Our local yokel chapter of the semi-pro mens basketball Sprite League entered the playoffs this weekend. We had two regular season games against two pretty poor teams. Then we had to play one of the teams again as the first game in the playoffs. Then we had a break for a few hours before our final game for the weekend. Lo and behold we played the same team we had just beaten again!
I think in this third game with us of the weekend, the other team was hoping to finally get a win. And they were surprisingly ahead deep into the third quarter. A special kind of fear seeps in when you're down to a team you know you can beat because you just did, not once but twice. Suddenly the ball wont bounce right, won't stay in your hands, and frequenly gets passed to 'phantom' players who were not there. This kind of fear was making our best players miss shots they normally make.
Fortunately we were able to crank up the defense and rebounding on the other end of the floor and they started to get intimidated a bit too. In the end we beat them again. It's not all that fun to play the same team three times in a weekend. But it is nevertheless fun to win.
The biggest win came later after our evening English church service. Mongolians and expats all enjoyed singing hymns in English acapella. Then Renee and our kids' teacher gave brief testimonies about the power of God. Then I read a short sermonette on the power of faith to overcome fear. We lingered for almost an hour afterward drinking tea and eating some treats that Renee had brought.
When we got home, we got word that a Mongolian young lady who attended the service had decided to follow Jesus. This was especially sweet because Natatlie, the girls' school teacher has been working with and praying for her for almost two years. We were grateful that God had worked in "Ruby"'s heart to give her faith to believe in Jesus and receive God's love and eternal life.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30 KJV)