Good News from Mighty Rivers
After eight weeks of practices and eight game days stretching from
December to March 12, this past weekend saw the conclusion of our 20th
season of Upward Basketball and Cheerleading at Mighty Rivers. There
were seventy-two games by the eighteen teams, and practices were
held five nights a week, giving coaches an opportunity to bond with
their kids and build values into those very young lives.
The men and women coaches included pharmacy techs, bankers,
construction workers, school teachers, agri-business people,
retirees, counselors, caseworkers, nurses, state officials, county
officers, cosmetologists, project managers, computer specialists,
school employees, mechanics, and self-employed people, an All-State
high school baseball player, honor roll students, and others.
Four biblical virtues were emphasized at every practice and at every
game—Honor, Endurance, Faith, and Love.
God sends children not just to keep up the race, but to enlarge our
hearts, to make us unselfish and full of affection, to give our
souls higher aims, and to cause happy faces and loving hearts.
A celebration called Awards Night was held last Saturday evening in
the home of Upward, our Activity Center, where all 203 boys and
girls, K-6, received a gift—a basketball from Upward Sports for
players and a carry-all bag for cheerleaders. Trophies were given to
each player and cheerleader from our staff and local program.
Some people decry the giving of a trophy to every participant, but
hold on. Your love for competition and winners and losers can wait.
We see each child as a trophy of God’s grace and love. The trophy we
give them is just a symbol of the trophy they are to God.
D. J. Edwards, special guest from near St. Louis, presented the
gospel, and 45 youths responded by indicating their desire to make
Christ their champion and come to Him as their Savior.
The next morning was Upward Sunday, worship the Upward way, and
again D. J. Edwards used his gift to present the gospel, which again
The final touch was the Appreciation Dinner for Upward Volunteers
and for Upward Prayer Partners along with all others who joined the
celebration on Upward Sunday. Rex Wilburn, Jason Spaulding and the
All-Star Cooking Team served Pork Steaks, California Potatoes, Green
Beans, Roll, and drink to the adults, and chicken strips and French
fries to the kids. Homemade desserts were provided by women and men
of the church. This finished the season, but the influence has no
Write on sand, and the wind will blow your work away; write on
stone, but those words will be slowly erased by the elements; write
on the heart of a child and you write for eternity.