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Athlete Testimonies:

Mike Rupp

All Mike Rupp wanted was to go home.

Rupp was called up in mid-April by the NHL's New Jersey Devils from their American Hockey League affiliate in Albany, New York. He was one of five "Black Aces" - warm bodies being kept around by the Devils as insurance during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I thought to myself, 'What am I doing this for?'" Rupp recalls now. "I'm not even playing. I'm not with the team...Just let me go home and enjoy the summer."

New Jersey had a different plan, however. And so, Rupp thinks, did God.

After an injury to New Jersey forward Joe Nieuwendyk, the Devils activated Rupp for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and then again for Game 7.

Rupp came ready to play in the decisive game, as he scored the winning goal, and then added two assists in New Jersey's 3-0 victory.

Rupp's life has not been the same since. "When I look at everything that happened to me over a 3-month period, I realize it wasn't me that did any of it," Rupp said. "It was obviously the work of God. He showed me His power, and He showed me what can be accomplished if you work hard and stay faithful to Him."


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