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Sports ministry returns to its roots

International ministry SportQuest returned to its roots in Southwest Oklahoma this week. 

Kent Susud, SportQuest CEO, arrived for a two-day summit at Camp Y'Shua in the Wichita Mountains for the first time since the ministry moved to Indianapolis a decade ago. This time, he brought with him 25 representatives from eight countries in which SportQuest has been established and continues to thrive. For Kim Shahan, Susud's former basketball coach and who helped instill the dream of the ministry within him, the summit was a homecoming.

"This is special to me," Shahan said. "We have all of these people here from all over the world and they're all connected. We want them to establish these relationships with each other and learn from one another so they can continue helping their ministries in their home countries."

Founded in 1998

SportQuest was founded in 1998 by Susud with guidance from Shahan. He wanted to create an international sports ministry that could connect people from all over the world and bring them together closer to God through something that transcends cultures  sporting activities and outdoor adventure. Shahan said members of SportQuest visit various communities across the world each summer to participate in activities and to help establish ministries through sports, like volleyball and basketball. At the end of the season, the players come home, but a seed is planted with the local athletes and residents who then become members of SportQuest themselves. 

"It's all about establishing relationships with local churches and civic groups," Shahan said. "They want to help develop these character development programs across the world."

Participants from around the world

Many of those who had joined SportQuest in other countries were a part of the group in attendance at Camp Y'Shua this week. Countries represented included Panama, Costa Rica and Belgium, Shahan said. They gathered with Susud and other leaders for two days of fellowship and to learn about how they can improve their own ministries.

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