Thoughts from Esther Schultz

Esther Schultz recently completed her three-month internship in Macha, Zambia.  We took some time to catch up with her and talk about her experience and wanted to share her thoughts with you.  As you read this keep in mind we are looking for more people to take on a similar experience in both Zambia and Costa Rica. If someone comes to mind please pass this information along!

*Interview with Esther*

Q. What was the highlight of your experience in Zambia?
There were so many great moments during the three months that I spent in Macha. It’s hard to pick just one highlight. When it comes to the disc golf side of things, I’d say one of the many highlights was the last tag round that I played in Macha. Approximately 25 guys came out to play and most of the players were not interested in disc golf when I first arrived. Seeing them pumped to compete and do really well made me super excited for disc golf continuing to thrive in Zambia! Also, a 13-year-old boy ended up shooting the hot round and beating everyone! It was a fantastic end to a great time playing disc golf in Zambia.

Q. What were some of the things you learned through this experience?
I learned so much about the world, other cultures, the Lord, and myself. By disconnecting myself from everything and everyone that was familiar to me, I was able to learn and grow so much as an individual. I also learned to rely on the Lord. He was by my side when I needed Him the most. It is only because of Him that I was able to do all of the things that I did. I honestly learned an incredible amount in the past three months. This simple answer does not do the trip justice.

Q. In what ways did you see the most growth in your life through this experience?
Being in a foreign land with foreign people completely flipped my world view upside down. I now have a first-hand perspective on the life of people in Macha. I have grown as an individual because of this. I have seen people live life very differently than how I have seen it done my whole life.

Q. What ways were you challenged the most while there?
The language barrier was a big challenge for me in many ways. It challenged my heart when I started to feel left out because everyone around me was speaking Tonga. It was also really hard when I had to teach or wanted to simply communicate with the kids around me but I just couldn’t. Instead of trying, feeling like I couldn’t communicate often made me silent. I then got tired of that and began to look for other ways to invest and interact with the people around me without using words. That often looked like many high fives and smiles.

Q. What advice would you give to future interns?
You are going to teach disc golf but try to learn as much as you can from the people around you. Be more than a coach. Learn and develop relationships with the people God has placed there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Things are going to be tough at times but just keep moving and trust the Lord always.

Q. Do you see yourself going back to Zambia in the future?
Definitely!

Q. What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I am planning on playing as many big disc golf events as I can but also working a lot. My family is a part of a team who is starting a church which will be launching in the next few months so there will be many ministry opportunities there. I will mostly be relying on the Lord’s plan and trusting that He will continue to use me in this season.

Meet Our Newest Team Member – Esther Schultz

Our Newest Team Member

Eagles Wings Disc Golf is extremely excited to announce our first ever international disc golf internship.  Starting an international internship program has been a dream of ours for a few years now.  In January 2019 we will see that dream realized as Esther Schultz heads to Macha, Zambia for a three month internship where she will lead disc golf activities, provide training for the staff, and help get the newly completed 18 hole course established.  We met Esther this past year at the Junior World Championships, and we don’t think we could have found a better candidate!  Esther has a heart for the disc golf community and Africa and we can’t wait to see what the Lord does during her time there!  We wanted to introduce you to Esther so please check out the interview below to get to know her better.

 

Esther’s Interview

1. Tell us your name and just a little about yourself. Where you grew up, what sports you played, size of family, etc.
My name is Esther Schultz and I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am the second oldest of eleven kids and disc golf is the only sport that I have competed in. It is the perfect sport for my family and I have been in love with it for many years now.

 

2. When did you begin following Christ and who has had the biggest impact in your faith?
It feels like I have been a Christian my entire life. I was raised by parents who love Jesus and showed me through their lives what that looks like. They have by far had the biggest impact in my faith.

 

3. When did you begin playing disc golf, and what is your favorite thing about the sport?
My disc golf career started when I was about ten-years-old. There’s a lot of things that I love about the sport but my favorite aspect would probably be the unique community of people that disc golf brings together.

 

4. How did you find out about Eagles Wings Disc Golf and what made you want to get involved?
Last year, my parents found out about the Eagles Wings Disc Golf junior grant and encouraged my siblings and I to enter. After my brother won, I began to learn more about what other things Eagles Wings was doing and fell in love with it. There is a real need for ministry in the disc golf world and I love what Eagles Wings is doing to meet it!

 

5. Have you always had a heart for ministry in Africa? If so, how did that start?
Yes! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to Africa. My parents are pastors, so I grew up getting to know a lot of missionaries. I have always had a burden and heart to do the things that they are doing around the world. I’m not sure exactly why, but Africa has always stuck out to me.

 

6. What are you most looking forward to during your internship?
I am really looking forward to just being there! Like I said, this is something that I have wanted to do my entire life. I know it is going to be tough, I am going to be learning and doing a lot of new things but I am so ready for the adventure!

 

 7. Other than disc golf, what is something else you like to do for fun?
 I love to play my guitar and do anything with my friends!

 

8. What is your favorite disc golf course? 
The Rez in Jackson, Mississippi.

 

9. What is your favorite or most unique disc golf memory?
I have so many! One of my favorites though was watching my brother play in Arizona for the chance to win a car. He played phenomenal the whole tournament, went into a six-hole sudden death playoff. It was one of the most intense things that I have ever experienced. Through it all, my little bro stayed true to himself and was able to come out happy on the other side. Even though I didn’t throw a single shot, watching him do what he did that week was truly an honor.
 

 

10. What is the number one thing you hope to take away from your time in Africa?
The number one thing I hope to take away is a better understanding of the Lord’s heart. To see what he created on the other side of the world and serving Him wholeheartedly I believe will be truly powerful.

 

Follow Along

To follow along with Esther, please like her Facebook page where she will be posting and updating about her experience!

Join Eagles Wings For A Life-Changing Experience

After quite a bit of planning we are ready for you to sign up for the trip of a lifetime!  We are so excited about these trips, and we can’t wait for the teams to come together. While the dates may look far off, we highly encourage you to sign up today.  The earlier you sign up the more time you have to raise funds, and begin preparing for what is sure to be a life-changing experience.

The first international trip for Eagles Wings happened in 2016 when we went to Zambia to build a 9 hole disc golf course for a local Push the Rock ministry. We are now ready to go back to build another 9 holes and run the first PDGA sanctioned tournament in Zambia.

Read more and/or apply to our Zambia Trip in January 2019 here!

In 2017 we went to Costa Rica to visit another local Push the Rock missionary. We built a course at a local public park. We have now been invited back to build another 9 hole course on private land. We continue to share the sport of disc golf with more locals and teach the local missionaries to teach the game to others.

Read more and/or apply to our Costa Rica Trip in February 2019 here!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.  We know it is a big commitment, but we can also assure you it will be worth it!  Contact Dustin Leatherman at 215-429-0298 or at dustin@eagleswingsdiscgolf.org for more details!

Zambia: Disc Golf Story of Impact

“It has been over a year and a half since disc golf was introduced in Macha, Zambia and we are thrilled that the game continues to be a hit here with our children and staff. We want to highlight one of our staff in particular, Wilborn. Wilborn is one of our night watchmen who ensures the well being of our property from 6:00pm to 6:00am. However, he has quickly become one of our local disc golf pros! Even after his 12 hour night shifts, he can be found at the disc golf course, almost daily, honing his skills. In fact, just last week he posted an ace on hole number 2! Beyond his desire to keep improving, he often reports to work early in order to rally some boys to accompany him and play a round before his shift starts.

It is encouraging for us to see our staff take ownership and invest in a sport that we did not know anything about over a year ago. We continue to be grateful for this ‘new’ outlet of fun and fellowship.” – Eric Thuma, PTR Zambia

 

Eagles Wings Staff Assists With The Largest Disc Golf Event In History

Last week several of our staff headed to the Glass Blown Open in Emporia, Kansas. We have been blessed to develop a relationship with Dynamic Discs, the hosts of the tournament and one of the larger disc golf manufacturers.  This year the event had 1,600 players and was the largest disc golf event to date.

Our staff had the opportunity to host a clinic with a local church, offer chapel at another church in town, oversee one of the courses used for the tournament, and run the juniors tournament at the end of the week.  On top of that it was a great opportunity to connect as a staff, and connect with people from around the country that are interested in getting involved with Eagles Wings.

The chapel to start the event was a great night and an encouragement to many.  We had 52 people take the time out of their schedules to come worship with us. We were blessed to have a crew from Colorado come in to speak and lead worship, and many people shared through the week what a great start to the event it was for them.  We are very grateful for the doors God has been opening in the disc golf community and for the partnerships and relationships that are developing.

Disc Golf Thrives in Zambia

Less than two years ago the Marco Polo grant was the start of something big in Zambia, Africa. With the help of the grant, Eagles Wings Disc Golf took a team of 8 to Zambia to install a 9 hole disc golf course and teach the sport. The sport was very well received the week we were there and the team left with high hopes that disc golf would take root. Looking back things have progressed far more than anyone dreamed at the time.

Elem Katambo is a native staff member of Push The Rock Zambia, and helps to manage the course that was installed. Before the team left Elem predicted that he saw disc golf as something that would have “long life” in Zambia. It turns out not only was he right, but he would lead the way in making that happen.

This past weekend Elem made the trek to Ethiopia to participate in the first PDGA sanctioned event in all of Africa, the Ethiopian Open. Getting Elem there was no easy task as traveling in Africa can be expensive, but as it so often does, the generosity of the disc golf community came through. John Luetzow and Yohannes Desalegn, the event organizers, offered to take care of all in country expenses. On top of that they paid his entry to the event, and made him the first PDGA member of Zambia! A number of disc golfers from the states chipped in for air fare and he was on his way.

Elem greatly enjoyed the experience and ended up being the top amateur at the event. He had this to say, “The tournament was good because I got to interact with professionals from different countries. Seeing their levels of skill was something to admire and helped me have something to aim for. The fact that the tournament was under the PDGA was great for me. To be part of that felt so good.”

Not only did this experience serve to motivate Elem to continue to develop his skills, but has sparked new thoughts on how disc golf can grow in Zambia. This week he will do a presentation to the kids from his village that he works with regularly, and is excited about the prospect of inspiring some of them to hone their skills further. He has also initiated dialogue to figure out how we can install an additional 9 holes and run the first Zambian PDGA event.

Zambia disc golf is a prime example of why the disc golf community is like no other. The marco polo grant made the course installation possible. Innova Champion Disc donated all the initial equipment to make it happen. Udisc, Upper Park Designs, and countless others have invested to keep things going, and John and Yohannes have made it possible for Elem to see what Zambia disc golf could become.

The sky is the limit for disc golf in Zambia!

For a recap of Elem’s journey, read this story from Push the Rock – Zambia!

Eagles Wings International Impact

Eagles Wings Disc Golf has now traveled to both Zambia and Costa Rica to build disc golf courses. Those of us who love disc golf are not surprised when we hear stories from our missionaries in these countries of how much people like disc golf. The courses we have built continue to make an impact and allow these local missionaries to reach out to the local community. Even though most of our programs are focused on kids, these courses have made an impact on adults as well. As the current year comes to a close, we wanted to take some time to share a few stories from our missionaries in these countries.

Zambia

Eric Thuma, our local missionary in Zambia, shared the following story with us.

“It has been over a year and a half since disc golf was introduced in Macha, Zambia and we are thrilled that the game continues to be a hit here with our children and staff. We want to highlight one of our staff in particular, Wilborn. Wilborn is one of our night watchmen who ensures the well being of our property from 6:00pm to 6:00am. However, he has quickly become one of our local disc golf pros! Even after his 12 hour night shifts, he can be found at the disc golf course, almost daily, honing his skills. In fact, just last week he posted an ace on hole number 2! Beyond his desire to keep improving, he often reports to work early in order to rally some boys to accompany him and play a round before his shift starts.

It is encouraging for us to see our staff take ownership and invest in a sport that we did not know anything about over a year ago. We continue to be grateful for this ‘new’ outlet of fun and fellowship.”

Costa Rica

Nattie and David, our missionaries in Costa Rica, recently shared the following story with us.

“Patri Pringle, a pre-school teacher in Costa Rica, has been using disc golf as a fun new activity for the children in her class. Recently, Patri held a Disc Golf mini tournament for the kids in her class and the response was one of great excitement!

Lucas and Lucio, the winners of the tournament, were beyond excited to not only win, but to also receive a mini disc as their prize. In addition to this event, in Costa Rica, we have also run practices in La Villa Olimpica and are planning to do one practice per month. We are grateful to have the chance to use Disc Golf as a ministry avenue in Costa Rica!”

Eagles Wings to Help Launch Premier Juniors Events in 2018

At Eagles Wings Disc Golf, one of our primary focus areas from our inception has been juniors.  The Professional Disc Golf Association classifies juniors as 18 and under. This is a demographic in the sport that is just now starting to gain serious traction.  In both Michigan and Pennsylvania we will continue to offer clinics, family nights, leagues, and tournaments. With the success of our Regional Championships among other events, we have been invited to partner in some pretty incredible initiatives for 2018.

In 2018 juniors in the sport will have the opportunity to participate in both a Junior World Championship and a Junior United States Championship.  These events have been offered for men and women in the sport for many years, but this will be the first time they are both offered for juniors as well.  Eagles Wings will have the opportunity to participate in both the planning and execution of these events. We could not be more excited about the opportunity.  We will be on site for both events and hope to bring our chapel program as well.  We encourage you to mark them both on your calendar now!

The United States Junior Disc Golf Championship (USJDGC) is being headed up by Kids Disc Golf.  It will be held August 3rd through the 5th at Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont. This inaugural event was just announced this past weekend and you can find all the details here:

https://www.kidsdiscgolf.com/usjdgc-1/

The Junior World Championships is being headed up by Dynamic Discs. It will be held in Emporia, Kansas July 10th through the 14th. This is the first of three years that Dynamic Discs will be hosting this event. More information will be available soon on the PDGA site:

https://www.pdga.com/major-disc-golf-events

We are grateful for opportunity to be part of these historical events and look forward to all that 2018 will hold for Eagles Wings Disc Golf!

Eagles Wings Back in Costa Rica

Earlier this year Eagles Wings Disc Golf sent a team of ten people down to Costa Rica. While there we built a disc golf course and taught many of the kids in the area to play. The reception was quite good and we were excited to see how disc golf would continue to grow in Costa Rica.

In an effort to continue the growth of the sport, we recently sent Chad Benavidez back to Costa Rica. This time, rather than focusing on building a course and teaching the kids, the main focus was teaching the sport to the local staff of Push the Rock. This was done to ensure that disc golf could continue to grow in Costa Rica without the necessity of another team of missionaries coming from the states. The local staff learned the basic throws and how to teach them to kids.

Additionally, while Chad was still in Costa Rica, the local staff had the opportunity to teach groups of kids from two more schools to play the sport of disc golf. The kids thoroughly enjoyed learning to play disc golf and took to the putting games exceptionally well. With continued opportunities for the kids to learn and play disc golf, the sport will grow in Costa Rica.

In light of that we also came into some great news. With the course we built last time and the success of clinics, the owner of a private park in San Jose showed interest in building a new disc golf course. Talks have begun to send another team from Eagles Wings to Costa Rica to build this new course and teach even more to play the sport we love. The hope is that this will lead to more time to build relationships and talk about Jesus.

As we continue to build long term relationships in Costa Rica, we can use your help. We will continue to send teams of people to Costa Rica and can always use people who are willing to donate their time to serve the Lord teaching disc golf there or working to build a new disc golf course. Additionally, we can always use new and gently used disc golf discs, bags and other equipment to leave in Costa Rica and other places that we visit. The more equipment we can send to these places the more people we will have opportunity to build relationships with. Please take the time to connect with us on Facebook and contact us here:

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