A Beautiful Community

A Beautiful Community
John Burgess and Hannah Hocutt

A Beautiful Community - this phrase was used repeatedly to describe ICSB during the Winter Classic. Every visiting school's coach and administrator I spoke with had nothing but glowing reviews of the 2024 Winter Classic.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

Many of the experienced coaches told me that it was the absolute best tournament they had ever participated in. They were impressed with the organization of the event, but they were even more impressed with the welcoming atmosphere that the ICSB parents, students, and staff created.

For a school that has one of its core values as “community,” it was wonderful to see all the fellowship within the community as well as efforts to build community with those from outside our school. One of my focuses was to provide opportunities for our student-athletes to build relationships with student-athletes from other schools. While I did witness this, I was also praying for God to take this tournament as His own, and I witnessed this as well.

crowd in a gym
A Place of Ministry

While everyone was focused on the players on the court, God provided many opportunities for ministry in our coaches’ Hospitality Area. Hannah Hocutt, Amy Leamon, and Eszter Bálint spent most of their time in this area on the balcony, connecting with coaches from other teams. Hannah says, “It was definitely a place of ministry because we saw firsthand some of the lostness and heaviness these people were carrying – without the hope of Jesus.”

Amy Leamon had many opportunities to spend one-on-one time with a few coaches. She was able to share her faith story and talk a lot about the hope we have in Jesus. Relationships were formed that will hopefully lead to further conversations about the Lord.

people looking out
A Genuine Thank You

So many coaches and administrators were baffled at how kind, caring, and encouraging our players, coaches, and fans were. I want to thank everyone in our community for your role in creating this welcoming, festive environment. It is easy for us to forget how special our school community is and how blessed we are by it. This weekend reminded me that I’m surrounded and supported by a beautiful community of believers, and I’m so thankful that the Lord continues to move in this place.

crowd in a gym

Photos: Yulia Beatty


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