Pine coneNovember 2016      | Print |

Dear Friends,

Bill Eakin was a good friend.

So, it is with a mix of sadness and nostalgia that I write this letter.
Bill passed away earlier this year leaving a void in our organization, and with me personally. Bill was not only a good friend, but a founding member of the Face to Face board of directors, and a great encourager. Every year at about this time, Bill would write a letter, affirming the ministry of Face to Face and making a plea for finances to make the ministry stronger.

This year, that task falls to me, and I hope to convey the success of our ministry in the same way Bill did. He loved Face to Face, and he was by my side for many years as we talked to athletes “face to face.” Baseball was his favorite sport, and together we attended a lot of games in both the major and minor leagues. His two favorite teams were the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, two perennial losers who both made it to the World Series this year. Hmmm, I wonder….

Later, as his travel was restricted by health, he stayed in contact with athletes by phone and by e-mail, and I know they appreciated his encouragement, as I did. I am happy to report that the ministry of encouragement through Jesus Christ that he instilled in me continues.

• Our weekly face to face radio/website continues as we start our 25th year. Some big-name athletes have been on the program such as World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. We also feature lesser known athletes, who are standing up for Jesus Christ in a culture that doesn’t always appreciate them. We have now broadcast over 1150 shows with nearly 500 athletes and we are probably the longest running Christian athlete interview program in the nation. My producer, John Lagneau, and webmaster, Rick Hayes, both do a marvelous job in making sure we have a weekly show. By the way, you can hear these interviews on our website at
• I continue to be a spiritual mentor to three high school teams, South Decatur football, Columbus North football, and Columbus North basketball. Each week, players and coaches from these teams hear how Jesus Christ can be number one in their lives. Unofficially, through my play by play duties, I also come in contact with other players and coaches and can be an encouragement to them.
• I also have a personal ministry through Face to Face with a number of other players and coaches. Recently, I was privileged to walk the sidelines with coach Steve Barrows of the Kentucky Christian Knights in one of their games.
• When I hear of a story or see a Christian athlete in the news, I write about them in a periodic blog that is seen by around 300 people, as well as being featured in our local paper. Recent blogs have focused on the aforementioned Ben Zobrist as well as the recently retired basketball star, Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, among others.

All of this centers around a passion for sports and a strong desire to tell others about Jesus Christ. I have been blessed. I have a wonderful board of directors, many of whom have been with me for over 25 years. I have been given access to locker rooms and clubhouses that I never dreamed would happen. I have been amazingly sustained by many like you, who have partnered with me in your prayers and with your gifts.

I give all the glory to God, without whom none of this would have happened. In 2013, Bill wrote this in his year-end letter.
“But with the blessing there is a real need. In Philippians 4:19, in The Message, it says, ‘You can be sure that God will take care of everything that you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that comes from Christ Jesus.'”

Those words ring true today. We do need your financial help and prayers as we continue in our 25th year. We can now make available to you the opportunity for a monthly donation through an EFT (electronic financial transfer). We would also welcome any year end gift that you would like to give. Anything you can do is appreciated. I want to publicly thank Bill for all he has done, and I hope you would help as we continue his legacy into 2017 and beyond.

God Bless you during this holiday season,

Tom Rust


Tom Rust

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