Rugby giant Joe Taufete’e discovered talent after following his sweetheart to church
Worcester Warriors and USA international front-row forward Joe Taufete’e has revealed how his pathway to faith and professional rugby both came through a girl.
Taufete’e never had plans on turning to Jesus – but his life was transformed as a teenager when he chose to chase after his high-school sweetheart Noeleen.
He said: “When I was 16 years old, I had my eye on a girl. This girl was deeply rooted in the church environment, but I was of the world, and the whole church thing was new to me.
“When I tried to chase her down, she simply told me that her faith was her life and if I wanted to be a part of it, I had to choose Jesus.
“So I started going to church with her and her family to see what it was all about, and I soon discovered the power of having a relationship with Christ for myself.”
“I soon discovered the power of having a relationship with Christ for myself.”
When Taufete’e tore his ACL playing junior college football, he was introduced to the sport of rugby through the same girl – who is now his wife.
Her family followed the sport, and at first Taufete’e thought learning rugby would be a good way to get in with the family, but he soon discovered he was good at it.
He added: “USA Rugby was asking me to come be a day-camper. I was excited to be able to play the sport at such a high level! At 22, I came into camp and played the game well and to my surprise, I was invited to play at the 2015 World Cup with the Eagles."
Fast forward four years and Taufete’e was pitched against the nation where he plies his trade as the USA faced England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup group stages, a match they lost significantly, but despite his rise to stardom in the sport, the prop-forward remains humble.
He said: “I’m not the most talkative guy on the team, but I try to be a good role model for the rest of my team through my actions.
“I train for the game the same way I work on my spiritual walk with God – I work hard and let my actions speak loudly. I want my light for Christ to shine wherever I am and with whatever I am doing. I have this platform and I want to use it to share God’s Word.
“I want to be remembered as someone who represented Jesus, having followed his plan for me. Because without God, none of this would be possible.”
This article was taken from the February 2020 issue of New Life Newspaper.
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