When the North American Youth Championship tournament information was posted on the FIDE America website, I asked Claudia if she wanted to participate, she quickly nodded her head positively.
We had not budgeted for this tournament or even planned to participate in it since it was not held in 2008. However, the NAYCC 2009 would be held a days drive from our home and it was a major international FIDE event. We knew we had about 30-days to come-up with the money to participate.
As a Christian family we have always stated that talents are given by God, and if He gave them to us - He should pay for its development. This mentailty has been key for our participation in almost every tournament we have participated. You see in chess it is very easy to involve a family's income into the development of a child and before you know it, the credit cards are maxed out.
We believe in a prosperous God and since He is a wealthy God, then we should tap into His wealth instead of our own. Since 2007, we decided that we would no longer carry with the financial investments that a chess career entails and we proceeded to an efficient planning, implementation and execution of our goals, God being the center of our planning.
Since then about 80% of Claudia's tournaments have been funded by outside financial sources.
In September, after designing our strategy to fund Claudia's NAYCC 2009 participation in Mazatlan, my wife had to travel to Dallas to a tax seminar. My daughters traveled with her making a brief stop in Wichita Falls, Texas - Claudia's birthplace.
We are members of Overcoming Word of Praise International in Wichita Falls, but since we live six hours away, we maintain our membership to our home church via long distance. We participate in the services live through the internet.
Pastor Mark Graham realizing that Claudia wanted to attend the NAYCC 2009, told us that he would address the church members about seeding in the trip to Mazatlan. That Sunday, as I watched through the internet, I witnessed as Claudia stood before the congregation and spoke to the church. She gave a detailed account of her chess career, her achievements and her goals. Pastor Mark Graham stated he would be the first one to seed in Claudia's trip, at which time the congregation stood-up and began to invest in her dream.
In less than 2-minutes $720 dollars were raised in sponsorship for Claudia's participation to the North American Youth Championship 2009.
72-hours later, the United States Chess Federation named Claudia the official representative of the United States for this event. I, her father, had already been named the USCF Head of Delegation. This assured my daughter and I that our hotel and food would be completely paid for. Now, we had the finances to take-off one day early and drive (36-hours roundtrip) to Mazatlan without being burden with financial debt.
God blessed us with a free trip to the North American Youth Championship 2009.
The first three years of our daughter's chess career were based on the CREDIT CARDS and we realized that we could not do things on our own. In the last two year we had a reality check and we realized that serving God is more than going to church and carrying a Bible.
It meant living in prosperity.
We thank Pastor Mark and the members of OWPCI for having seeded in Claudia's trip to the North American Youth Championship.
Get ready for the harvest!
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