Some disclaimers totally unrelated to this post...I don't view myself as being particularly tech-savvy. I'm also not an expert on running marathons, the world's water crisis, or engineering related to developing wells. And I don't think I've done any kind of creative writing since college (and I didn't do much of it there).
But, I am excited about each of these things and trusting that in sharing what I'm learning, I can inspire action and hopefulness. Or at least remind myself of the reasons I have to be hopeful.
Now on to Simon. Simon is the child we started sponsoring after I attended the World Vision experience at a local church nearly 3 years ago. It was challenging to walk through that exhibit and to be confronted by the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. I wanted to be able to hide my eyes...to turn away, but I couldn't. And I'm grateful. I confess that I haven't been faithful in my communication with Simon, but it's been super encouraging to get pictures and letters and updates and just to be connected with someone in another part of the world. Honestly, I knew nothing about Zambia before Simon. Sounds horrible, but I didn't care about Zambia before Simon.
A few months ago, I was reading my Runner's World magazine when I came across an article about Ryan and Sara Hall, well-known U.S. distance runners, and their trip to Zambia with Team World Vision. Oh, that's nice, I thought. Then I noticed that they were in an area called Musele. Isn't that where Simon is? I pulled out my picture of Simon and started searching for him in the magazine pictures. At some point, as I was studying the magazine photos, I realized that the Team World Vision runners were raising money for water projects that are directly impacting Simon. I care about Simon, and so I care about Musele, Zambia. I am thankful for the water projects that are granting this community access to a reliable source of water. I am grateful for the donors who supported these projects. I like to run. That's nice.
When I was searching for Simon, I didn't have any idea that I would join Team World Vision. It was just part of my story. Isn't it crazy to look back and see how seemingly insignificant connections and circumstances can result in actions and stories that are big and purposeful?