KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten months before the confetti was raining down on him after a thrilling Super Bowl win, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was in a much quieter setting—but the impact was just as great, if not greater.
It was April 2017, and Foles was in a rough-and-tumble section of north Philadelphia at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) Huddle at Esperanza Academy Charter School. He and his teammates were co-leading eight-week FCA Huddles for students and athletes in Philadelphia, sharing how the Eagles’ weekly Bible study during the season strengthens their bond on the field and in their relationships with Jesus Christ.
Foles had just returned to Philadelphia, and the ink was barely dry on a multi-million-dollar contract with the Eagles. Now was his chance to make a spiritual impact on the city.
This dedicated group of pro players worked with Philadelphia Metro FCA Multi-Area Director Kasey Dougherty to launch two Huddles for more than 100 eighth- through 12th-graders at separate sites in north and south Philly. Dougherty was thrilled. She originally projected it would take five years to start the Huddles. But God’s sovereignty and the evangelistic heart of the Eagles’ players accelerated her timetable by about four-and-a-half years.
About a week in, Foles noticed that the FCA staff at one site collected the FCA study Bibles at the end of each meeting. Dougherty told the Super Bowl MVP that her startup budget couldn’t cover the cost of a replacement Bible if a student took one home but didn’t return it the following week.
So Foles called an audible.
“I want to make sure each kid walks away with a Bible,” he told Dougherty, “even if they just show up once.”
Now, students at these FCA Huddles have their own copy of God’s Word.
FCA recently told this uplifting story in a new publication and on its website. It may seem that Foles’ life was perfect leading up to that huge win, but the quarterback had nearly quit football in following a surprising trade by the Eagles and a miserable 2015 season with the St. Louis Rams. After much prayer and many conversations with his wife, Tori, Foles felt God leading him back to football. He reunited with former coach Andy Reid to talk about his life’s plan, and his love of football returned.
But this time it was different. Foles started finding his true identity in Christ.
“I didn’t have to accomplish anything more on the football field to find fulfillment, and that’s a really special, beautiful thing when you can get to that point,” Foles says. “I want to keep doing great things for the kingdom, but I also want to keep growing as a person. … You don’t want to become stagnant, so I just continue to keep moving, growing and staying in the Word.”
Learn more about FCA here. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.