After Hurricane Maria: Changing Lives in Puerto Rico

After Hurricane Maria: Changing Lives in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, athletes are hearing the gospel – some for the very first time – and growing up into leaders who are using their positions to share the hope of Christ with younger athletes.

Irtzia, a student athlete in Puerto Rico, first heard the gospel when a team of U.S. athletes shared with her during a campus visit. The visit was part of a mission project to aid in recovery work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Irtzia says, “I heard a lot of things I’d never heard before. I got to know a lot about what the real message of the Bible is and what the gospel is.”

She began attending Athletes in Action Bible studies on her campus and receiving one-on-one training on how to grow in her new faith, over time becoming a leader in the local ministry. Irtzia is now one of a growing group of athletes working to see the gospel spread across Puerto Rico, just like the team that initially reached out to her.

One of these teams, comprised of 30 U.S. athletes and 25 Puerto Rican athletes, led a training camp for high school-aged survivors of Hurricane Maria. There, campers learned biblical principles and how to apply them in sports and life.

In addition, the teens visited local college campuses and beaches to initiate spiritual conversations and share the gospel. Thirty people received Christ as a result of their efforts, with countless other seeds planted.

The impact of training camp continues long after it ends as these new believers get connected with the local team. Irtzia credits God’s work through her ongoing involvement in the AIA ministry for the changes she has seen in her life: “Being surrounded by people who are following Christ changed my perspective, not only on what Christians are, but also on life and what my purpose is.”