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Rwanda Taekwondo’s First European Tour and discipleship to Jesus

April 13, 2013

In March we took the top four competitors from Rwanda in Taekwondo, one woman and three men, to compete in the German and Dutch Opens.  Supporters of our work in the U.S. had given us enough money for travel and accommodations, we made the arrangements, and the next thing we knew we were in Hamburg, Germany preparing to compete against countries from all over the world.  Each of the opens had around one thousand competitors and in many ways is more like a World Championships preview than the level of competition we experience in East Africa.  There were many first experiences for our team.  In Hamburg it actually snowed ten inches.  I had a tough time getting them in their beds the night before the competition as they wanted to watch it fall through the evening lights.  It was the first time for many of them to leave East Africa.  It was the first time for any of them to compete on the world stage.  It was the first time for them to win matches on the world stage (sorry no medals this time).  It was the first time to experience nonAfrican cultures and of course foods.  It was the first time for them to see an art museum (yes one of the players almost touched a van Gogh! – I caught her hand just in time).  It was the first time for them to ride in a boat as we did the canal tour in Amsterdam.  It was the first time for them to see buildings older than their country.  It was also the first time for them begin to see how God can use them to encourage their country of Rwanda.  The press was so excited about our trip that they did an airport press conference before we departed.  Many firsts and also many challenges.  Everything was faster, stronger, and smarter than any competition they had ever experienced.  Because they were unranked, most had to play the best in the world in each of their divisions.  Everything was more expensive.  One of the players commented that the meal our team just ate was equal to three months of their rent for their apartment.  It was a good thing they didn’t see the hotel bills!  Everyone competed well at least once and we realized how close we really are to winning on the highest levels.  Beyond all of that, though, there was Jesus.  He was in our every conversation.  He was in our every competition.  He was in our every situation.  His praise fell from our lips in victory and defeat alike.  And, the team brought him back with them.  In just one week after our return an additional player, who is also the East African Champion for his division asked if we would teach him how to be a disciple of Jesus.  How does the Kingdom grow?  I am not really sure, but I do know God will use all who are willing and He has chosen to use the sport of Taekwondo to grow it in Rwanda.  It is about being a disciple of Jesus and teaching others to be his disciples too.  Please continue to pray that God will raise up disciples through Taekwondo in Rwanda and use them to heal and reconcile their land.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda Carey permalink
    April 13, 2013 5:11 pm

    VERY COOL!!!!!!!

    Sent from my iPad

  2. glimpses@imap.mail.rcn.net permalink
    April 13, 2013 8:10 pm

    Marty- how wonderful and exciting! Thanks for sharing this wonderful report. God bless you and yours. Marilyn McDermett Original Message:

  3. Sanna Teer permalink
    April 13, 2013 8:30 pm

    What a wonderful adventure for them! God is good.

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