Wrestling - Mongolia

  • Day one of the tournament.

    Section: Wrestling

    Today was a beautiful day here in UB, Mongolia.

    We all went out for an early morning run up to the top of mountain, probably about 4-5 miles. At the top of the mountain was a shrine to Buddha (Mongolian Buddhism is more like shamanism) and a shrine to the shaman spirits. While we were up there we prayed for the people of Mongolia. We prayed that they would be able to experience the freedom of following Christ and that He would release them from many of the fears they encounter daily. For example, they never compliment their children here because they believe the spirits will see that and take their children from them. They even dress the young boys up as girls to confuse the spirits until age five so they won’t take their young boys. These people are shy but once you make eye contact and shake their hand they are very friendly.

    Today was the first day of the John Peterson tournament. The cadets (middle school and high school) wrestled today and we walked around and cheered for them. We each gave out 5 AIA/USA wrestling pins to the young boys and girls along with some gear that we brought from our own universities. They absolutely love it. Then we passed out info booklets with the history of the tournament and the gospel written in Mongolian for everyone to read. Are hearts were filled to be salt and light in that gym today to the young children, their parents, and their coaches. 

    We also went to the gigantic Chinngis (Chinngis is not actually his real name) Khan statue and learned some history of this nation. God is good! We are having a blast as well as witnessing to the Mongolian people, training hard, and sharpening one another both physically and spiritually. 

    Tomorrow, our men wrestle. Pray for safety, strength and skill. We want to beat up on these dudes and then share the gospel with them! What could be better than that?

  • First Day in Mongolia!

    Section: Wrestling

    Wrestling - Mongolia

    Today was a great day, after 27 hours of travel time we arrived in Mongolia.

    Please be praying that God will deliver the bags that didn't arrive with us. We had serveral bags get shipped late most likely because of weight restrictions, but the team is handling it in stride and we are seeking the Lord. 

    Today was our first practive in Mongolia. the room is great and the Mongolians think we are celebrities. We met with our friends and AIA staff here in the big city and we had some delicious lamb on a metal sword. The weather changes from warm sunshine to cold rain every ten minutes and the guys are really having a blast.

    At our bible study tonight we looked at the first telling of the gospel in Genesis. The guys had lots of questions and we have lots more to discuss. Also we are reading through the book of Daniel with our roommates one chapter at a time. Christianity is growing here from 0% up to 5-10% and we get to be a part of that!! God is good. 

  • Second day of training camp- Wrestling

    Section: Wrestling

    Yesterday was the second day of our training camp for our 3 teams. We started out with a Bible study lead by AIA staff, Parker (Mongolia), and some team building activities from Tifani. Parker spoke on the assurance of our salvation, and Tifani’s game was to run a ball down the length of the floor on top of a washer that had string tied around it. Each member of the team had to hold the string tight and we had to work in unison as a team to reach the length without dropping the ball. Each of our activities has been designed to teach us something about being a team or to learn about our strength and weaknesses.

    We followed study with a workout lead by Jim Gruenwald, a two time Olympian, and head coach at Wheaton College. Jim is very energetic, engaging, and quite humorous.  He talked that if we can’t learn to control our own bodies how can we control another’s, which is the goal of wrestling. About 10-12 members of Andrews High School and some of the Screaming Eagles club also joined us. After practice Jim shared his testimony, “Jesus Christ is life, the rest is just wrestling”. It’s not the sport of wrestling, but wrestling with our decision to follow Christ.

    The Mongolia team headed to the airport where they began their 40+ hour journey to Mongolia. The Moldova team also departed for Minnesota, they will head overseas in about 2 weeks. The Guatemala team went to downtown Chicago to see some of the local sights.

    In the evening, we had another Bible study lead by our host Dan Willis on the book of John and a practice lead by Jason Welch, an NCAA runner-up. Andrews High School, the Beat the Streets team, Screaming Eagles Club, and the Chicago Adult Club again joined us. About 50 total wrestlers! We finished with a testimony by Corey and some matches. Elijah, Campbell, Skylar, Noel, Tristen, and Corey all won their matches. Tomorrow the journey for the both the teams really begins. Please check their blogs for stories from their trip!

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