Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Joshua Kirshner
Round 2 - The Rematch

For those of you that read my previous blog on Rio and about my experience there during the Summer Olympics - you probably understand the title of this new blog. As if surviving this city once wasn't enough, surviving a second time? May seem impossible.

It wasn't.

My time spent in Rio the first time made me dread almost every single day there, but also cringe at the thought that just 2 weeks later, I would be right back there working the Paralympic Games. The story I shared of the hike up Corcovado Mountain to see Christ the Redeemer and how it related to my faith made a big impression on me. As a result, I gained a great deal of confidence that even though Rio beat me in the first round, I would get the last punch in for the re-match. 

I'm happy to say that my luggage arrived on time with nothing missing. My hotel was in a much nicer and walkable area. My shower was hot, my bed was comfortable, and I did not have a battle royale with mosquitoes every night in my room. My work there was also much improved this time around. We had enough staff to allow for breaks, the tennis matches did not go nearly as late into the night, and most important of all: WE HAD FOOD!!!

Sometimes, God allows us to pass through hard circumstances in life that refine us, teach us, and help us become a better person. It's like that with anything in life. We encounter things every day in life that challenge us. We can choose whether to find a way to overcome the challenge, or fold under the pressure. I'm someone that likes to be challenged, and obviously God knows that, so sometimes I feel like my challenges in life are always constant - one after another. It honestly can wear me out at times. Rio was one of those constant challenges, but I'm glad I went through it because it may have helped prepare me for some, harder challenge later on down the road. 

No matter how hard the challenge seems, or how insurmountable the odds, I always remind myself of this passage:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."  - Isaiah 43:2

Thanks to that promise, I won Round 2 in Rio.

Joshua Kirshner