The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and The Carlie Challenge will once again be kicking off the school year with Fields of Faith this Sunday at the Chanute Community Sports Complex.
From 5 to 8 pm, there will be games, worship, music and food, featuring special speaker Jason Parr, the track coach at Friends University. Local First Baptist Church Pastor DJ Dangerfield will open and close the service.
The Carlie Challenge founder Amy Almond said that she sponsors the event in memory of her late daughter Carlie, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014 from a pulmonary embolism as a high school student. The Fields of Faith event had been held for many years at Chanute High School, but with The Carlie Challenge it was able to grow, with an estimated attendance of more than 500 last fall.
“God put it on our hearts to make it a bigger event for the kids,” Almond said. “It was overwhelming last year to see all the kids that came out. We didn’t know what to prepare for but now we are prepared.”
Almond is hoping to increase attendance by 100 people and has been reaching out to numerous area schools, youth groups and promoting it in the newspaper and on social media. The event is family-friendly, with a message geared for middle school students on up.
“Everyone is welcome! We would just really love for a lot of kids to come out and hear a message,” she said. “Sometimes they don’t have the opportunity to hear a message that opens their hearts to having hope and faith.”
Last year, several pastors and youth leaders were introduced to the crowd to let the students know to whom they could turn in times of need or reassurance.
“There are a lot of things going on in their lives,” Almond said. “Having all the pastors and leaders from around the area to let them know that they have that support and that they are there for them. From all we’ve been through, we have learned that when you have God on your side, you have a lot more strength and hope about what lies ahead.”
Almond said that Carlie always came back inspired from the Fields of Faith event, and she feels that her daughter would be proud of them for helping with an organization and event that meant so much to her and her brother, Garrett.
“The main purpose is to glorify God,” Almond said. “Come here for fellowship and hear God’s word.”