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Christian organizations convene at FC (VIDEO)

Through the combined effort of three different religious groups, FC hosted a free community luncheon, Oct. 4. Among those in attendance were students, faculty and members of the Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC), Fresno.

On a special half-day schedule, students were released from classes at 11:30 a.m., and began to converge on the North Field, where a meal provided by Hume Lake was distributed. From there, students were invited to join members of CBMC — an assembly of Christian businessmen who work in the Fresno community — in the FC Gym, where a demonstration was presented by The Champions for Today, a group that employs athletes for the purpose of Christian devotionals.

Having visited FC annually for the past two years, The Champions for Today are usually seen during chapel. However, this year, the CBMC partnered with the FC campus to host this ministry.

“We put on two events every month, and my friend Bob Bradford [grandfather of Jordan Boudreau, ’13 and Austin Rurik, ’12] was involved with this organization [The Champions for Today] and they contacted him six months ago saying that they were going to have a couple of football players come to town,” Tom Sommers, CMBC’s Executive Director said. “And we said, ‘How about we use Fresno Christian High School; we have never used a high school, we use restaurants.’ I know your principal, Todd Bennett, and I know his father Bob Bennett, so I thought this was a great way to promote your school and that’s what we are going to do.”

The group is usually seen by students as one of the highlights of the year, due to the eccentric process with which they go about getting their message across — this includes physical feats such as ripping a phone book in half and bending a steel pole in between their teeth. Through this method, representative Devin Wyman, a former National Football League (NFL) defensive tackle, believes that people grasp a certain visual aspect, which they can tie in to faith.

“The biggest thing is to encourage them [the audience] that if they can see the visible that they can do the impossible; anything is changeable,” Wyman said. “From a faith standpoint, if they really believe in God, God can change the shape of anything. Your life is the most valuable thing, and what we really encourage is that your life be transformed. If we can bend an inch of steel, roll a frying pan or do pushups with people standing on our back, then what can the Lord do? We are doing a small percentage of what the Lord can do, but we’re thankful for the small percentage that he gave us.”

Though this is often seen as a source of entertainment, former NFL lineman Shawn Harper, another representative, recognizes that The Champions for Today’s main goal is to allow students a chance to make positive life changes.

“I realize that I only have 45 minutes to change a life,” Harper said. “That’s hard, so every syllable and every action moves towards that moment. And all I can do is just throw it out there and walk away. Sometimes it’ll rise up and sometimes it won’t rise up till later, but that’s my goal.”

Freshman Rhyann Crain, who has seen The Champions for life in previous years, appreciates the group’s attention-grabbing displays.

“It’s cool and interesting; it’s big old guys breaking stuff, which really gets your attention,” Crain said. “It kind of woke me up from some things, both good and bad. I’m sure the rest of the school really appreciated them coming here.”

After The Champions for Today’s presentation, students were asked to connect with teachers or spiritual leaders if they felt the need to. They were then ushered out to the North Field, where the Hume Lake recreational staff had set up an array of physical activities, which included a rock climbing wall, a mechanical bull and a frisbee tag arena.

Hume Lake’s Director of Junior High Ministries, Derek Geer, says that his group provided a recreational component to the day and that, even though Hume had to share time with other organizations, it was beneficial because of their common purpose.

“Hume Lake is good at bringing the fun element, but we also exists to tell people about Jesus,” Geer said. “If we have time to do that then great, but if it’s only for activities then great, as long as people know who we are and that they may come up to the camp. In the process, hopefully we can tell them about Jesus. It doesn’t really matter that we are partnering with different ministries as long as people get to know about Jesus. So anyway we can do that then we will.”

According to Harper, he believes that some will walk away from the event affected and some will not, but there is essentially an impact made whether people know it or not.

“I have too many emails and too many phone calls that validate that this [program] makes an impact in people’s lives, so I know it does,” Harper said. “Some people may say, ‘Well that happened and it’s good and it’s over,’ but they have no idea. Sometimes it’ll rise up and sometimes it won’t rise up till later, but we get tons of people who end up coming back to us and telling us how much of an impact this has had on their lives.”

The Champions for Today will be visiting four other schools in the Central Valley, including Sunnyside High School and Roosevelt High School. For their contact information, visit their website.

For more news, read the Sept. 29 article,
Music department participates in upcoming processions.

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