Are you missing the Olympics as much as we are around here? We miss the competitions and the family predictions of who will win, but what we really miss are the inspirational stories of how the athletes made their way to the games. The stories are generally so powerful and what the athletes endured in order to prepare, some their entire young lives, is often unbelievable. For me the best part of each athlete’s journey is hearing who has encouraged, inspired and supported them along the way. Who was the ONE who changed their heart, their future and perhaps the trajectory of their young lives? This is particularly powerful as I look back on my own upbringing and recall many challenging and difficult moments. I can clearly remember many days, hours and sometimes even years where I was not only carried, but inspired, protected and guided by another. There were many heroes along my path, people who stood up for me, nurtured my talents and helped me to overcome obstacles of self doubt, finances and lack of courage. There were those who made heroic efforts, both big and small, to make an investment of time, energy and most of all love in all I had to bring to the world.
Who are the heroes who may never capture the gold or the glory at the Olympics? The story of Missy Franklin and her ever supportive parents or what about Danell Layva with his stepfather… They are adorable to watch. There is the family of Micheal Phelps who strive to attend his every race. There is the friendship and rivalry of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake who challenge each other to great speed. There is the dear coach from the central village of Ethiopia who trains runners all the way to gold. These are stories of a person(s) who must deeply believe in another.
It is the power of one who invests and supports another that changes lives and drives hearts and souls to greater achievement.
John Wooden said, “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
Most of you know that we are coordinators of a school (carepoint) in Ethiopia where we seek to find monthly sponsors for children who live in poverty and need basic food, clean water, medical care and discipleship. In this role what I find myself asking is this: Would you like to change the life of one? Are you willing and able to come alongside a child to be his or her faithful friend? Some days I wish I could help others to know just how much value there is in child sponsorship through Children’s Hopechest. I get that we are not all called to the same thing but through sponsorship you are actually changing the trajectory of a child’s life, impacting his or her future in many ways, most immeasurable. I wish I could quickly transport you to Ethiopia so you could see what I saw when I entered the Chapa compound, hearing their loud clapping and bold song. Perhaps if you knew more about their living conditions or maybe seeing their faces and learning more about their dreams, maybe then you would be eager to get involved in changing the life of the children of Chapa.
Like everything else these days, the Olympic games are loaded with political and social questions/implications and just for the record Usain Bolt does need a humility check… but still I think the inspirational stories of the Olympic games have been good for my soul and have helped me to think more deeply about the power of ONE giving back and giving up for another… What are we willing to sacrifice for someone else to bask in the sunshine, the limelight, the glory? What could we do to make another feel loved and honored? How can we be the hands and feet of Jesus in the upside down and hurting world? Who were the unsung and quiet heroes who helped to shape you heart and guide you on your path? Most of us will never compete for gold but we still face an uphill climb each day in this world of challenge and strife.
Change the story of one. It circles round and round in my heart. As a community of faithful friends and family we have the power to enhance and nurture the whole Chapa community. Join my team. Pray for sponsors and/or become one yourself. Share this post to encourage others to learn about Chapa. Click here to learn how to sponsor a child from Chapa in Ethiopia and find out more about our journey to Chapa this February 2013. I can hardly wait to see their faces again and perhaps you are meant to join me.