Crystal Ballentyne (’07)

February, 2020

 

Update on Crystal’s Journey

 

February 2020
Crystal’s Journey
“Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”
Can’t every do a normal family photo with this group!!  We have 3 girls who were in my parents dorm two years ago living with us this year.  It has been a blessing having them here. I have enjoyed playing the role of big sister, chauffeur, and so many more.
Aunt Sue was a prayer warrior and supporter of mine. She was in the same mission as my family and also worked at Faith as the guidance counsellor. I remember I would always go to her office after school to get candy and say hi.  She passed away this past December 15.  It is sad but I am also grateful knowing there is another angel looking out for me from above.
The family is finally all together for the holidays after two years of being apart. Loved having my brother with us for Christmas!
Ash from when Taal Volcano erupted. We are about 100 km away from it.  Schools in Manila were cancelled due to all the ash!
One of our many outings.  I have gotten to know these two very well so it is always a blessing when we spend time together even though the basketball season is over.
Team photo after our first game of the season!

ATENEO

My ministry at Ateneo had its ups and downs. Our season ended with us finishing sixth out of eight teams. We had many close games where we lost by a few points. So that was a definite frustration as we had a solid team with amazing athletes. Over the year I was able to connect with many of the girls on not only their basketball skills but also their spiritual side as well.  My role as a coach was to focus on the post players so I got to know two of the girls on the team very well, Mel and Zoe. Even though I am not at Ateneo now as the season is over but I am still involved. We have started a Monday basketball open gym followed with a Bible study with many of the players. Mel, Zoe and I try and get together once a week to hangout.

MAIDENS HOOPS

I joined a basketball team here and it has been a lot of fun. The league is called Maidens Hoops and it is with previous UAAP (the university league) players. A few players on the team were my teammates when I played at Ateneo. The sports world is a huge ministry here that needs God’s love. I’ve found that many girls on our team and teams we play against have a negative view of Christians for one reason or another. It’s crazy how God puts us in situations where we are unsure we want to be in but through that is when He uses us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Some girls have reached out to me to ask why I’m not like the Christians they know. It’s opened up their heart to learn more about God. It’s a slow process but good things comes to those who are patient. I’m continuing to trust God in using me to share his love to them both on and off the court.

FAITH 

I’ve been unofficially involved in the athletics department at Faith while I was also working at Ateneo. It has been rewarding to be able to use what I’ve learned at Ateneo to help at Faith. Several students had asked if I would work with them on their basketball skills. Once a week I would work with several of them on their skills during their off season. I also would do strength and conditioning workouts with a few of them after school.  I also started the Faith Athletics Instagram last school year and I loved using it to empower the students. Some struggle with academics but excel in athletics but see themselves as “dumb”. I never would have imagined the effect this would have on so many students. It has been a rewarding experience to give so many of them the encouragement and empowerment through recognizing them for their skills and talents outside the academic world.

Unfortunately there is still politics when it comes to Faith and my family. There is some admin who have planned out my life for me but that’s not where God has been directed me. So for now the door at Faith Academy is closed which breaks my heart but at the same time God has opened up more doors. Feel free to ask me any questions regard the issues at Faith:)

COACHES TEAM INTERNATIONAL/EAST ASIA ELITE

God’s timing is perfect in every single way! I’ve been asked to join with CTI as the female coach. It’s an organization that uses sports to get into closed countries. I have the opportunity this next week to go to the Maldives and run their first ever all female basketball camp. I’m excited and nervous as it is a Muslim country and we can’t openly share about God. This will be the second time CTI has been asked to go to the Maldives even though they know it is a Christian organization. This will give us opportunities to make connections and Lord willing invite some of these young athletes to be apart of the summer basketball tour we will be hosting in the Philippines where we can openly share God’s word with them.
God has opened this door to CTI but I have been hesitant to walk through it but he keeps opening it even wider.  I’ve decided to do the Maldives trip to see if this is where God wants me.

Dorm 2 reunion…the remain dormies from when my parents were dorm parents. Always a good time being all together again.
CTI team. We all work in different areas in Asia. One is the Athletic Director at Dalat (MK school in Malaysia) one works in Korea and now two of us work in the Philippines.
Playing basketball in the league I am a part of.
Family on my mom’s side together for Christmas.  It is always nice having extended family near by for the holidays!
This amazing girl just graduated in December. I have taught, coached, mentored and have become a big sister to her over the past 4 years.  She holds a special place in my heart. Please keep her in your prayers as she felt very hurt by situations in her life that God has allowed to happen.  She is still finding her way back to him.

PRAISE
  • The continued opportunity to work with the athletes at Ateneo
  • The good relationship with the girls on the basketball team at Ateneo
  • My parents who have never given up on me 
  • For each one of you who continue to support me every day.  I know that without you what I do would not be possible. You have been apart of impacting so many lives!
  • God keeps opening up door the door to be apart of CTI
PRAYER
  • Peace and direction on if CTI is the door God wants me to go through
  • Spiritual healing for Faith Academy
  • Opportunities to share and be a witness to the girls on the basketball team
  • For my trip to the Maldives that it would go smooth and open more doors 
  • For each of you and the ministries you are apart of!