I was born into a country of another faith — Egypt. Though we had strong morals, we really didn’t know about having a relationship with Christ. Later, I learned more about God and grew up believing in Him. But it was not until I really got involved with Athletes In Action [a Christ-centered faith-based group] during my early years of college that my relationship with God really began to grow.
At the end of my sophomore year, I attended AIA’s Ultimate Training Camp. That was the first time I made a commitment to completely obey God in anything He asked me to do. A few days later, God put it on my heart to transfer schools. He sent Tulane College my way through a coach who contacted me; God’s light was really shining through her. I didn’t really understand why God would want me there, but that whole summer was about me getting rid of everything I was holding onto. I took a leap of faith and knew that there had to be a reason for me to go there.
I fought the coaches at the beginning because it was so different; I thought I knew what I needed to do. A few weeks later, I decided to let it go and I watched my times drop and my strength increase an unbelievable amount. I can honestly say it was God’s doing.
Through the next few months, I finally came to depend and lean on God, and He led me to begin AIA at Tulane with some teammates and friends. God is working through our lives and us being obedient to Him. He’s opened so many doors to share our faith and do something radical at the university. A lot of things happened that I didn’t understand, but I was learning how to love God first.
They say whatever you give to God, He will cleanse, and whatever He cleanses, He will use. I think God was breaking me apart so He can use every single part of my situation to bring me back together.
— Hagar Elgendy, Egyptian collegiate swimmer for USA