Holly Collingwood: Running for the children of Mongolia
My children ask me sometimes if an animal is good or bad? I didn’t understand what they were really asking for a while. But then I figured it out. In their eyes, if an animal eats another animal, it is bad.
Predators get a bad rap in children’s literature. There is Foxy Loxy who eats Chicken Little and all her friends before they can tell the King the sky is falling. There is the big tuna that eats all Swimmy’s brothers and sisters. There is the Big Bad Wolf who eats Grandma. There is a different wolf (or maybe the same one) who eats the Three Little Pigs.
Fortunately, my children have never known hunger so they don’t understand the desperation and consequences it can cause.
Making beds of cardboard, the children sleep on the pipes to stay warm. During the day, they scavenge at the city dumps for whatever scraps they can find or beg for their food on the local streets. Children live this way. Children.
In this most amazing country, The United States of America, it is estimated that more than 50 million people do not have dependable and consistent access to enough food due to limited money and recourses. To break this down, 1 in every 6 people in America go to bed every night wishing there was more.
And this is America.
Just think about how much more prevalent hunger is in a struggling and war-stricken country like Mongolia. And especially for the orphans who live there. When I think about the monstrosity of this situation, I feel overwhelmed. What can a single person like me do?
My friends Brian and Melissa Hunter felt this way. And they prayed about it. And Brian came up with a plan. A grand, impressive and ambitious plan.
He is going to run across Mongolia to raise awareness and funds to support the orphans of Mongolia. Yes, this is a single man who will run 1,500 miles across an entire country this summer because the orphans of Mongolia have no one to speak for them. Check out his website here.
Throughout the long winter months, the daytime temperatures there seldom climb above 0°F and the nights are brutally cold with temps below -20°F. In desperate attempts to escape the cold, the orphans pry open the city manholes and sewer lids and retreat beneath the streets. Inside the manholes run heating pipes that provide heat and hot water to local buildings. Making beds of cardboard, the children sleep on the pipes to stay warm. During the day, they scavenge at the city dumps for whatever scraps they can find or beg for their food on the local streets.
Children live this way. Children.
The Hunter family and a logistics crew will accompany Brian and support him as he runs. They are working with an existing orphanage that will use the funds to build more housing so they can accommodate more children in a safe, warm, nutritious, educational and caring environment.
So, when I think about what I can do, I come up with a longer list of things I can’t do and they begin with running. I can’t run more than a 5K – I barely finished one in April by speed-walking. But Brian can run and what I can do is tell their story. The Hunters leave in a few short weeks and are short of their fundraising goal.
If you can, please consider helping these orphans. The goal of Across Mongolia is to raise $25,000 and there are several ways you can help.
1) Please watch the video here and listen to Brian’s impassioned speech about their journey Across Mongolia.
2) Please make a donation. For $30, you can sponsor a mile of the journey.
3) Please purchase one of Melissa Hunter’s musical CDs or purchase one of the Hope necklaces made by Heidi Somers and Andrea Burgess. All proceeds will support Across Mongolia.
4) Please tell a friend about Across Mongolia. The conversation can begin just like this, “Hey, I heard about this guy who is going to run all the way across Mongolia to support the orphans there.”
5) Please pray for the Hunters on their journey and the orphans of Mongolia who are right now hungry and alone.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.