May 16, 2009

Mark, Jon, Anastasia… Three AWESOME Christian Teens at ICTA!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 4:45 pm by Scott Paschal

Mark, Jon, Anastasia in Texas during ICTA Retreat

Mark, Jon, Anastasia in Florida

Three people.  Three life stories.

On the left is Mark from Mexico.  In the middle is Jonathan from Florida. On the right is Anastasia from Ukraine.

This is a picture of them jogging here in Florida before a junior tournament.

I have coached Mark full time for 3 years.  Came in a scrawny, little 15 year old with no serve or backhand or fitness or ability to handle pressure….

Now, Mark is a big, strong all court player with a great all court game.

In singles and doubles Mark has began frequenting the Quarters, Semis, and Finals in Florida jr tournaments.

In singles and doubles Mark has began frequenting the Quarters, Semis, and Finals in Florida jr tournaments.

He has worked incredibly hard.  Tennis & fitness workouts of  a combined 6-8 hrs a day 5-6 days a week are common stuff for him.

Mark has adapted to my hard core, world class tennis program like a fish to water…

Mark was born and raised in Mexico to American missionaries.  In Mexico Mark went to a school which spoke Spanish.

When Mark came here he did all of his education in English. In fact, Mark did his entire high school on-line through the Abeka DVD Christian curriculum.

It was impressive and interesting to see him mature and grow through the discipline needed to control his own education, particularly as his teachers all spoke English and Mark was training so hard in tennis.

Jon is 19 years old, now.  He first came to train with me 4 years ago.  Short and fat and with no patience, Jon pretty much had a long way to go.

Jon met Josh McDowell at Christian youth conference with ICTA in Gatlinburg, TN.

Jon met Josh McDowell at Christian youth conference last December with ICTA in Gatlinburg, TN.

We have been through a lot together.  Four years is a long time.  Jon trained with me full time for the first year.  Part time for two years.  Then, full time this last year.

During that time Jon’s parents divorced.  He was pretty devastated. They recently remarried. I know… amazing.

Jon has been really focused about his tennis for the last 10-12 months.  He has lost about 50 lbs of fat (about 20kg) and has added about 10 lbs of muscle.

His tennis is looking good.  Jon is looking really great, too.  I really proud of  him for his dedication to improving his life.  Taking the year off to train after he graduated from high school was one of the best decisions Jon could have made.

Jon is trying out for different NCAA tennis teams here in Florida. He will be a positive example on whichever team he joins.

Anastasia is student I met and began coaching  by Divine intervention.  Call it God’s gift…

Ana is truly a ICTA Champion for Christ! First year on tour... wins 2 ITF Pro Circuit tournaments and made Quarterfinals of 2 others!

Ana is truly a ICTA Champion for Christ! First year on tour... wins 2 ITF Pro Circuit tournaments and made Quarterfinals of 2 others!

Ana never applied to train in my academy program.  I hadn’t  met her parents.  There was no parent-player-coach interview.

In fact, I had grown to not really like Ukrainians (long story 🙂 ) and had no interest in coaching another one.

How did I become Ana’s coach & USA Dad?

Our ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team found Anastasia in Juarez, Mexico!

The team was in Juarez competing in an ITF Pro Circuit tournament, and had learned Anastasia was in a difficult situation from her abusive tennis coaches.

The team contacted me and after much prayer and consideration I agreed to help Anastasia escape the difficult situation.  We then flew her  to International Christian Tennis Association’s ministry home base in Florida.

A month after arriving, 16 year old Anastasia Kharchenko became a Christian.

Now, about 2.5 years later Anastasia is WTA ranked and travels worldwide competing in pro tournaments!  She travels as a member of the missionary tennis team which rescued her!

Ana knows God found her  in her deepest difficulties… His lost sheep whom He dearly loved!  Her testimony is truly amazing.

Mark, Jon, and Anastasia are three tremendous kids I feel really blessed to have an opportunity to be part of their life story.

Right now, they are young.  Yet, when I coach/mentor them I see them as the parents/grandparents they will become.  I picture them with their future families, or in their future careers….

Honestly, it is such an incredible privilege to be a coach who has the real opportunity to impact lives in a substantial way for the Kingdom.  It’s really all about Kingdom impact.

Wow… in just the last few years I’ve been able to invest in the lives of full time players from 17 countries and 15 US states!  That blows me away!

And in a few days I welcome in a young lady from Nigeria who is joining ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team, so that makes it 18 countries!

Please keep our very special and unique Faith & Tennis programs in your prayers as God uses International Christian Tennis Association to impact nations.

And, also, please keep Mark, Jon, and Anastasia in your prayers as God further shapes and molds them into amazing, Godly athletes… Champions for Christ!

God bless,

Coach Scotty

President   ICTA Inc

386 793 0557  /  ballboy4jesus@yahoo.com

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