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Road to London via Egypt

December 30, 2011

Well I guess this could be one of our goals, London Olympics 2012, for Rwanda Taekwondo, but if you would have asked me the possibilities of that back in March I would have looked at you as if you had lost your mind.  But, here we are nine months later and next week I will leave Kigali, Rwanda, with two of our best players for a competition that will determine just that, whether or not we will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.

How did we get here?  We just kept taking the next step, that led us to the next step, and so on.  I have found in my years of following Jesus, that so often, God doesn’t show us the whole journey, or we, like the Israelites in the desert, would be too overwhelmed and we’d lose heart.  It seems, though, that he just asks us to take the next step, just one at a time.  So, let’s look at the steps over the course of this year that we’ve taken on our way to Egypt and possibly on to London.

January – We declared our desire to join the World Taekwondo Federation

March – We held our first Rwanda National Championships

April – We competed in the Chairman’s Cup Tournament in Mombasa, Kenya

May – We attended the World Taekwondo Championships in Gyeoung Ju, South Korea and were accepted into the World Taekwondo Federation

June – We tested twenty-two masters for advancement (all passed)

July – We were accepted to have two players compete in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique

September – We competed in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique

November – We hosted Burundi and won nine matches to two

December – We competed in the Uganda Open Taekwondo Championships and won nine medals with eleven players (3 gold, 2 silver, and 4 bronze)

Now here we are training and preparing for the London Olympic Qualification Tournament in Cairo, Egypt to be held from the 7th January until the 12th.  It has been a remarkable year and we continue to wonder what the next step will bring.  We are beginning to grow suspicious that God is up to something with all of this.  It was best stated by our players last week that they could truly see that God was with us or He would not have brought us so far in such a short time.

Of course, the end game, is not London, or even Rio in 2016.  The end game is, however, transformation.  What we see as a result of this last year, is the eyes of all the players opening to the workings of God in their lives.  As well, we see possibility and hope born in their hearts that their lives are of value.  And, as those lives are becoming infused with Jesus Christ we are seeing transformation, not just of the individual, but of the community, the family, of Taekwondo in Rwanda and ultimately of Rwanda itself.

None of this is what we planned or expected of our work in Rwanda, but we, too, find ourselves being filled with hope, that this bizarre working of God will result in deep redemption of a nation so desperate for healing and to triumph over the haunting history of genocide.

But, if we do go to London and compete, that won’t be so bad either!

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