Category Archives: Athletes In Action

Where’s the evidence?

A question that’s been going around for many years still has power to pierce our souls:

If being a Christian were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict me?

That is, in what ways is my life different because of the grace of Jesus? And how is he continuing to reveal himself through me? God accepts us where we are but loves us too much to leave us there in our old patterns of self-seeking, prideful, and even hurtful thinking. Just as you want the best for your child, so God longs for his children to live a full and meaningful life.

GLOW is pleased to sponsor Cru’s Athlete’s In Action (AIA).  Director Gary Schmalz describes how God changed these college students hearts:

A few weeks ago, Lauren and Hailie, both varsity athletes at Wisconsin-Madison came to the AIA weekly meeting for the first time. They heard about the Winter Retreat in Chicago and decided it would be worth their time.

At the retreat, they heard relevant messages about the Christian life. On Saturday morning, they were trained for an outreach to the inner city of Chicago. During that training, Holly, our new AIA staff at Madison, noticed that Lauren and Hailie were confused while discussing a Gospel sharing tool called Knowing God Personally. Holly answered their questions, and they both asked Jesus to be in their lives!

Two hours later, they shared the same booklet with a high schooler at the community center and he received Christ as well!

One of the strongest evidences for God is a changed life!

It is hard to dismiss a changed life. Lauren and Hailie would tell you that they are different now and have just attended church for the first time.

If you have ever wondered if college athletes are hungry for the Gospel, I could provide you multiple examples from the 22 college campuses across the Upper Midwest where AIA operates and witnesses “evidence for God,” when He shows up and changes a life.

If God can take a couple of college students and in a moment change their lives from confused to compassionate and confident, he can change your life to. He has the power to change your doubt to faith, worry  to prayer, anxiety to peace, apathy to compassion, a critical heart to a humble one, emptiness to a full life!

Thank you for praying for athletes to come to Christ. Why not ask him to transform your life too?

GLOW Update March 2016

GLOW Update – March 2016

Everywhere you turn you see hurting people: in your neighborhood, your church, your workplace and across the globe. Some are close and others are “strangers” who Jesus calls “neighbors” we should love, especially those he calls “the least of these.” But you may ask, “What can I do to make a difference?”

starfishThere is an old story of a boy walking along a beach filled with stranded starfish. The boy picked one up and then another, tossing them back into the sea knowing they would otherwise perish. A man watching told him there were so many stranded starfish, he couldn’t possibly make a difference. Looking at a starfish in his hand, the boy tossed it into the water saying, “I made a difference for THAT one!”

GLOW is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the lives of hurting people. And your partnership with GLOW (through gifts and prayers) makes you an integral part of changing the world for hurting people, even “strangers” you don’t know. GLOW is organizationally small and nimble, working with missionary partners we know personally and trust. Accountability is high. Last year GLOW raised $14,200 and spent $14,237. No salaries, insurance plans, cars, or buildings. Just money in/money out – bringing the hope of Jesus to change the world for people in desperate situations, one at a time.

A 10-year-old boy in Bolivia has his first pair of new $12.50 leather shoes because a 10-year-old boy here gave his Christmas money.

Syrian refugees who were sleeping on the cold cement in Athens, Greece have warm sleeping bags from GLOW donors and the caring outreach of our ministry partner there.

Aleka with childrencrop -jpgBulgarian gypsy children have nutritious meals and Christian literacy tutors because GLOW donors care. 50 children now have their own native language Bulgarian bibles because many people donated $10 to GLOW.  We are preparing to fund the building of a kitchen & dining area this year to expand the outreach to orphans who have no other support.

Herminia etc with Aunt FranciscaFive Bolivian children (Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina – pictured here with their Aunt Francisca) were recently abandoned by their mother and stepfather. They know us and remember us from when we first met and prayed with them four years ago. Gifts from GLOW purchased shoes and outfits and backpacks for each of them. Additional gifts have been received to provide for school supplies, tuition, medical care, and food. Even now as their Aunt has stepped up to care for the children your ongoing GLOW gifts continue to enrich their lives.

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) That’s what your persistent prayers and gifts do. They express your faith through love to “the least of these,” people you don’t yet know.

We also want you to know we’ve made provisions for the gospel ministries of Go Light Our World to continue, regardless of Bryan’s health concerns.

By praying and giving you DO make a difference. Please continue to PRAY daily for:

Roberto, Herminia, Deysi, her baby Lucas, and Sabina, abandoned by their mother and now adopted by their aunt in rural Bolivia.

Tiffany, Roxana, Maria, Mariana, and Sony who lead the Bolivian ministry for children at risk.

Moises and Kely who work to strengthen godly families in Chile.

Aleka who ministers to outcast gypsies in Bulgaria and boldly shares the truth and love of Jesus with all she meets, even at risk to herself.

Andy who pastors a small church in a hard neighborhood in Gracemount (Edinburgh), Scotland and his wife Sarah in her difficult pregnancy. Please pray also for former drug addicts they know who are struggling to know that the hope of Jesus is real for them.

Larry who daily brings the real hope of Jesus to those in prison.Mark and Lyndsey who minister to the homeless in San Diego.

Dawn and Willy who teach people with little to trust in God who wants to richly bless them spiritually.

Chris and Candy who are adjusting to living in Africa so they can reach the Digo tribe. They are dealing with water shortages.

Gary and Cristen who boldly equip college students to get real with Jesus, live fully for Jesus and reach their teammates.

Marcia and Bryan and the GLOW board of directors as we seek God’s continued guidance in all of this, and for Bryan’s full health recovery.

Thank you to our monthly donors and one-time donors. Your investment is well-placed! It brings the hope of Jesus to unreached people through practical ministries including literacy, food, medicine and health.

If you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, you can make your tax deductible gift to Go Light Our World by

Thank you for partnering with GLOW in giving and in prayer to make a real difference in the lives of hurting people!!

Without God we are lost, BUT GOD intervenes. GLOW is excited to write the phrase, “BUT GOD…” onto the pages of people’s lives!

Because lost people matter,

2016 Go Light Our World Board Members:

Bryan and Marcia Thayer         Chuck Jackson

Janet Johnson                             Dawn Neudahl

Mary Lothe                                 Kathy Trotter

Val Wagner

Greatnonprofits top rated status 2015

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It’s not too late to be a blessing!

Dear readers,

Three years and 975 blog posts later, we hope you are growing ever closer to the one true God who sees you where you are and loves you. These blogs are mostly memos to challenge ourselves, a journal of God’s goodness to us through these three difficult years through cancer and life threatening blood infections.


Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

image imageThese same three years mark the birth and growth of the Go Light Our World (GLOW) nonprofit ministry. Originally focused on bringing practical expressions of God’s love to the most poor and outcast Quechuan people in Bolivia and the unreached Romani people in Bulgaria, we now also support vital gospel ministries in Corinth and Athens, Greece; in the poorest neighborhoods of urban Scotland; an outreach to the Digo people group in Kenya, and a number of missions in the USA to the homeless, people in prison, college students (USA and Puerto Rico) and those in New Orleans who don’t yet know Jesus and others beginning their faith journey with him.

Some of you already support GLOW in yearly or monthly donations. Thank you! You know your gifts go directly to the mission field, not to salaries, insurance plans, buildings or other admin costs. Your gifts have provided native language bibles to 100 people who were so excited to have a bible they can read!

You gave a little boy his first pair of leather shoes, medicine for a teenager who helps in the Josias program we support. You have literally clothed the naked and fed the hungry with nutritious meals and the hope Jesus offers. You have taught them to read and write – one has gone on to nursing school. You’ve visited “the least of these” in prison.

We continue to offer the free daily devotional blog to all. And we invite you, (no obligation), to consider supporting the GLOW ministries in 2016. A monthly recurring gift of just  25 cents per post ($6/month) provides a nutritious meal for 5 hungry children each month. 50 cents per blog  ($12/mimageonth) provides 144 meals over a yeaimager. One dollar per post ($24 per month) provides needed educational supplies and basic medicines where access to clean water is difficult.


We invite you to partner with us in 2016 in following Jesus when he said:


“In as much as you do this to the least of these you do it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40

Tax deductible gifts may be made online through PayPal or credit card: Go to OR by check to: “Go Light Our World” 1020 N 5th Ave W, Newton, IA 50208



Rejoice! Always rejoice in the Lord!

And there are three other ways to partner with GLOW that don’t cost a penny:

1.  Join us in regular prayer for GLOW and its recipients. Email us if you want to receive regular mission updates:

2: Simply press “Forward to a friend” or “Friend on Facebook” (bottom of this post) to others you think might be blessed by our daily message. Spread the light among your friends and build the GLOW community.


3.  Reimagead and write your own review of Go Light Our World at Great NonProfits:


We are blessed in order to bless others, to live simply so others can simply live.

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World

Marcia and Bryan Thayer for Go Light Our World (at Mercy Hospital)

Thank you for prayerful consideration of partnering with GLOW.

It’s not too late for a one-time or recurring gift that begins in 2015 and continues bringing the light of Jesus to a dark and needy world in the new year!  Be blessed in your daily reading and in growing closer to God.



Talking about Jesus


Claire, Curt and athletes from UPR-Mayaguez talking about God

Claire, Curt and athletes from UPR-Mayaguez talking about God*

What does it look like to tell someone about Jesus?
It could look like this photo of University of Puerto Rico athletes talking about God.

The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:29-31)


“My name is Claire and this is Curt, we are from Ohio and we would love to talk to you about God. Would you have some time to talk with us?” This is the approach 25 staff and athletes from Ohio University used last week on 5 campuses. If students say yes, we usually use a tool called soularium. It is a visual tool to help us understand them, build rapport and have a fun time talking about God. Eventually this can lead to talking about Christ and sharing the Gospel.


The Ohio athletes initiated with almost 400 people, shared the Gospel with around 80 and we saw 8 make first time decisions for Christ. Cristen and our team get to follow up those contacts. Please pray for Keila, Arnoldo, Luis, Cristina, Genesis, Hermes, Octavio, and Christopher.


How do you talk with people about Jesus? It could be the most important conversation you have all week!


* Gary and Cristen Schmalz work with Athletes In Action (AIA), a division of Cru (Campus Crusade). Marcia and I have been blessed to be on Gary’s and Cristen’s team for over twenty years and now GLOW supports their efforts to reach college students for Christ in Puerto Rico…and beyond. Thanks to GLOW supporters. Your donations and prayers (!) are making a big difference for the kingdom across the globe!



Thank you!



We want to thank those who have partnered with Go Light Our WorldTM to bring the light of Jesus to a dark world. Whether you gave a one-time or monthly gift of $10, $50, $100, or more, your generous gifts directly support vital gospel ministries in:


– Growing healthy families
– Providing literacy, nutrition, health, and worship outreach to children
– Vocational training for struggling moms
– (Marcia and I are preparing to join the Bolivian mission field in 2015!)


– Literacy training for rural outcast children
– Abraham’s Flock provides milk and eggs for needy families
– Christian education for children


– Bringing gospel hope to the lost in Athens and Corinth


– Bringing real hope and the power of Jesus to transform broken lives in the inner city housing projects


United States
– Supporting gospel church plants in New Orleans and San Diego
– Training and equipping college athletes to become Christian leaders and missionaries


Puerto Rico
– Raising up Christian leaders among college athletes


– Supporting a young family bound for the mission field to bring the gospel to the unreached Digo people


There is still time to join our prayer and financial support team. Visit our giving page at to learn more.


Go Light Our WorldTM is a tax-exempt nonprofit ministry. There are no paid salaries so your donations go directly to the mission field. Thank you for living a life marked by giving to others. It matters!



Partner with GLOW in Puerto Rico



Puerto Rican Track Men for Jesus Gabriel, Rodolfo, Wilito, Christian, and Luis

GLOW is pleased to help support the new Athletes In Action (AIA) ministry in Puerto Rico, led by Gary and Cristen Schmalz who are there on a 1 year outreach. Gabriel, Wilito and Luis are leaders in the new campus ministry.  Christian is a new attendee and Rodolfo is a new follower of Christ thanks to AIA!


Trials bring blessings:  After a long frustrating day on campus, Gary decided to head for the track stadium to pray.  While there, an athlete walked by once, then twice and even a third time.  “OK, Lord I will go talk to him.”   That led to a long awkward conversation in broken Spanish and English.   (Gary is still learning basic Spanish.)


Two days later Rodolfo was at the AIA Fall Retreat and the next week he started to attend the AIA weekly bible study.  Just this last week he decided to follow Christ!    His life is changed for all of eternity.  Please pray for Rodolfo as he begins to mature in his relationship with Christ, and for the other Christian leaders on mission for Jesus at Puerto Rico’s Interamericana University.


Gary is regional director of Athletes in Action and as such also coordinates outreach and leadership training programs across the USA. Many of these students end up on global mission trips, spreading the good news around the world.


Visit the AIA ministries gallery at to learn more about this exciting mission and to learn how you can partner with GLOW to bring light into a world of darkness.


Add a comment to this blog post if you’d like to partner with GLOW in daily prayer.



“I don’t believe in God.” – AIA Mission Update


“I don’t believe in God”

These words were shared by a Minnesota State – Mankato wrestler as he walked through the classroom door.  It was a small room and only a few athletes were in the room.  They were all there to hear from John Peterson, a 1972 silver medalist, and a 1976 gold medalist.  The wrestler was invited by his friends to come here from John, but they did not tell him that John would also be talking about Jesus, until they walked into the building.  He was not sure if he wanted to stay.

John spoke about his wrestling experiences, the Olympics and about how God has worked in his life.  How he came to know that God loves him, but sin keeps him from knowing God, that Jesus is the only way, and it was a decision that person needs to make.  While this wrestler did not come to know Jesus he did leave saying, “I have never thought about Jesus before, thanks for giving me something to think about.”

I wonder, how much of our lives and testimonies lead others to think about Jesus? Do they encourage people to ‘wrestle’ with God?

– Athletes In Action (AIA) regularly sponsors events like these. AIA also raises up Christian leaders among the students who in turn reach other students with the good news of Jesus Christ. GLOW is pleased to partner with Gary Schmalz, Regional Director of AIA, in growing young leaders for Jesus! You can visit our AIA Gallery by clicking on the GLOW Ministries tab at the top of the page. Click on Donate if you’d like to partner with GLOW in supporting great ministries like AIA! Will you pray for college students who don’t know Jesus and those who are standing up for their faith and reaching their class mates?

Go Light Our World – Giving

In addition to the daily blog and active ministry work, Go Light Our World supports vital ministries with financial giving.

In Vetren, Bulgaria, one gift helped sponsor the first Public Christmas pageant since the fall of communism in that town. Gypsies who are segregated in that society were included in the pageant, along with the public. The mayor asked all the school children to attend with their families. When the children portraying Joseph and Mary walked into the auditorium carrying “the baby Jesus,” everyone attending spontaneously knelt down saying, “Hallelujah. Praise to God.” Another gift sponsored a child literacy program that continues to this day, with hopes of breaking the cycle of persecution and poverty. Related to this, another gift helped to sponsor the purchase of “Abraham’s Flock.” A sturdy stable was built, goats and chickens were purchased, in addition to a cherry tree grove. The gypsy children and their families are taught to work in the project, with a goal of having enough milk and eggs for all the children.

Esdenka enjoys a  hot meal - JosiasIn Cochabamba, Bolivia, children like Esdenka who have no running water receive a warm shower, a hot meal, Christian and academic literacy training, preventative health care, and of course worship and prayer support. GLOW also works to support and encourage healthy families in a land where many families experience dysfunction and abuse.

In New Orleans, GLOW has supported discipleship efforts to grow effective leaders who also can shine the light of Jesus where they live.

GLOW also supports AIA, Athletes in Action, across 29 college campuses. This region’s AIA mobilized 70 college students in missions across the globe in 2013.

You can partner with GLOW by praying and by giving. We have no paid staff so your financial gifts directly benefit those vital ministries in the USA and across the globe. ($50 for food or medicine buys $50 of these supplies.)

Click on the Donate link to learn how you can make a tax-deductible gift to Go Light Our World, by check, PayPal, or credit card. Choose between a one-time or recurring monthly gift and enjoy the satisfaction you experience when you Go Light Our World!