PHOTOS BY HYPERSLOTH

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 
– 2 Corinthians 9:6

BY MIKE FUHRMAN

When Jeff and Natalie Storment answered their calling to start a youth sports ministry in Statesville, they were led by their faith and a desire to transform lives and save souls.

On Tuesday evening, the Storments felt “pure joy” as they watched dozens of boys race onto the new Power Cross football field during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included a flyover.

The turf field was paid for by an anonymous donor after the Power Cross board showed its support for the project.

“Once we put our feet in the water,” Jeff said, “God parted the sea.”

The facility upgrade will provide the Power Cross football teams with badly needed space for practice and a first-class playing surface for home games.

It’s a major milestone in the history of Power Cross and in the lives of the players.

“It gives them a sense of ownership,” Director of Operations Cory Knight said. “They see someone investing in them. This doesn’t happen everywhere.”

The investment is already paying dividends, Natalie said. The facility upgrade has led to 18 new boys signing up for the ministry in recent weeks.

“The field is just an extra tool, an extra bait to draw kids into the ministry to share the love of Christ,” she said.

Football — along with baseball, basketball and wrestling — is a huge part of what happens at Power Cross after school each day. There’s also homework help and dinner.

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But the most important thing that happens at the campus off West Front Street is relationship building. More than 80 percent of the boys served by the ministry come from homes without a present father, Knight said.

Through their daily interaction with the Power Cross coaches, staff and volunteers, the boys learn and see what it means to be a man who can be a good husband, father and citizen.

The end goal, Knight said, is leading the boys “to the ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The sports ministry, which currently serves about 185 boys, has a 100 percent high school graduation rate. Many of the early participants are now college graduates, and some are married with children of their own.

Being part of that transformation for the past 15 years has been a rewarding journey for the Storments.

“Power Cross could burn down tomorrow, or they could move to California and not have Power Cross, but they would still have Jesus,” Jeff said.

The Storments don’t take credit for the success of their ministry — which they started in their home with a few boys and has expanded to campuses in Statesville and Salisbury.

“God has blessed us in so many ways,” Jeff said, “and we’re thankful for it.”

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