Favor has really been on Robb lately. Robb is a Jedi Knight, risk taker, boundry pusher, outside the box thinker, flutist, jump before God kinda guy….he has really grown over the last couple of years and is usually as busy as fleas on a dog… here is a great story.
XENIA, Ohio (BP)–When the campers and staff of the Athletes in Action Ultimate Training Camp in Xenia, Ohio, awoke early June 2 to participate in a local service project, they never guessed they would end up at a gay pride parade where commitment ceremonies were taking place for gay couples, as foaming soap filled the streets.
However, after serving citizens of the government-subsidized Biltmore Hotel in downtown Dayton, Ohio, the campers and staff spent time at the Dayton Gay Pride Parade, serving those taking part in the festivities.
The camp-group handed out cold sodas and bottles of water, with an accompanying card that read “God loves you! No strings attached.”
“Going to the gay pride parade was an out-of-comfort experience for a lot of the student-athletes, but it was a great opportunity to show the love of God to a group of people who have often felt deeply hurt by the church,” said camp director Scott Mottice, AIA staff member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Robb Fogg, a teacher at Xenia Christian High School, led the outreach effort. Fogg believes God had a specific purpose for the outreach group ending up at the gay pride parade.
“When [we went to the parade] I got a real sense that the Lord was orchestrating for the Athletes in Action group to have the most challenging and most difficult experience possible to take the campers to a new level of leadership,” Fogg said.
Fogg also challenged the campers to seek out the Holy Spirit in their service endeavors, which made an impact on Karen Johnson of Gordon College and Brent Duffy of York College.
“There was one guy I really felt drawn to and even though I didn’t have a drink left to give, I was able to give him a card and it felt like what Robb was talking about,” Johnson said.
“Spiritually, my last semester of college was stagnant. The outreach was the first time in a long time I have felt the Holy Spirit,” Duffy said.
Prior to their time at the gay pride parade, the campers were divided into four groups and went door-to-door on every floor of the Biltmore handing out free food, drinks, newspapers and shampoo. They were also able to pray for any hotel patrons who wanted prayer.
“This wasn’t like going to a soup kitchen and checking it off a list of things to do. This was more hands-on and we actually got to talk with people,” Johnson said. “The experience was good because [during camp] we had a lot of inside teaching and we were able to act on it.”
Many of the residents were elderly or disabled and seemed to enjoy having people visit with them.
“On the second floor that my group went to there was a lady named Rose in a wheelchair and she had a look in her eye that she needed love from someone,” Johnson said. “Our group leader, Jamie Ehrlich, pushed Rose around the hallway in her wheelchair, which was cool to see.”
The campers and staffers’ service was helped by the fact that Fogg had a good rapport with most of the people living in the hotel, because he has served them for eight years and is in the early stages of a church plant there. The campers also had help from Cathy Jones, one of the hotel’s residents, who has helped Fogg throughout his time of service at the hotel.
“It was really interesting to see how much the people knew Robb and Cathy already, and how much Robb and Cathy had already reached out to them. We could tell that we were accepted and loved,” said Jon Limm, a club lacrosse player from Towson University.
Fogg was impressed by the leadership shown by the campers and loved serving alongside the AIA group.
“There were a lot of leadership-driven folks, and everywhere I went the AIA group made a significant impact. One of the women helped a hotel resident with physical therapy and another group went back later in the day to have dinner with a woman from the Biltmore,” Fogg said. “[The AIA group] was a dream team.”