Open Door to Hockey Teams

A women’s hockey player learns about Christ.

photos courtesy Guy Gerrard (top), Kristina Middendorf (below)

Since we began working at St. Cloud State in 2010, we have often heard about the men’s and women’s hockey programs being the highest profile sport, yet some of the most closed off to spiritual activity. They are the only Division 1 programs at SCSU and are the most looked up to and idolized students on campus. No hockey players were involved with Cru or Athletes in Action in 2010, and so we began to pray for God to open a door for the gospel to go forth.

Three years later, God is now opening a door into both programs and the gospel is moving forward. One example of this is the story of a freshmen hockey player named Ivy. I received a text from Ivy just one week after I first met her in September. Ivy asked if we could meet up, but she didn’t say why. Soon after that, we met and Ivy told me that she had attended church with family members growing up but was unsure of what it meant and how to become a Christian. Since coming to college, she’s had a growing interest in knowing God. “I have been to more Christian events in the last two weeks than I have in my entire life,” Ivy told me that morning.

Ivy said that at Cru meetings and church she heard about the importance of having a relationship with God. She explained that she wanted to know God, but just needed someone to tell her how. As I began to share with Ivy, I could tell that God had been preparing her for this moment as the Gospel clicked for her. Ivy looked me in the eye and said, “Do you mean that I could invite Christ into my life right now and start a relationship with God?” I smiled and said, “That’s exactly what I’m saying!” All Ivy needed was someone to clearly explain the gospel to her, and she was ready to respond.

Between the two of us, we are now meeting with 4-5 hockey players each week to help them grow in their faith and 5 of them have come to church with us. Thank God for this opportunity!