Created for a Purpose - Story of North Georgia Fellowship of Christian Athletes
CA in northern Georgia is narrowing its ministry focus on female athletes under the direction of Mandy Ledford, the new Women in Sports area representative.
North Georgia FCA Director Dave Grusnick and board member Jana Cansler had a desire to minister specifically to girls, and established an all-female board to assist the position. "Jana always had a vision for ministering directly to the female coaches and the female student athletes in the school."
Understanding difficulties facing the ministry, the board and Grusnick laid out a vision and discussed what would be needed to help the representative succeed.
The last piece was finding the right woman for the job.
Ledford taught and coached middle and high school athletics for twelve years in the same school district, most recently at her alma mater, Murray County High School. One day, Grusnick approached her with the desire to speak to her soccer team. During a later conversation he mentioned the position forming, triggering an interest in Ledford.
"I knew each time I saw him it would be heart racing, Spirit prompting me kind of thing to speak, but I just chickened out and didn't say anything to him because I thought I wasn't qualified," Ledford admitted. "I ended up finally relinquishing control and sent an email that got the ball rolling, interviewed, and came on part-time in November.
"It was my prayer to be full time, because I was loving it and really felt God leading me to do this. I feel super blessed to have the opportunity to serve Him in this capacity. And being a former coach I know the extreme importance of having this ministry be involved in sports teams and schools."
Since relinquishing control of her life to the Lord, Ledford realized God's intention to use her simply by being the woman He created her to be. "It doesn't get better than sharing the love of Jesus with females and trying to reach out because there's a lot of hurting hearts."
Her passion of ministering to female athletes will propel the launch of the school year. She hopes to visit and work with females at all eighteen schools in Whitfield and Murray counties.
"I want to pour the love of Christ in these women," Ledford said. "My goal is to be that type of person I wish I had had in my life. This platform is amazing and could be the only time some of these young women are presented the gospel. It's exciting, but I don't take it lightly."
Being on the bench, Ledford has experienced firsthand the pressures of coaching and the struggles young girls face. "There's so much about being a teenage girl that is really tough nowadays," she revealed. "I try to play off those insights I've been blessed to gain an understanding of.