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Huddle in Rochester Blesses Students and Leaders Alike

Huddle in Rochester Blesses Students and Leaders Alike

Max Berg didn't exactly embrace the new group one of his basketball teammate's parents wanted to start at their home.

"I was skeptical because I didn't know what to expect," Berg says. "I missed the first few, then I went, and I had a lot of fun."

That was four years ago.

Now a freshman at Century High School in Rochester, Max is thankful to have joined a Huddle led by Shannon and Rob Olander. Max enjoyed the Biblical teachings, always coupled with an activity. Max participated in his first mission trip. And he appreciated how he's grown on the court and off the court.

'I was more selfish before. But now I'm more of a team player and don't just play for myself.'

The Olanders lead one of 181 FCA Huddles in Minnesota. 

Shannon says she and Rob are blessed to lead their group, which consists of 10 to 18 young men.

"It's awesome," she says. "There's no greater fulfillment than I have on this Earth than helping others get to know Christ, and watch their relationship with Christ grow. Of all the other things I do, this is what makes me feel best in life. No question."

Wanting to create something for the benefit of their children and their teammates, the Olanders thought a Bible study at their home would be a great way to build relationships and honor God. 

They decided they would host meetings at their home twice a month. 

When they considered a name, their son Stephen suggested a name that paid homage to their church, Family of Christ. 

The decided upon Family of Christian Athletes, a.k.a. FCA.

Later, they met Fellowship of Christian Athletes staffer James Bolin. 

"What you're hosting is basically an FCA Huddle group," James said.

Shannon laughs as she recalls the story.

"We didn't know anything about FCA at that point, which is comical," Shannon says. "We thought we had invented the wheel here!"

But what's happening is no laughing matter: Lives are being changed. 

Recently, the students wrote letters about their experience in the Huddle. 

The insights were overwhelming for Shannon and Rob.

"They're guys, so they're not super communicative," Shannon says. "But their attendance and questions and the fact that they keep coming has to be enough to know that they're growing."

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