Motor Racing Outreach Quarterly Report
During the late spring and early summer, MRO really gets into the rhythm of our race season, with chapel services, fan outreach and special events! We hope you enjoy reading about our activities as much as we enjoy sharing!
Billy Mauldin, CEO
Chapels and Special Events
Chapels at the track during the month of April found us finishing our study of the “Sermon on the Mount.” Verses such as Matthew 5:43-45 challenged us all: You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
At Texas we again had the opportunity to partner with Make-A-Wish, The NASCAR Foundation and Speedway Children’s Charities to help make a child’s dream come true. What is always amazing is the interest these families have in joining us for chapel. Seldom does one turn us down, and almost always, they mention and write later that it was a highlight of the weekend for them!
The Richmond race weekend was special as MRO, Prism Motorsports and National Day of Prayer teamed up to help raise awareness of this very important day. Michael McDowell was the driver of the Prism entry that carried the logo on its hood for National Day of Prayer. Unfortunately, being outside the top 35 in points, Michael wasn’t able to qualify the car for the race, but the attention it received in qualifying, through radio interviews and over the internet served well to help raise awareness of the importance to pray for our nation and its leaders.
Chapel at Darlington is always about our moms since it is held Mother’s Day weekend. With gifts and a chapel message to honor them, MRO made sure that the value their important roles in our lives is not only remembered the second Sunday in May but every day!
During the Dover race weekend we worked with two inner city schools from Philadelphia, Spruce Hill Christian School and City Center Academy. Headmaster Seth Cohen provided MRO a tour of the facilities and a chance to see up-close the ministry and education that is taking place in the lives of these children in grades 1-12. MRO also hosted Seth at the track where he opened chapel in prayer. We hope to have a choir from the school lead us in worship at a future chapel! You can learn more about these two special schools by visiting www.sprucehill.org and www.citycenteracademy.org.
Being at home for Charlotte race weeks is always busy and exciting. As a ministry we are presented some wonderful opportunities among the community, and this year was no exception. These included attendance at the grand opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and providing pre-race prayers for a number of the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge.
During Chapel for the Nationwide Series race in Charlotte we honored NNS Lead Chaplain Lonnie Clouse, and his wife, Angela, for their decade plus of service to the racing community. They are now embarking on a new ministry opportunity with Back2Back Ministries in Monterrey Mexico. MRO and the racing community thanked them for their care and love and presented them with a helmet signed by many in the community as reminder that we will be praying for them.
The Coca-Cola 600 is Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte and another big one for MRO. MRO was able host a class of students from the Naval Chaplaincy School at Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC. These men and women are preparing for deployment worldwide to serve as chaplains to those who serve in the US Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. As our guests, they were able to see our ministry team as we worked and attend chapel, where we recognized them for their service to our country as well as partners in ministry. Please pray for the men and women of our armed forces and also remember the thousands of chaplains serving them throughout the world.
The month of May found us working through Matthew chapter 6 in chapels. As we studied, we found ourselves reminded constantly of God’s commitment to care for us, as we in turn whole-heartedly trust in Him. With this understanding, the day-to-day “worries” we all wrestle with will become less and less important. If what we “treasure” above all else is our relationship with Him, then we have a treasure more valuable than any, and it cannot be stolen from us.
During Pocono week, MRO had the privilege of participating in the annual NASCAR Officials Golf Tournament to benefit the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund. This is one great event! It is a time when you really see firsthand what a “family” the NASCAR community really is. To all who put on this, event keep up the great work; see you at the track and you are in our prayers.
The 2010 Summer Shootout series kicked off June 8. Charlotte Motor Speedway again has allowed MRO to facilitate free tickets to area children’s homes and foster families. This year, the Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County has joined Barium Springs Home for Children, Nazareth Children’s Home and Church of God Children’s Home of NC as the recipients of these tickets. It is exciting to watch a child who has never been to a racing event see and hear these smaller cars race for the first time. They are amazed that some of the drivers are their ages and this is where they start their dream for a racing career.
This year Father’s Day fell on Infineon race weekend. In chapel, we looked closely at the story commonly referred to as “The Prodigal Son.” Our emphasis, however, was not on the son but on the words and the actions of the father. In this story, we can see clearly how our God, our Heavenly Father sees and responds to us, his children. For many, the experiences they have had with their earthly fathers have been painful and even nonexistent. To relate to a “Heavenly Father” is very difficult. In this story, told by Jesus, we see God for who he is as our Father, a loving, compassionate, caring and even celebratory Father when it comes to His children! We should really celebrate Father’s Day every day! (Mother’s do not shout me down! You should be celebrated every moment of our lives!)
MRO APPEALS TO THE TECHNO-SAAVY!
This quarter saw the launch of a new Facebook page, “Win with MRO and Focus on the Family!” where fans can register for the chance to be guests of MRO and Focus on the Family for the 2011 Daytona 500! June was the kick-off of our 10 on the 10th campaign! You can help support MRO by marking your calendar on the 10th of each month to text a donation of $10 to MRO simply by texting MRO to 20222. You have already read much with regard to what your donation helps us accomplish. In addition, your donation helps us provide the materials that are mentioned in this update…(By the way… you do not have to wait until the 10th to text your donation… please do so whenever you would like!)
OUTREACH EFFORTS SERVING THE FANS INCLUDES 100’s OF VOLUNTEERS
45 MRO Ambassadors volunteered their services for five days during the Charlotte Motor Speedway race weeks in May. Collectively, they worked approximately 937 hours offering their assistance to the staff and guests at the track. The temperatures were very hot, so many fans ended up dehydrated and overheated. The Ambassadors escorted guests to care centers, assisted mothers with young children, helped resolve ticketing issues, and/or escorted physically challenged guests from their cars to the track and/or to their seats. No matter what the situation our Ambassadors confronted, the love of God shown through them and they made someone’s day better. Our Ambassadors took something with a potentially negative impact and made it a positive experience for those involved; this extra touch is what brings the fans back to this track and others!
In addition, several ministry groups (local churches) offered their assistance and hospitality to the campers. A total of 243 people volunteered their help in 8 adjoining campgrounds at CMS. These individuals gave approximately 7900 hours of their personal time to make the fans’ visit more enjoyable. These ministry groups provided information, family-oriented/child friendly activities/games, concerts, meals, chapel services and a safe haven throughout the two weeks of racing. Together, they served 7971 plates of food and 1345+ gallons coffee, water, and lemonade; they also distributed 25,000+ pieces of outreach materials that MRO provided to them to share.
In a re-cap of their outreach efforts, one of our campground ministry groups stated that the campers kept asking "Why do you guys do this for us every year - and how?" This was the perfect question; the message the pastor had prepared for chapel was entitled "Why We Do This For You." They asked, and God had already prepared an answer for them as the pastor shared about Jesus calling Levi. Jesus goes to where the people are, and He calls them right there where they live, work, and play. He is not afraid to be called a "friend of sinners" because He came "not for those who think they are healthy, but for those who know they need help." Real Help, Real Hope, for Real People.
VOLUNTEERS GET THE MESSAGE OUT AMONG THE FANS
Over the past three months, 1668 individuals have registered at the various tracks for a chance to win a trip to the 2011 Daytona 500 race and to request further information and materials from our ministry partner Focus on the Family. Additionally, MRO has provided the local Raceway Ministries groups at the tracks with racing related outreach material. During April, May and June, we have distributed:
41,900 - I Am Second Pamphlets
23,700 - Driver Testimony Cards
2,000 - Our Daily Bread Devotionals
22,200 - Focus on the Family Race Schedules
3,240 - Zondervan’s Stock Car Racing Edition Bible Samplers
Consider how you may use these in your local community to connect with race fans.
MRO chaplains selected and distributed favorite books at chapels during April and May. Sprint Cup Chaplain Tim Griffin chose Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons; Nationwide Series Chaplain Lonnie Clouse chose The Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns.