F2F logoNovember 2017     | Print |

Dear Friends,

This summer, I received this note from a former Columbus North football player.

“Mr. Rust, thank you for leading the Columbus North chapel. It was a great help getting me through the football season. I hope they have something similar at Miami for the football team there.”

What an encouragement. Each Thursday for the past twelve years or so, I have arranged for a pastor or someone connected to the sports world to come and speak to the Columbus North football chapel. The chapel is voluntary following the team meal, but it has included upwards of half the team at times.

I have also spent Thursday afternoons with the players at South Decatur high school close to the church I pastor in nearby Sardinia. In both cases, the players are very respectful and listen closely as we present the gospel.

I have sometimes been called “chaplain-at-large”. While I don’t have an official capacity at Columbus East, I have witnessed the same spiritual attitude on their team. I just recently saw that their outstanding quarterback, Josh Major, is establishing a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at a local elementary school as his senior project. Broadcasting games for both North and East has given me the pleasure of getting know some great kids with a deep faith.

That’s part of the ministry of the ministry of Face to Face. It’s a ministry of encouragement, by helping local athletes stay on track. The other part of the ministry is sharing what is going on with athletes on the national scene. Recently, I watched the World Series. Many probably don’t realize that the outstanding pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw speaks often about his love for Christ, or that hitting coach Turner Ward has had a tremendous spiritual impact on players, or that Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh is the son of a pastor.

Each week, Face to Face continues to bring athletes with a strong faith to the forefront through our radio broadcasts and on the web at facetofaceradio.com. Scooter Gennnett was a bright spot this year for the Cincinnati Reds, who had a very lackluster year. In late summer, I had the honor of sitting with Scooter in the Reds dugout before a game where he shared his faith with me. On the advice of a teammate, Scooter went to an offseason Pro Athletes Outreach Conference in 2013 where he accepted Christ as Saviour and was baptized. As he told me, “Accepting Jesus as my Saviour and asking him to take over my life was huge.”

For the past 25 years, FTF has brought testimonies of athletes like that to listeners. In fact, this past fall, we aired our 1200th show and I look forward to many more in the future. God has certainly blessed this ministry and you have been a huge part. Without your prayers and financial support, we would have gone away a long time ago.

As we come to the end of this year, I am once again asking for your help. I am pleased to say that after some adjustments in salary and in our budget, we are currently up to date. I hope you can help us to continue our financial stability, and if you are unable to help financially, please continue to pray.

In one of his final notes to me before he passed away, my longtime friend Bill Eakin quoted Philippians 4:19. “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that comes from Jesus Christ.”

May God continue to bless you for your partnership in this ministry.
Sincerely in Christ,

Tom Rust


Tom Rust

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