Aug26MonAugust 26, 2013
Marc Andre Bourdon already has an impressive resume for such a young hockey player. Drafted by Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL in the 4th round when he was 16 directly from midget Espoir Eclaireurs du Richelieu, he played 3 seasons with the Huskies wearing the “C” in his last 2. At the end of the 2009 season, he was traded to Rimouski for a Memorial Cup run.
In 2008, he was drafted in the third round, 67th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL. Since then, He has played in the ECHL with the Greenville Road Warriors, the AHL with the Adirondack Phantoms, and the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers.
This is his story….
Drafted in the 3d round by Philadelphia, I was demoted to Greenville, South Carolina in the ECHL at the end of my second professional season. There were a few Christians on the team and it seemed like everyone was going to chapel, so I decided to go. I didn’t want to be the only kid that wasn’t attending; plus there was a free meal so it was a bonus for me. I didn’t pay much attention to that first chapel, but I do remember the chaplain speaking about John Vanbiesbrouck’s story and how he and his wife came back together with the help of God.
The way I lived my life did not change much that summer. I just kept living the same way I had always done. The next season there were a couple of a couple of good friends and teammates from Greenville’s team played on Philly’s AHL team in Adirondack with me. They attended chapels and liked the program so I joined them and began to look into my faith a little more deeply. I read a few things here and there in the Bible and began paying closer attention in chapel. That’s where the seed was really planted but it was only a beginning. Our chaplain, Joe Bounvino and his family would invite players to dinner and he always brought a meal for the guys who attended chapels. He taught us about God and the Bible.
After 14 games that season I got called up to the NHL as an emergency call up and ended up staying in Philadelphia for the reminder of the season. I found myself praying more and more. During this time I met Dan Edwards, the chapel leader for any interested players on the Flyers. It turned out I was the only one. Dan and I became good friends throughout the season. He would drive an hour and a half just to spend a few minutes with me to talk about God and the Bible. Believe me; Dan Edwards is busy with work and family and I thought it was a little crazy at first but I enjoyed meeting with him. It was still all about me in my life so I didn’t care. Really, as long as I was getting something out of it, I was happy. Dan gave me a copy of HMI’s Hockey Players’ New Testament, a Bible for hockey players. It has a few testimonies of different hockey players including: Shane Doan, David Booth, Mike Fisher and a few other professional players. I thought to myself, “wait a minute,” some guys with big names in the NHL believe in God and proclaim their faith openly. It was a big tap on the back for me to start digging into my faith more and more. Dan was great with chapels; his way of putting everything into perspective was and is still amazing. This ended up being a huge step towards the God found in the Bible for me.
It’s a hard thing to explain God’s role in guiding a non-believer to become a believer. So Dan made me understand that the only way to get to heaven and to be a true believer is to get to know and acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Savior. I understood that I had to get to know God and have a relationship with Him. The best way for this to happen, in my opinion, is the way he suggested; read the Bible. The seeds planted in the ECHL and AHL chapels began to grow in me and bear fruit, and I became a Christian, accepted Jesus into my heart after reading the New Testament. It touched me and I felt like that’s where I belonged and that’s what I wanted to model my life after. I learned some important things during my journey towards Christianity. Here are two of the most important things:
- For people wondering about or doubting the Lord. First of all, you can knock on your neighbor’s door for months, if he doesn’t open it you won’t get in. God is knocking on your door every day and I’m sure everyone can think of an opportunity they had to open the door. If you don’t give it a shot you can never receive him.
- Second of all, a seed doesn’t grow without some kind of watering. I watered and I am still watering my faith daily with the Bible, it’s an important thing to do because if you don’t your crops or your faith will die.