Monday, April 29, 2013

Incredible Students: African Rugby

In August of 2010, LETU students started their first-ever Rugby club. This year, the club played against some huge schools including Midwestern State University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and others. In March, the entire team hit the road to San Antonio and the Lone Star Rugby Conference Playoffs. Only a few weeks later, Daniel de Villiers was half a world away playing rugby on an entirely different field, with an entirely different team.

Anywhere else in the world, the idea of a student at a techie engineering school who loves the sport of rugby so much that he carries his love with him on a mission trip to Africa where he teaches young kids how to play it... that might be a strange combination of interests. Here at LETU, it's just the story of one student. Every LETU student is a complex mix of loves, of passions, of interests.

Incredibly humble about his life, Daniel will be the first to downplay any attention given to him. He emphatically states, "May God be praised for the work He is doing; it's certainly nothing of me that will endure!" Some might argue that the things that God is doing through Daniel absolutely should and will endure in the lives of those that he has touched as he has lived out his faith.

This Spring, Daniel traveled to Malawi, in Africa. He remembers stepping off the bus outside of the local hospital and hearing the unsettling scream of a woman who'd just lost her loved one. In his words, "It was a very sobering moment, even as we continued in the halls strewn with family and friends, tears streaming down each of their faces. One doctor to 40,000 patients in Malawi, as well as a hope of salvation which many of these people lack."

Daniel utilized much of his time in Malawi to work with kids. While there, he taught Bible studies, played games and activities, and generally spent as much time as possible loving them. The love of Christ isn't the only thing that Daniel brought with him to Africa, though. He also brought his love of rugby and spent time teaching the kids how to pass the ball and other key rugby skills.

This simple story is an incredible example of how interconnected our world is today. A decidedly British sport that was the passion of a small group of LETU students became a tool to reach out to kids in the heart of Africa and provide for them a week of fun, of diversion, of love, and of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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