Our 2017 ended with quite a bit of excitement. Getting to witness Marcos Costa’s journey to becoming a World Champion has been nothing short of an honor. His journey started in Brazil when he left home at 12 years old to work for a horse trainer a thousand miles away from his family. 

It seems our paths crossed only by a Divine appointment. I never intended to travel to Brazil, but when the opportunity to go with my nephews, Clif and Tuf Cooper arose, I didn’t want to miss out on spending time with them. Little did I know, God had a plan for a special young Brazilian roper. We met Marcos at an invitational jackpot where he and Tuf had their first of many battles for first place. It wasn’t until my second trip to Brazil, that I extended an invitation for him to come to the US. I will never forget the big tears that rolled down his cheeks giving me confirmation that God was doing something big in both our lives.

In four short years, Marcos has learned English, learned how to drive, learned how to rodeo professionally… and has won his first World Championship. As I said, it has been an honor to be part of his journey. I watch him ride and rope in 20-degree weather with 50-mile per hour winds. I watch Marcos go to English tutoring at Ms. Mary’s after a long hard day. I watch him walk out his faith and seize his newfound opportunities everyday. His actions preach all of the things I write about every month, and this December he reaped the reward.

As with any WNFR, there are many highs and lows. When you have family members that all compete in the same event, you know going in that not everyone is going to leave with a gold buckle. Our scenario played out almost as good as it could have. Marcos won his first championship in the tie-down roping, and Tuf won his first All-Around World Championship, but probably the one that was the most impressive was Trevor Brazile.

Trevor finished second in the All-Around, a title he has won more times than I can keep up with. The way that he graciously supported and congratulated both Tuf and Marcos makes him a true champion and can teach us all how we should handle success and, more importantly, failure. God is more interested in the process than the accomplishment.

God Bless and I’ll see you down the line.



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