Junior Open 2012 - Fairhaven Golf Club
Well we just have to brag! Tiffany has qualified to represent Nicaragua in the Junior British Open this summer! We still can’t believe it! We are so proud of her!
Many of you know that Tiffany has represented Nicaragua in the Junior Central American tournament two years ago in Guatemala, and this past January in El Salvador! We are continually amazed at the opportunities that God seems to be opening up for Tiffany and our family! We are well aware that all these opportunities are orchestrated by our loving crazy God who likes to bless us and surprise us, like any daddy likes to do for his kids.
For those of you who don’t know the history of Tiffany and golf, I would like you to know. We recognize that it is rather unusual that a missionary kid even gets to play golf, but I believe God keeps reminding me that He is writing this story not us!
When we first moved to Nicaragua, we came because we knew God was calling us, but we did not come to fulfill a traditional missionary role. We came for business development. We believed that we would do more for Nicaragua by creating jobs through various businesses. We knew that God would use us first corporately and from there expand our sphere of influence with opportunities and resources to reach many people in many different ways. One of the things we did was to become members of the only country club in Nicaragua that has an 18 hole golf course. We knew that if we were going to meet the ‘movers and shakers’ of Nicaragua, we could do it there.
Before moving to Nicaragua, we were very active as a family in Tiffany’s fast pitch team activities. After moving to Nicaragua, we looked for a sport to involve Tiffany in that we could once again ‘participate’ in as a family. Greg introduced Tiffany to golf. Tiff picked up the game very quickly and in no time at all she was entering the kids tournaments and doing very well! Her game continued to improve and her scores continued to drop. Most importantly, Tiff loved this very challenging and complicated game!
In the summer of 2010, she was awarded a full ride scholarship to the Jim McClean school of golf in Doral, Florida. She spent a week with great golfers and the best coaches and technological equipment available. She returned to Nicaragua a much better golfer and even more excited about the game.
A big thanks must go out to our family, who without their financial support of this hobby of Tiff’s, these dreams, could never occur! Our family has purchased and given Tiffany equipment, clothes, balls, hats, shirts, shorts, shoes, and much much more!! Our family and friends have encouraged Tiffany in ways that we could never capture in words, let alone a few words! Thanks to each of you, who have given words, time, equipment, and financial support!
At the club Tiffany plays free until she is 19! She can play as much golf and hit as many balls as possible and it is free. We pay, by the graciousness of an aunt and grandma for the monthly dues and her lessons. Her lessons are $80/month for two 2-hour group lesson a week!! We could never afford to keep Tiffany in this program without the financial support of our family! This is an unbelievable blessing from God!
We believe God is using golf to teach Tiffany many life lessons, let alone the miraculous provision of God! Additionally, our research shows that a lot of college scholarship money is left unused every year for women golfers. Yes, we are praying that Tiffany will be able to take her talents and love for the game and play golf at a reputable university state side. That is only three years away!!!!!
So here we are faced with an opportunity for her to compete in England against fourteen and fifteen year olds from 77 different countries! Additionally, this tournament happens at the same time the British Open is taking place and the goal is for these junior golfers to get to compete with each other and to be exposed to the various professionals of the PGA! I still have to pinch myself and just say, “Wow, God!” The Bible says that God opens doors no man can open and He closes doors no man can close! We never even saw this one opening up until a few months ago! We have talked about back packing in Europe for years! We even dared to believe that some how God would let that desire in our heart come to fruition.
Of course many of our family and friends who have heard of this miracle are rallying together to help make this happen for us. We are NOT fund raisers! I don’t think we have ever asked people for money. However, we also know that many of you may, understanding this miracle, be willing to help us make this dream come true! We are sending this e-mail out to hundreds of people. Many of you have a heart for young athletes. Many of you have a heart to help dreams come true. Please pray and ask God if it is right for you and your personal situation to sow into our daughters future and help us realize this amazing dream. If everyone could do something, it wouldn’t be a burden on any one! We don’t want to be a burden! We only want those who agree that God has opened this door and is blessing our daughter’s golf career to sow into this effort! We truly believe that this trip is not just about golf. God is doing something, and He will be glorified through this trip!! Pastor James Merritt of Crosspointe Church in Atlanta visited us recently and stated that he felt that this trip not just about golf, that God had a bigger plan for Tiff and for us as a family.
I don’t know what questions you might have about this trip. We are currently researching how to travel Europe on a ‘dime’! Where to stay for cheap, cheap, cheap!! Obviously once we get across the big water, we want to take an opportunity to see some of Europe.
Times are hard in this world! Even as we type this, we are very aware that many of you have needs, large needs! We pray that you don’t find this request offensive or insensitive. We live by faith every month! We know your pain of not knowing how things will happen in the future. We have ‘lost’ millions of dollars in the past few years. We know the process of loss, readjusting a life style, and leaving all of our comforts behind to follow God. And again, we look at this opportunity and we say God, we don’t know how this could ever happen! It can’t happen without God! And that is exactly where He wants all of us! Totally, depending on Him for our life, ideas, opportunity, and blessings beyond our wildest dreams!!
We have already heard from a few people who want to encourage and support Tiff and this trip for our family. If you can financially help us make this dream a miracle….praise God!! If you can’t, will you pray that God’s will be done in this adventure for us?! We don’t know why God would open this door for Tiff and our family. We feel so humbled that we get to serve in Nicaragua and most certainly don’t expect any more blessings then what we receive just living life here!
We pray no matter what is going on in your life…in blessing or in lack…that you know all things work to good for those who love the Lord! He uses everything to mold and create a life story that is about Him and His glory, not us! We also pray God’s richest blessings on you and your family…more then you could ever hope or imagine!!!
Greg, Sam, and Tiffany Elam