Hope Runs – An American Tourist, a Kenyan boy, and a Journey of Redemption written by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua was a delight to read!
This inspiring story is told between Claire’s and Sammy’s personal accounts of their lives . Claire follows her exploring heart with her roommate Lara. After many adventures throughout the world they land in Africa where Sammy enters the picture. They stay at the orphanage where he lives and start a running group for a year.
Their worlds intertwine and the girls and Sammy become family. Sammy’s life amidst dire situations has been uplifted through miraculous opportunities. He makes the most of them, a wonderful example for all of us. His trust in God and these precious women who desire to make things better for him is transforming. A great read and a fantastic cause!
We often feel we cannot overcome circumstances that appear in our lives yet reading how Sammy continues on against many odds without the advantages that we take for granted, we need to press on.
“When I start cross-country training, I am horrible at first. I am surprised by this because I am Kenyan and I have run for years with Hope Runs, but these students are all so fast. I see that when we were running in Kenya- with Claire and Lara trying as coaches – we were not really training as seriously as I thought we were. The idea of training was so new that I thought we had a rigorous schedule, and it was amazing to watch what we accomplished over the many months of running. I realize now at MCI why Claire and Lara were always pushing us harder and telling us we could do more. At the orphanage we were dedicated, but we were not experts.
But I do not get discouraged. I have seen that with running, the more you work, the more you improve. So I keep practicing, and slowly I become one of the fastest on the team.”
His fresh attitude displays moving on in spite of the circumstances. He looks ahead instead of looking behind. He finds joy and motivation in knowing people believe in him.
I suggest reading this fine book and even participating in their cause, Hope Runs. You may find yourself running towards LIFE.