Pressing On Since 1960

Our Story is HIS Story

“For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage: they shall share alike.” I Samuel 30:24

1954-59 - Jim Gordon Christian Service Assignment:

It all began when Jim attended BIOLA College in Los Angeles, California. Not one for the “norm”, he rounded up some baseball minded friends and BIOLA students. Off they went to Baja California, Mexico to play baseball on the sandlots of Tijuana and there share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Jim and his friends challenged many locals to games and each time after a couple of innings, Jim gathered everyone together and had his translator, Phil Guerena, explain the Gospel—who Jesus Christ was, how He came, died and rose from the dead so that we could all have forgiveness of our sins and spend eternity with Him. The children were stunned, and the parents, from their porches, readily accepted literature that was given out, as they listened to a “ballplayer” share the word of God. This was the first of many trips to Mexico.

Jim Gordon ready to share the Gospel

Planning Sports Evangelism strategy

1960 - Youth Enterprises Inc.

Since the first trip in 1954, Jim returned many times to Mexico. He helped establish churches and always shared the Gospel. On April 1, 1960 Youth Enterprises Inc. was founded in Los Angeles, California. Youth Enterprises Inc. was the beginning sharing God's story through sports; thus sports evangelism was born. Jim along with his wife Diane, daughter Joleen and son David began to learn Spanish by attending La Escuela de Lenguas in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Original Youth Enterprises, Inc. Logo

Jim Gordon

An international salute before competition

1961-65 - Camps were born

God's faithfulness continued to shine as churches are planted throughout the Sierra Juarez Mountains. The Centros Juveniles Mexicanos (Mexican Youth Center or CJM) was incorporated in 1964. Camp Aqua Viva (Living Water) was established in 1965. Many local campers enjoyed attending camp and the CJM. It even caught the attention of some professional athletes. Felipe Alou, former MLB player attended and shared his testimony at CJM events.

Mike Nichols, center, with 2 fellow C.J.M players

Felipe Alou presents Youth Club officers with autographed baseball while Tijuana Youth Club presents Alou a port-folio of press clippings about his visit and his message to Tijuana.

Camp Agua Viva (Living Water) flyer

1966-67 - First Organized Teams

The first organized basketball and softball teams traveled to three states in Mexico. They ministered in universities, communities, sandlots, and wherever they were welcomed. Foreigners were not allowed to share Jesus Christ. The law stated that only Mexican clergy could preach, but only with permission. A new strategy was adopted, and thus the name Youth Enterprises, Inc. was changed to Sports & Cultural Exchange, Int’l. (SCEI) in foreign countries. Our Christian faith was a vital part of our culture and was acceptable in that context.
Other sports teams including baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, judo and soccer ministries began to form and serve throughout Mexico. We partnered with other organizations to grow our foundation of sports evangelism such as Overseas Crusades' (now called OC International) Sports Ambassadors. We sent our first women's basketball team to Mexico.

Baseball team prays before a game

Bob Hutchins in Judo Exhibition

New Sports and Cultural Exchange International logo

1968-1972 - Olympics in Mexico City

The Olympics opened up another opportunity for ministry. Jim began putting together specific sports ministries in as many international sports events as possible. God allowed SCEI to minister in 65 countries. He challenged Christians and churches everywhere to use this platform of sports to appeal to unbelievers.

Opening scenes from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico

Founders Jim and Diane Gordon sporting the SCEI logo

This scene in Ciudad Obregon is representative of the sports fever in Mexico for the 1968 Olympics

1973-1976 - Skydiving Ken

SCEI took a soccer team to Mexico knowing it was no match for the Latin American soccer players. Sports officials were told up-front that the team was there to learn from them. They were thrilled and accepted our challenge. A skydiver named Ken Small, asked Jim if he could go and minister with the team. It was perfect. Half-time came and our friend Ken skydived into the center of the field with a message and gospel literature. The crowd all stayed around to hear. God was teaching us that skydiving, athletic ability, musical talent, medical expertise, computers, and construction gifts could all be used to glorify God and build His kingdom.

In 1974, Jim Gordon and Jim Gove talking over plans for the new 35 plus ministry with Steve Romero. This new ministry is targeted at reaching business and professional men in Mexico.

1977-1983 - India and beyond

SCEI Men and Women's Tennis teams were invited to India by the son of the Chief of Police in Madras. The teams traveled to many places sharing the Word in India.

Map of the worldwide missions before the expansion into India and other countries.

1984-1989 - World Wide Connections

SCEI continued to make foreign connections throughout Europe, Central America, and Asia.

We invited the Korean Hallelujah Soccer Team to minister in Mexico with us. The testimonies from the soccer field were in Korean translated in English for Jim to translate into Spanish. The ministry was a true blessing and learning experience. This trip was also to get the Mexican Soccer team ready for the World Cup.

SCEI was invited to Cuba by Pastor Ernesto Alfonso. We carried bibles, food and so much more to spread God's love.

We were invited by the Korean Sports Federation to attend the ’88 Korea Olympics. Another opportunity to share Jesus Christ, though the churches there are doing a great job!

The head of the Pakistan Army invited us with open arms and would pay all expenses. However, we could not mention Jesus Christ! We continue to pray for those who need to hear of God's Grace.

In 1988, Cuban pastor Ernest Alfonso, David Gordon, missionaries Noemi and Enrique, Patty and Pastor Harry Larson and Pastor Cliff Daffron while making exploratory trip to Cuba.

1990-1999 - Professional athletes joins the ministry

SCEI continued to grow its connection world-wide and into the professional athletics world. Many professional athletes from the MLB and NFL joined in oversees ministries to teach their beloved sport and share the gospel.

Sam Rutigliano, former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, was a clinic director.

American Football clinic organizers, Jim, Gordon, Lic. Carlos Montes, and NFL player, Norm Evans.

Jim Zorn, seven year starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, demonstrates passing techniques to Mexican coaches.

1999 - Jim Gordon Passes

Co Founder Jim Gordon passed from this life to his eternal home with his Lord and Savior in November 1999. Jim set the ministry up for great success and his legacy continues to impact lives. David Gordon, Jim’s eldest son, was voted in as president of SCEI’s all-volunteer board of directors.

Co-Founder Jim Gordon enters Heaven

David Gordon becomes the President of SCEI.

Three generations of SCEI - David Gordon, Jim Gordon and John Gordon

2000-2015 - Making Moves

While serving as President David Gordon heart, vision and passion led SCEI through many phases of growth and change. They not only took hundreds of people on short term missions but also began adding career missionaries in international locations such as Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. SCEI's focus narrowed to Latin American countries, Central America , South America and the Caribbean.

SCEI moved its international headquarters to Tennessee in 2000. Then in 2014 the headquarters moved to its current location in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Once in Florida, the Lord laid on our hearts and our missionaries to offer the opportunity for summer internships. Our summer internships live with our foreign missionaries and learn how to serve the Lord with hands on experience for approximately two months.

Basketball group

Add old intern photo if we have one.

2015-2020 - Rebranding

The name Sports & Cultural Exchange International was simplified to Sport X Change International. This same year, we humbly celebrated 55 years of God’s amazing grace in Sport X Change and 44 years of sports evangelism. “To God be the Glory, Great Things He has Done.” We give praise to our Heavenly Father for the saints that He touched—those who supported us in prayer, in finances, and with words of encouragement.

In 2020, we celebrated 60 years of God's faithfulness!

Diane Gordon sharing the gospel during a clinic

A new logo was designed for the rebranding


We continue to be amazed at all plans God provides. We are able to take multiple short-term ministry groups out through the years. Based on His faithfulness we have been able to expand our sports groups and other types of ministries. We have taken out dental groups who offered free dental cleanings to the locals.

A group in Mexico

Panama interns enjoy San Blas

Dental group offers free dental cleanings to the locals.