International Athletic Ministries was instituted largely upon Paul’s desire to present young people with the gospel. He had been involved with Hockey Ministries International as a dry land training instructor and always dreamed of taking his son to camp. One problem, Ben hated hockey. So the sports camps were developed around Ben’s interest in baseball, basketball, soccer, and football.
In the early years, the Christian Sports camps allowed IAM Ministries to provide exceptional athletic training at an affordable cost. Most importantly, life long memories were formed as families were reached with the gospel of Christ.
The IAM Ministries Gala Event and Dinner was both a fundraising and evangelism event. The first event was held in 2002 with an attendance of one hundred people. Over the next six years attendance at the event grew to two hundred and fifty people and remained at that number because that was the capacity of the room. Paul did not want this event to look like the average church supper. Not that he had anything against church suppers. He always felt that ministry was being about the business of the King of Kings and should always be done in an upscale way to the best of our ability. So, he wanted to host the event in a nice hotel or venue where people of all backgrounds would feel comfortable. In order to accommodate those that may not be able to afford the price of admission, a number of individuals and business people purchased tickets to be given away. People came to the event each year from very diverse geographical areas as some made the trip from every province in Canada and there even were some regular attendees from the northeastern states of Maine and Massachusetts.
Today IAM Ministries continues to hold regular gatherings and we are very excited about our newest venture IAM ABLE.
IAM ABLE is a division of IAM Ministries that reaches out to persons living with disabilities their families, friends and other interested people. The ministry aims to help individuals discover their worth in God’s Kingdom. A number of months ago Paul was walking down the street and met a gentleman in a wheel chair. His name, Chris Burlingame. After introducing themselves to each other, Paul invited Chris to dinner and a movie later that month.
Since that first encounter, Paul and Chris have invited many others to join them for dinner and a movie. This Ministry has grown to have an international presence in both Canada and the USA. As Paul will tell you it is a Luke 14 Kingdom Venture, simply going out into the streets extending the invitation for people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences to be part of Gods Kingdom Celebration.