Kialie and Bradford grew up in inner-city Atlanta. He was a straight-A student, but Kialie’s ADHD made school difficult. During their freshman year of high school, they bonded over two things: basketball and the gospel. They met at a local church’s Family Life Center, which hosted a community basketball league. Soon, Bradford and Kialie were spending all the time they could at either the church or the church gym, being coached by the pastor.
One evening, Kialie came home with her eyes shining and told her parents about a man named Christ who called her fearfully and wonderfully made. In the months to follow, her parents were astounded as their shy, insecure daughter blossomed into a confident young woman who befriended everyone she met, including Bradford. He liked Kialie, but he liked the change he saw in her more. So, after church one Sunday, he took the pastor aside and told him he was tired of pretending to be perfect. He was tired of performing for his teachers, his friends, and his parents, and he wanted to know if this Jesus could possibly love him as he was.
Kialie and Bradford were baptized on the same Sunday, and the day after graduation, Bradford proposed. They married and started college, but halfway through their kinesiology degrees, Kialie began to wonder if Atlanta was really the place they were called to live. And so, after many late-night talks and fervent prayers, the same pastor who coached them and baptized them led their church in prayer over them on their last Sunday in America. Today their gym is outdoors, and they call plays in a different language, but the sports outreach program they lead is just like the one where they met Christ in high school.