a huge chunk of my life--until my early twenties--was spent raising funds for project concern through their event the walk for mankind which later became the walk for children. i walked, did mailings, served on the youth action committee and eventually ended up during my college years working with media relations, leading the youth committee, and doing presentations about the walk and what the funds raised meant to the people that project concern served. i spoke to elementary school kids, middle and high school kids, church groups and civic communities--anybody who'd ask us to send a speaker and talk about poverty and how a difference could be made. eventually the walks were phased out. and with it a lot of my activism died. i don't think i even fully realized that until this spring when we (ys) published 'be the change' by zach hunter. every so often i'd read something or hear someone say something to the effect of 'it's great he's got that youthful energy, but he'll grow out of it'. everytime i heard that, i'd have such a strong, deep reaction. "dream stealers" i called them. when it was appropriate, i'd share how they should keep that opinion to themselves. or question why they felt the need to seemingly hope or flat out expect that zach would or should 'grow out of it'.
about a month ago, this came up at my women's group. i melted down. i started down the questioning road but realized this wasn't about zach. it was about me. somehow, when the walks ended, i lost hope about being able to really change the world. i needed to find a way to regain that hope. about the same time i learned about walk their walk, a walk-a-thon put together by my friends jody and kathryn. the proceeds benefit the community of twachiyanda, zambia. kathryn and jody visited this community to see the impact that our middle school kids had there through one life revolution & world vision. they came back truly changed by their experience and this walk is an expression of that.
so as part of me regaining hope, i'm participating in the walk. walking 12 miles--the same distance the kids in twachiyanda walk each day to go to school. and instead of presents for my birthday, i'm asking friends & family to sponsor me in the walk. you can check out my sponsorship page and donate online at http://www.firstgiving.com/mindig. i'm nervous and excited--walking 12 miles is lot for me these days. but through jody and kathryn's trip and stories, i know that the funds raised by walk their walk will have a huge impact on a community the other side of the world. and in turn, that gives me hope.