Photo by Marcus Heerdt/Fall River County Herald-Star
Hot Springs High School senior Jessi Schroeder gives her personal testimony to the audience at the FCA Fields of Faith event held last Wednesday, Oct. 28.
By Marcus Heerdt
HOT SPRINGS --- The Hot Springs Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) hosted its annual Fields of Faith event in Case Auditorium on Wednesday evening, Oct. 28.
Fields of Faith is a student-led, interdenominational event where students pray for each other, share their own spiritual experiences, and challenge others to follow Jesus Christ and read the Bible regularly. Approximately 100 people attended the event.
In 2002, Jeff Martin, then-director of the Oklahoma FCA, first had the idea for a student-led gathering out of his “heartfelt frustration regarding the temptations and spiritual battles facing the youth of the spectator generation.”
Martin’s dream came true in 2004 when over 6,000 students gathered at various athletic facilities in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas for the very first Fields of Faith.
The event is an outreach ministry of FCA, which has been an organization since 1954 and challenges athletes and coaches to use athletics as a way to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
Mellisa Vande Stroet, event organizer and Hot Springs High School band and choir director, said, “We are fortunate to have such great students helping to lead our FCA Huddle. We have hard working students who love each other and love the Lord. It is an honor to work with them in creating this worship experience in our own school building.”
An FCA Huddle is a group of leaders and students who meet before school each week and share experiences and prayer requests, read the Bible, and help organize community events.
“Our FCA Huddle is open to all 6-12th graders each Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m.,” Vande Stroet said.
The Fields of Faith event opened with live music provided by Jarrett Weimer and the Hot Springs Wesleyan Church’s worship team.
Levi Klippenstein, teacher and high school football and middle school basketball coach, welcomed everyone to the event and sixth-grader Thad Vande Stroet gave the opening prayer.
Eleventh-grader Megan Sanders presented the student challenge, which was a call to commit to Jesus Christ through Bible study and prayer. She challenged the audience to walk with God for 21 days by reading one chapter of the Book of John (which has 21 chapters) each day.
Jessi Schroeder, high school senior and active in volleyball, gymnastics, and golf, gave the first student testimony. Schroeder spoke about the importance of making time for God and bringing the Lord into daily conversations.
“The one thing that has remained constant is that God is always there...in any place, and at any time, standing by my side,” Schroeder said.
Marcus Harkless, also a high school senior and athlete, relayed his own personal testimony. After having many of his close friends tragically pass away, Harkless questioned, “Why is God doing this to me. Is God giving up on me?” However, Harkless never gave up hope and concluded, “But I know now that God has never left me.”
Harkless’ testimony was followed by a short skit which involved a student being bogged down with negative life events such as alcohol, greed, abuse, and suicide, but then turned to Jesus for help and was set free.
Matthew Lim, lead pastor at Calvary Baptist Church of Hot Springs, was the final speaker of the evening. Lim spoke about the book of Ecclesiastes, which explores the meaning of life.
“Under the sun, our life outside of our relationship with God is meaningless,” Lim explained.
Lim stated that filling one’s life with material wealth and other worldly elements will never be enough and that there are things that this world cannot satisfy within the human heart.
“Live not below the sun, but above with Christ Jesus,” Lim concluded.
The evening ended with more music by the worship team of the Wesleyan Church.