Rawlin Kegley, an Anderson University senior majoring in Christian ministries, traveled to the Dominican Republic with Athletes in Action (AIA) over the summer. Kegley has been a member of the AU baseball team throughout most of his college career.
The current head coach for AU’s baseball program is David Pressley, a 2011 AU School of Theology graduate. Pressley recognized Kegley’s spirited attitude and encouraged him to apply for a trip with AIA. Pressley assisted in the application process with a personal reference witnessing to Kegley’s passion for sharing and integrating his faith and the game of baseball.
According to the AIA website, the mission of the organization is, “Building spiritual movements everywhere through the platform of sport so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” AIA does this by forming teams of college students from across the country and organizing them into overseas mission teams, with a goal to create and support student leaders with an interest in sports ministry.
Kegley’s month-long trip to the Dominican Republic consisted of an AIA team made up of college students from all over the country. While they all shared the common ground of playing baseball at a college level, the athletes also felt a deep desire to share their faith and love for Christ. In addition to playing baseball in the Dominican Republic, they also spent time serving at the local orphanages, sharing Bible stories, and playing with the children.
“The goals of the trip were simple,” said Kegley. “We planned to share the love of God with the people and play baseball competitively overseas. I can only hope to carry some of the humility that I experienced when sharing God’s love with the children in orphanages or to bless someone the way that the teams I played baseball with blessed me.”
As a coach, Pressley is an advocate for organizations that use sports as an outlet for sharing values and lessons with teammates and mentors. “Sports in general are great teaching tools for a walk of faith, as well as great platforms to use when sharing faith,” said Pressley. “Relating to those with whom you are sharing is the key. Sports are a simple tool to be relational.”
Pressley experienced a trip with AIA himself in 2003 and was changed by getting to know the hearts of his teammates. “Rawlin has a heart for seeing people know Christ,” said Pressley. “After taking an AIA trip myself, I knew he would enjoy it and grow from the experience. I'm very happy he was able to experience the trip, and I know it will help him in his future ministry opportunities.”
Kegley’s trip has inspired him in many aspects of his life. He plans to use his experiences from the trip and apply them to his ministry work on campus after graduation.
— Emmalee Strait is a junior from Anderson University, majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Strait is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.