aspect of being a Christian so this is one way the ladies serve together now for the past two years.  The partnership for this opportunity comes through the kids school (Open Door Christian Schools).  The gifts are wrapped for free but donations are often made and go to the school (ODCS).  They have a ball every year and April plans on serving alongside them again this year.

 

Abby Road Baptist Church

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/v/t1.0-9/12032085_10207120482429340_7009959140910693542_n.jpg?oh=435f51674e9d3407ade9832010f9497c&oe=5730DC50We are always looking for opportunities for the players involved with our ministry to serve and to expand the influence of the ministry.  Robert made a new friend in Abby Road Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor Cal Searls.  The friendship began over a lunch which turned into a night with the Browns at Abby Road.  Robert brought to of the players involved with the ministry out for an evening of autographs, fellowship, and ministry.  Running back Shawn Draughn and Linebacker Christian Kirksey happily came to spend the evening with church members and people from the Eylria Ohio community.  There were over 100 in attendance which included men, women, and children.  Robert emceed the evening and asked the players questions in the area of family, football, and faith.  They players did a wonderful job expressing themselves effectively and honestly.  Robert closed the evening with a presentation of the gospel and an invitation to come to Christ.  At the end, we found out that a 31 year old man named Ricky gave his life to Christ.  He also has been meeting with Pastor Cal for discipleship and attends Abby Road Baptist Church weekly.   Praise the Lord for a life changed by hearing the word of God shared with love and hope for the lost.  We are planning to have a similar outreach in June of 2016 so please pray as we seek the Lord in hopes of doing this again.

 

Go Deep

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/v/t1.0-9/12239552_10207410955810993_8704421976741342977_n.jpg?oh=8b5064af62c4d1382de6b1c6f29c7972&oe=576EF4CD https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/12274273_10207410959731091_7707810975142519779_n.jpg?oh=232d9bc64e96998b78dbd07648aed8a3&oe=57290F71Grace Missionary Alliance Church in Middleburg Heights has hosted and presented an outreach with the Browns called “Go Deep” for many years.  It started with the vision of one of its church members, Tom Gimper, who has a love for the Lord and sports (football in particular).  We partnered with Grace to bring a group of players out for an evening of football, family, food, and faith.  The team of Pastors and church members did an amazing job praying, serving, and ministering to the over 1800 in attendance.  The program started after a pep rally like opening with April and Robert playing their version of the Almost Newly Wed game with Austin & Heather Davis and Craig and Brittany Robertson.  It was a fun way to start the program and the audience loved seeing the couples talk about each other.  After this, team members Austin Davis, Christian Kirksey, Andy Lee, Craig Robertson, and Josh McCown took center stage as Robert asked questions given from the audience.  The players responded to the questions openly and honestly with a sense of humor and seriousness.  After many questions about football and family, Robert transitioned the players into a session to talk about their faith in Christ.  The crowd give an invitation to all do not know Christ as their savior to pray and receive forgiveness of their sins and eternal life.  The evening was powerful and we hope to partner with Grace again next year for this outreach to see lives changed for the Kingdom.  You can see the video of this outreach at https://vimeo.com/150364967.  The password is AIA.

 

AM 1220 Living the Word – Cleveland

Station NameRobert was invited to talk about the Athletes in Action ministry on air with local Cleveland radio host Jon Laufmann on AM 1220 The Living Word.  Robert and Jon met through one of our ministry partners and have developed a great relationship over the past two years.  It you would like to hear the conversation you can hear both parts at: *Part 1 - https://soundcloud.com/living-the-word/ltw-chaplin-robert-brooks-01-06-16-pt-1 *Part 2 - https://soundcloud.com/living-the-word/ltw-chaplin-robert-brooks-01-06-16-pt-2.

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New Head Coach

The end of our fourth year in Cleveland brings another Coaching change.  At the end of the season, the owner, Jimmy Haslam, hired Hugh Jackson as the New Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns.  Robert is so excited in that Coach Jackson is a believer and also an advocate for the Chaplaincy position on his team.  In fact, Robert has met with him and he wants him as involved as he can be with the team.  Praise the Lord for Coach Jackson and his concern for spiritual matters concerning his coaching staff and team.  Also, for the first time in our four years in Cleveland, there will be a weekly coaches Bible study.  This will begin as soon as the new coaching staff is in place and in Cleveland.  Coach Jackson approached Robert about this and wants to make it happen.  Things are changing in Cleveland and we ask you to pray that lives are changed as well by the good news of the gospel.

 

Reese’s Senior Bowl

AIA has partnered with the College Football All-Star game in Mobile Alabama known as the Senior Bowl for the past 20 years.  This year, Robert was invited to interact with NFL coaches from all 32 teams and the 110 college football players at the Senior Bowl.  The expenses for this trip were covered by the Senior Bowl and Reese’s candy company.  Robert thoroughly enjoyed being present to serve, minister, and represent the Chaplains around the league at this week long event.  Robert also had a few surprises while he was in Alabama.  He ran into four former college players from Pitt whose lives had been impacted from our campus ministry days.  Each of them are doing well and are involved with NFL players and teams in different ways today.  Robert was overwhelmed with the surprise of seeing these young men and hearing that they were impacted by the ministry we had in Pittsburgh years ago.  It’s a blessing to us both to see the fruit of our labor so many years ago.  God is faithful and His Word can change lives forever.

 

Prayer Requests for February:

 

·        Praise! April, the children, and myself are doing well with regards to our health.

·        Pray for Robert’s speaking at the Hanson House (center for people with traumatic brain injuries).

·        Pray for April’s speaking engagement in early February at Hope Church in Brunswick.

·        Pray for Robert and the attendees at the Super Bowl Breakfast outreach at Hope Church (Brunswick, OH).

·        Pray that God will send the coaches and players who need to hear and respond to the gospel to Cleveland.

 

 

In His Name we Serve with your help,

 

 

 

Robert and April Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

642 Calann Dr. Elyria, Ohio 44035 (412) 651-6250 Robert.Brooks@athletesinaction.org give.cru.org/0578755