It is so exciting to see the youth disc golf scene taking off, and we are grateful for the opportunities we have to meet a need in the disc golf community while sharing the love of Christ. One of our very first programs, before the ministry was even official, was a youth league we ran at Sellersville. We relied on word of mouth to advertise and were really excited to have 11 kids join the league. In May we kicked off our fourth year of the league and were thrilled to have reached our cap. Actually we exceeded our cap by a few with 30 kids participating!
Youth league provides a tremendous opportunity to build into young disc golfers on a regular basis. We look forward to offering more leagues in Pennsylvania, and adding leagues in Michigan, Washington, and Florida in the near future. If you missed out on league this year, don’t worry there are plenty of opportunities to participate in programs this summer.
Registration is under way for our junior tournaments, and we encourage you to register today. You can find more information about our events here:
Junior Tournament at Kenilworth Park in Pottstown, PA
Junior Tournament at Sellersville Disc Golf Course in Sellersville, PA
Junior Tournament at Brewer Park in Grand Rapids, MI
The second annual Eagles Wings: UNCHAINED Ministry Conference was another great weekend! We had about 20 disc golfers traveling as far as Pittsburgh. Camp Tecumseh partnered with us again, hosting us at their incredible facility. We were blessed with gorgeous weather this year, which allowed us the opportunity to take advantage of the course this time around.
We started off the festivities on Friday night with a round of Glow Golf, followed by an incredible time of worship. Saturday morning started with breakfast, and the rest of the day was filled with interesting speakers, heartfelt testimonies, and diving into God’s word with the goal of becoming better equipped to share our faith within the Disc Golf community. We learned how to take The Great Commission to the course, asking ourselves questions like, ‘who can I seek to disciple?’ And, ‘how can I be pursuing Jesus in my own life, so that it will expose others to an encounter with him?’
Mixing these deep sessions with fun, food, friends, and fellowship, a great time was had by all who attended. It was really encouraging to spend the weekend together with like-minded individuals hungry to further the Kingdom! We look forward to how God will continue to grow this event in the future, better equipping our players to be kingdom minded.
A couple weeks ago we received an exciting phone call, that one of our staff members Melody, our girls’ soccer coach, had been invited to try out for the Zambian Women’s National soccer team. Melody and a few other PTR staff had been playing soccer at a coaches training course earlier this year and she was noticed by some staff within the Football Association of Zambia.
Needless to say, within hours of the phone call, Melody had boarded a bus to take her the six hours to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. What followed was two hard weeks of drills, exercises and games.Both the men’s and women’s teams were training at the same facility and she spent the weeks interacting with many of them. She talked with coaches, made connections, was able to share the mission and vision of PTRZ and share her passion for not only soccer, but also sport ministry.
At the end of her trial, she was selected to be among the number of women belonging to the Zambian Women’s National team, ready to be ‘called’ upon as future matches take place.
She returned to Macha a local hero as she is the first person in this rural area to ever make it to the national level. We as an organization are very proud of her accomplishment, but mostly proud that her coaches said it was her character that really stood out to them. Last Friday she shared her story and experience with the children here at PTRZ. They listened carefully as their coach, their friend, and their mentor shared how she never dreamed that this day could happen, but it did. And then she very genuinely gave the glory to God.
We are SO proud of Melody. We are also thrilled for her testimony and how her journey is one that the children here are able to aspire to. We are grateful for new connections in the football world of Zambia and for her desire to use her platform to share about the value of discipleship of children through athletics.
Thank you Melody, thank you Football Association of Zambia, and thank you to the many of you who support our work here.
After quite a bit of planning we are ready for you to sign up for the trip of a lifetime! We are so excited about these trips, and we can’t wait for the teams to come together. While the dates may look far off, we highly encourage you to sign up today. The earlier you sign up the more time you have to raise funds, and begin preparing for what is sure to be a life-changing experience.
The first international trip for Eagles Wings happened in 2016 when we went to Zambia to build a 9 hole disc golf course for a local Push the Rock ministry. We are now ready to go back to build another 9 holes and run the first PDGA sanctioned tournament in Zambia.
Read more and/or apply to our Zambia Trip in January 2019 here!
In 2017 we went to Costa Rica to visit another local Push the Rock missionary. We built a course at a local public park. We have now been invited back to build another 9 hole course on private land. We continue to share the sport of disc golf with more locals and teach the local missionaries to teach the game to others.
Read more and/or apply to our Costa Rica Trip in February 2019 here!
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. We know it is a big commitment, but we can also assure you it will be worth it! Contact Dustin Leatherman at 215-429-0298 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
One of the best parts of our Junior Grant Program is getting pictures and stories from the amazing Junior Grant winners. We were blessed to hear from Wyatt Mahoney who became Tournament Director to run the first Junior only tournament in Connecticut. It was a balmy 32 degrees for this April tournament, but 28 participants, from as far away as Maine, showed up to throw some discs and have a great time. Help us celebrate Wyatt and the success of the Disc CT Junior Spring Warm-Up.
Question 1 – Tell us a little about yourself
“I grew up in Springfield, Ohio in the country on a farm. I have wanted to live in Florida for the majority of my life and I chose Saint Leo University near Tampa, FL. Growing up I played a lot of baseball and really enjoyed mathematics so I went to college wanting to study Sports Business and work in baseball analytics. After doing research on baseball analytics, I found out that my calling was not to sit in front of a computer all day and not talk to others. I started following Christ in the summer of 2012 after my sophomore year of high school at a Young Life camp. While in college I continued to lead high school students through Young Life and I really love ministering to those in need. I started playing disc golf a couple years ago and found out that the need in this community was greater than I ever imagined. I am getting married to Alicia on May 12th, 2018, we met at Saint Leo and have been together for two years now. She is graduating this year with a Psychology major and has a full time job lined up with as a dog trainer. She will be training for obedience and even some service dogs. Her ultimate goal is to train dogs for the military or veterans.”
Favorite Verse: John 10:10, “The thief comes to kill and steal and destroy, but I have come to give you life, and life to the full.”
Question 2 – What are some interesting facts about you that nobody else would know?
“My favorite animal is a penguin, although I cannot stand to be cold.
Favorite sports teams are the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Reds, and the New Orleans Saints.
I really enjoy family time, especially board games and cards.”
Question 3 – Where you are, currently, at on your support journey to become Full-Time with Eagles Wings?
“I started support raising in August and have raised a little bit over 10% so far. It’s definitely allowing me to trust more and more on God and be patient in his timing. No matter how many goals or expectations I make of potential partners, God is the only one who can fulfill them.”
How can individuals help to support you?
to donate towards Zach and his pursuit to become Full-Time with Eagles Wings Disc Golf
“It has been over a year and a half since disc golf was introduced in Macha, Zambia and we are thrilled that the game continues to be a hit here with our children and staff. We want to highlight one of our staff in particular, Wilborn. Wilborn is one of our night watchmen who ensures the well being of our property from 6:00pm to 6:00am. However, he has quickly become one of our local disc golf pros! Even after his 12 hour night shifts, he can be found at the disc golf course, almost daily, honing his skills. In fact, just last week he posted an ace on hole number 2! Beyond his desire to keep improving, he often reports to work early in order to rally some boys to accompany him and play a round before his shift starts.
It is encouraging for us to see our staff take ownership and invest in a sport that we did not know anything about over a year ago. We continue to be grateful for this ‘new’ outlet of fun and fellowship.” – Eric Thuma, PTR Zambia
Last week several of our staff headed to the Glass Blown Open in Emporia, Kansas. We have been blessed to develop a relationship with Dynamic Discs, the hosts of the tournament and one of the larger disc golf manufacturers. This year the event had 1,600 players and was the largest disc golf event to date.
Our staff had the opportunity to host a clinic with a local church, offer chapel at another church in town, oversee one of the courses used for the tournament, and run the juniors tournament at the end of the week. On top of that it was a great opportunity to connect as a staff, and connect with people from around the country that are interested in getting involved with Eagles Wings.
The chapel to start the event was a great night and an encouragement to many. We had 52 people take the time out of their schedules to come worship with us. We were blessed to have a crew from Colorado come in to speak and lead worship, and many people shared through the week what a great start to the event it was for them. We are very grateful for the doors God has been opening in the disc golf community and for the partnerships and relationships that are developing.