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By Adam Young December 28, 2009, was unseasonably cold. The thermometer outside the athletic building read -30° C (-22° F). We stretched indoors for the football game because sitting still in weather like this is not wise. I noticed when people breathed the cold air, ice formed immediately on any facial hair. Teenagers who had not begun to shave looked like Santa Claus with a sparkly white beard of frost stubbornly clinging to their faces. At the beginning of our “New Year’s Bowl,” the brown American football could be thrown and caught normally. After thirty minutes the glue that holds the ball together had completely frozen, so that the ball deflated and could only be thrown a short distance underhanded like one would throw a heavy lawn dart. The rubber froze on the ball next and it became little more than a deformed oval rock. All the while men, ages 17 to 26, were running into each other at all the speed that can be created while running in shin-deep snow. At this point I thought to myself, “Welcome to American football in Russia!” My name is Adam Young and I am a BIMI missionary in Russia. I grew up in California and my sending church is Lancaster Baptist Church, pastored by Dr. Paul Chappell. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I also like football. If you would have ever asked me if my love for Jesus and my enjoyment of football would ever come together, I would not have guessed how. If I were a Christian school teacher, I might teach kids some truths from the Bible as I taught them football, but God called me to be a missionary to a country where American football and rugby are thought to be the same thing. I never thought I could use what I know and love about football to reach anybody with the Gospel—at least not in Russia. While out soul winning in 2008, I met a student who got saved. We started to meet and study the Bible. However, we had only met a couple of times before he cut off contact. About a year later he called me unexpectedly and asked if I could come to a football practice. A group of young people were interested in American football. They needed a coach. I asked him to repeat himself three times just to make sure I was hearing right. When he first said those words, I thought it was one of those moments in the language when I thought I heard some- thing like, “Gray cluey squirrels dansely dimpen your trout hook,” but the guy actually said, “Great cloudy swirls densely dampen your outlook.” In other words, I thought I didn’t hear him right—American football in Russia? I thought “gray cluey squirrels” were more likely. It was summertime when I went to their practice. As I approached the stadium, the gate was closed and the structure was in obvious 24 Adam Young and family