Glenda Graced by Lovely Olympians

So, I’m off to Rwanda again for the purpose of further relationship building, follow-up of sponsored beneficiaries, and taking care of year-end administrative issues.

The journey was tedious, as the airport in London was very busy with its post-Olympic frenzy. A quiet spot was nowhere to be found during my 9 hour layover in Heathrow. Sleep deprived and struggling with a whopper of a migraine (since before I left Calgary), I decided to upgrade my ticket from London to Addis so I could get some much needed sleep. To be honest, I felt very self-indulgent when I did that but I believe there was a good purpose for this pampering; a divine appointment awaited me in business class.

Standing at the ticket counter, first in line to make ticket changes for the flight, I was told there may not be room for me in business class today; Ethiopian Airlines was hosting the retuning Ethiopian Olympians on my flight and they intended to put the Gold Medal Winners in Business Class. It turned out the entire Olympic team was on my flight! In the row directly infront of me sat Tirunesh Dibaba (the Women’s 10000m Gold Medal Winner) and Meseret Defar (the Women’s 5000m Gold Medal Winner). Two rows in front of them sat Tiki Gelana (the Women’s Marathon Gold Medal Winner).

Though we had little opportunity to watch the Olympics this year (we only have “peasant view” at home and the reception is pathetic!), I recognized all the women; remembering their joy as they crossed the finish line and Dibaba lying on the ground and then running her victory lap with a picture of Mother Mary and the infant Jesus. What a privilege to be seated with such inspirational women! This really seemed like a divine opportunity.

Dibaba and Defar sat across the aisle from each other, deeply engaged in conversation in Amharic. When there was a lull in their chat, I boldly introduced myself, presented them with my Hopethiopia business card and told them about what we are doing in Harbu Chulule and how the women of that community are very much on my heart. I showed them pictures of the girls from the High School of Harbu Chulule and told them that we are trying to inspire and encourage them. Pointing out that they are two of the most inspirational women in the world, they could have a huge impact on the lives of the village girls, so I invited them to participate in the “Run of Hope” in September in Harbu Chulule.

Let’s keep this opportunity in our prayers! It would be crazy cool if they would join our Ethiopian Staff on September 15!

And thus, the next adventure begins! I feel God’s hand upon this leg of the journey. Please pray for continued favor and keen focus on the tasks that are before me the next couple of weeks.

Blessings on you all,


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