On February 10, the MSU Bears played the Illinois State Redbirds and John Q. Hammons Arena hosted MSU’s first Rebound Challenge game. Tickets were sold for $5 and spectators could sit anywhere. Announced attendance was 6,507, which is the largest crowd of the season to date. But, with less than two minutes in the game, Missouri State trailed by 6 and fans started leaving.
At a baseball game, you don’t leave until after the third out in the bottom of the 9th inning.
At a basketball game, you don’t leave until after the final buzzer.
“My mom turned to me and said, ‘Miracles still happen,” Christina Ford said. “We were standing watching the game from the concourse. I had to leave the table.”
Christina is the president of the Rebound Foundation. She had watched most of the game while distributing information about the organization which started because of a God-given, dream-story similar to that of Joseph in the Bible.
“I never pictured this is what I would be doing. After the dream and confirmation with my mom, I started thinking about it in 2015. It became an official non-profit in 2016 with the first rebound game in 2017. For so long, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just taking baby steps, I was trying to be prepared for when the time was right.”
The Rebound Foundation raises money and awareness to give women who have suffered from domestic abuse a fresh start by providing transitional housing.
“When we finally opened the first house, I knew I wasn’t crazy.”
Almost three years passed between the dreaming and coming true. At the end of those three years, Christina and her family moved to Springfield because her husband got a position as the new head coach for the MSU Bears men’s basketball team. Five weeks after moving, Christina gave birth to their fourth child, a baby boy.
Even through the unsettled stress of transitions, Christina kept moving forward with the work of the foundation.
“It took a lot of small steps and a strong faith. I couldn’t give up. What would happen to the women who needed a safe space? To keep going doing this kind of mission work, you must have passion, you must have faith. And Springfield is a community that really wants to improve. They have embraced us and our mission.”
There are now two Rebound Foundation homes in Springfield. Over the course of six months to a year, the women who live in these homes receive the gift of time to start the healing process without having the burdens of trying to figure out how to live.
“We want to give them that time to heal from the trauma and focus on answering the question, ‘What do I want to do with my life?’”
All money donated to the foundation goes into the homes, helping the women get a fresh start at life.
With 7 seconds left on the clock, the Bears tipped the ball on the inbounds play which led to a frenetic scramble and ended with a last-second, half-court, buzzer-beater for the win that I’ve since watched about 50 or 100 times.
“As soon as the ball went in, my mom fell over. It was pure madness,” Christina said. “Days later, I was still watching the highlight and reading other people’s reactions. I finally had to make myself stop watching it.”
The miracles-still-happen game raised almost $12,000 which will be used to bring miracles in the lives of women who have suffered from domestic violence.
In the cold and wind and drizzly gross and highly unpredictable Missouri winter weather, Christina and I postponed today’s game of catch.
The good news about not playing catch every day is the joyful freedom of taking a rain check.