Sunday, February 20, 2011
Remember what it was like to run a race when you were a kid? Do you remember how exciting it was to WIN?
Meet Emilda Soriano. She's a mentally challenged 18 year old Filipino girl who functions at the level of a 3 year old. And one more thing . . . she's fast, really fast! In fact, she won a gold medal, 2 silver medals and a bronze medal in the track & field competition at the 2009 Special Olympics in the Philippines and has qualified for the International Special Olympics.
Did I mention that she's fast, really fast?
Her parents do their best to support her in every way. Her dad makes just $6.25/week as a tombstone engraver and her mother takes in laundry to supplement the family income. The Philippine government has supported her at the national level but she needs people like you and me to support her if she's to go to the International competition.
Emilda is also a Compassion International sponsored child, an organization that's close to my heart. Julia and I sponsor a young boy in Haiti through Compassion (you can read about him here.) If you're unfamiliar with Compassion, you can read more about this fine organization here.
Why should you and I invest in sending a mentally challenged girl from an impoverished family to the International Special Olympics? I don't know, maybe we shouldn't. Maybe our money would be better invested in other charitable ways. Maybe the opportunity to compete on an international level will not make any real difference in her life? But then . . . maybe it will send a message to Emilda and her family that they are objects of great worth? Maybe it will say to her and other Compassion International sponsored kids, that they are really special in God's eyes and in the eyes of his followers? Maybe it will bring hope? Only you can answer that question for yourself.
If you want to learn more about Emilda's story, click here. If you want to help her go to the International Special Olympics, click here.
Whatever you do, pray for Emilda and her family. That's something all of us can do.