Arriving home in the early morning hours after a long road trip with the Atlanta Flames, NHL 50 goal scorer and Atlanta team captain had one further goal in mind...sleep in! Unfortunately, his darling wife, Diane, had other plans for Jean; spending time with their two boys. Home alone for upwards of a week at a time while her husband was winning games on the road she wanted her hockey star husband awake and helping to care for their very active boys. She developed an ingenious game plan; early morning house cleaning. This routinely played out like this: Clunk the vacuum up the long set of steps being careful to carom it off each foot of wall on the way up...bang open the bedroom door... set the vacuum at super high...and sing sweet melodies as she methodically thrashed the noise- making machine around, under and even over the athlete’s bed. Time after time the strategy worked. Grumpy Jean got his wake-up call.
But one fine day everything was different...his door was gently closed...Diane tiptoed her way around the house and the kids quietly ate their breakfast. The eerie silence spooked the star. Suddenly wide- awake he cautiously approached his dear wife as to what was happening. Her answer stunned him: “Jean, I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. He has changed my life. Everything is different now.” After the trade from Pittsburgh to Atlanta he had told his wife to stay away from the Kea lady and her Bible study group. Jean himself had been warned about the Kea lady’s husband, the huge Atlanta Flame’s defenseman, Ed Kea who was a Jesus freak. It suddenly dawned on him; the very thing he feared had just happened. Diane’s curiosity had gotten the best of her. She had decided to check out the Kea lady and her Christian group attended by a few other Flames and NFL Falcon’s wives. They met in the Brown family mansion. And, believe it or not, she had become “one of them”.
So what was captain Jean supposed to do now? This was a huge dilemma...But, God was at work...He was overwhelmed by the changes in his wife and two sons (Eric and Marty). As well, despite the warnings from his teammates about big Ed Kea, Jean had secretly been very impressed with the peace he observed in Eddie’s life; a peace that he did not have despite all his success in the game. Encouraged by Diane to check out the Bible for himself, he took up the book and thoughtfully began to read. His heart was stirred: “Soon my decision came down to this: either begin trusting Christ, or go my own way and let Diane go hers. Realizing I was a sinner who God wanted to save through His grace alone, I decided to accept Jesus Christ. New hope and joy came into my life.”
Jean was traded to Washington where he lived out his faith on and off the ice. His genuine concern for his teammates was evidenced by his coming alongside Mike Gartner and helping him to become one of the best right wingers in the history of the NHL. As well, the Pronovosts passionately shared Christ with fellow players and their families. They opened their home for Bible studies and had the joy of seeing several teammates experience the joy of establishing a personal relationship with Christ; Wes Jarvis, Ryan Walter and Mike Gartner to name some of them. And who can measure the impact of the lives of these former Washington Capitals over the last 30 years?
Jesus said: “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)