On July 27, the Summer Olympics begin! The competition stirs hearts and national pride but often it is the stories of the Olympians themselves that move us.
Such is the story of Lopez Lomong. You may remember him from the Beijing Olympics as he carried in the flag for the American team. Lomong, kidnapped at the age of 6 by soldiers in Sudan, was trained to fight and had no hope. But God had different plans for this "Lost Boy." As a teen, he was brought to the states, loved by a foster family and even re-united with his biological family in 2003.
Lomong not only qualified for the Olympics again this year, but he works tirelessly to change things for the better in Africa. In a recent ESPN article, Lomong told readers what inspires him to run:
"Clean water, health care, education and nutrition, those are the four things I'm focusing on giving the people of south Sudan opportunity," said Lomong, 27. "If I'm not able to do anything, nobody is going to do anything, so I have to speak out.
"I tell people, 'Run with me. Run along with me. Let's help these people as much as we can. Let's get them clean water.' Girls travel 15, 20 miles to get clean water. On the way they're getting killed and raped. They're vulnerable. Why does it have to be like that?"
My friend Mark Tabb helped Lomong tell his story. You need to read it.
You have a couple of weeks till it all starts so interrupt your summer reading schedule with this book about Lopez Lomong, one of the many athletes representing the United States! I just downloaded mine!