Here's an account from Don Liesemer concerning my associate in hockey ministry, Bruce Smith, a faithful, godly servant of God:
No room! The last time hockey missionary Bruce Smith walked through the doors of the arena in Bathurst, New Brunswick (pictured) he was told by the coach that HMI would never be “invited in” to provide a Christian chapel program for his team. It just wasn’t going to happen. There was no room for HMI or for HIM. Our Canadian field staff director felt the sting of rejection…but this was nothing new….it had happened many times before where team management and players closed out HMI’s “messengers of hope in Jesus Christ”.
Move the clock forward three years to November 20, 2008. Our same hockey missionary, Bruce Smith, entered the same arena, knocked on the same door but this time things weren’t the same…indeed amazingly different. He was ushered into the GM’s office who in turn escorted him to the dressing room to be warmly received by players and coaches alike. Bruce enthusiastically outlined and explained the HMI chapel program to the whole team and followed with an actual chapel session with interested players. The first ever with that team…Interesting isn’t it?
No room in Bethlehem’s Inn and yet God’s purposes were miraculously accomplished. God never changes. The same Lord that fulfilled His plan in Bethlehem despite the closed door is at work in the world of hockey. His Kingdom is advancing. How amazing to see doors which were closed for many years suddenly opening. The walls of resistance surrounding the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, a hold-out for over thirty years, are finally coming down. The last frontier in hockey in North America is making room for Jesus, God’s champion. The King of Glory is winning victories.And as we go under His command…in His power and in “triumphal procession we are spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”And what a message to proclaim!“A Savior has been born…He is Christ the Lord”
Hockey Ministries International
Exactly one minute after receiving this "good news" from Don Liesemer I received the following e-mail from Jeff Twohey, the GM of the Peterborough Petes. I had sent him an e-mail just minutes earlier to ask if the Alumni Room at the Peterborough Memorial Centre was available for next Monday's MONDAY WE HAVE FISH chapel with the Petes. Jeff always lets us use that room unless the Directors have a meeting on the evening we meet.
Here's Jeff's reply and we praise God for the support we've had from Jeff and the Petes for the past 13 years.
"David, not a problem! You are welcome to the room. Thanks as always!" - Jeff