Wrestling - Moldova
Yesterday was our last real day of camp. To celebrate we took the wrestlers to the new local pool! The younger kids went in the morning, while the older kids practiced. Then they swapped places for the afternoon. It was hilarious to see them take over the whole pool area. And of course, the wrestling continued in the pool as did the crazy acrobatics. We may have broken every American pool rule. Good thing we were in Moldova! The teams had fun playing around in the water, playing ping pong and throwing Stephen, Yuri, Bataa and Aslan in the pool.
Yesterday was also my birthday and this team made it very special for me. The Korliuks sang me "Happy Birthday" in English and the team took me to lunch and got me my favorite snacks.
For the evening program we played a game of tail tag and then had a great message by Stephen and Yuri. Then the chaos ensued when we handed out t-shirts to the teams. It's always crazy, but fun to watch the kids get super excited about their new shirts.
The trading begins immediately and of course, everyone puts on their new shirt. We took a big camp photo with the new shirts and then Stephen had everyone sing to me. It definitely made this birthday special.
Today was weigh-in day. We had no morning exercise!!! We slept in, which was much needed, and headed to the school after breakfast for a workout. The American wrestlers worked out for a little and then weighed in. Both made weight easily and are ready for tomorrow's tournament. The tournament will be in Guidar, the village where Coach Valeri has his ministry, which I shared about earlier.
We had the afternoon off so some of us relaxed and some of us went with Stephen into the city center. Those fortunate people happened to stumble upon the "History of Gaguzia" museum and Stephen was more than happy to take them inside.
We had our last Bible study as a team before dinner. We talked about all the things we are called to do in our Christian walk that are difficult and/or counter to our human nature. We discussed how Jesus lived these things out and how we can accomplish them in our lives.
For evening program we played a camp favorite "Hunter, Bear, Woman". It's a charades version of Rock Paper Scissors and the kids love it! For the message tonight Stephen asked me to speak. I chose to speak about grace from the passage in Ephesians 2:4-10. It was truly a blessing to share what God has been putting on my heart with these wrestlers who are so dear to me.
After evening program we had a special "Coaches Dinner". The local Gagauz coaches butchered a sheep this morning to make the Moldovan national dish called Shorpa. It's a sheep stew that cooks all day and the meat just falls off the bone. They set up tables under the tree outside and it was a great time of community, food and fellowship. The perfect way to end our week of camp.
Tomorrow will be our tournament with wrestlers from all 6 countries represented, we would appreciate your prayers for logistics, travel and safety. As well as for the sharing of Gid's word that will take place. That the hearts and minds of the people would be open to hearing God.
-Ashlee for the team
Read more about Wrestling - Guatemala