Each day he’s on the trail, Scott will share uplifting thoughts on the walk as a metaphor for life, and the journey we’re on together to bring hope to kids in hard places.
The 4th of July on trail #1776 inspired thoughts about Freedom. Freedom is not just being able to do what you want – that can be slavery. Freedom is a state of mind that comes from knowing who you are, that you are loved by God. Freedom is a liberation from yourself, that allows you to love. It’s the freedom we read of in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Sometimes when I’m hiking solo in the backcountry I think about bears or mountain lions or other risks, but I don’t tend to worry about the type of encounter I had today. A lot of friends have encouraged me to carry when I’m solo but I never have. I wonder what you would have done?
Training day. Today I am covering 10 miles with full pack and 1600 vertical feet at elevation of 8500 – a fairly light day to prepare me for the 500 mile trek from Denver to Durango. Today I’ve been thinking about training, about readiness for the trial, about how training is so different from “trying.”
Life will inevitably test us. In this world you will have trouble. How do we prepare for the moment of the test so that we respond well to the tough circumstances of life?
To follow Jesus is to live according to his way of living, to imitate him as an apprentice. The regular practices or habits of our faith – prayer, study of scripture, fasting, solitude, Sabbath etc, are vital to the life of a disciple. But they are not an end in themselves, that would be religion. Instead, these practices of the abiding life are used by God to transform our minds, to renew us and reshape us, so that when we face the test, the character of Christ is revealed in us.
We do not study to study well, or fast to fast well. Instead, the “spiritual disciplines” are a form of training.
A mentor once gave me a simple axiom, “The test is not the test. Your response to the test is the test.” We don’t have an option to go through life without challenges but we can be prepared to handle them well. We train our minds and hearts to be ready for them so that in the moment of the test our “natural instinct “ (new nature) is toward patience instead of anger, toward grace instead of judgement, toward humility instead of pride – for others more than for ourself.
I guess I could just show up at the trailhead and “try really hard” to finish the hike, but that’s not likely to go well! Instead, I am training for a 40 day, 500 mile trek through the wilderness. I hope my training prepares me to finish well but, even if I can’t finish, I won’t regret a single step because I’m doing this hike to raise awareness and support for kids in poverty. This cause, those kids, deserve everything I can offer. They are the “why” of the hike and remembering why is an important part of readiness.
I am also grateful to know that I am not alone. I’m doing this “walk” as part of a global community of Child Champions who are walking in solidarity with those who serve kids in hard places.
We would love to have you as part of our community. Walk with Us!
Sartaj and his family live in an impoverished community where there are not many resources, but because of the center, he has opportunities and the chance to pursue a career as an accountant. Until he can reach this goal, Sartaj is content to complete his homework, play cricket with friends, explore new parts of town, or help with chores such as fetching water. This joyful and considerate teenager looks forward to English class the most out of all his courses, and he prays for peace and protection.
Shivani loves attending activities at the center where Child Champions offer vital resources, love, and support. In her prayers, she asks God to give her knowledge and new dresses. This sensitive and nurturing girl is determined to become a teacher someday but for now is focused on studying for school and learning English vocabulary words. At home, Shivani can frequently be seen assisting with household chores and errands, reading books, eating a delicious mango for a snack, or playing Kho Kho outside with friends.
Kidus is discovering more about God’s everlasting love at Sunday school and prays for blessings on his education. When he is done assisting with household chores, this sociable and spirited young man has fun taking part in soccer matches against friends. At school, Kidus studies hard in all his classes and especially enjoys learning the English language. He aspires to be a doctor when he is grown, and thanks to the support and encouragement he receives from devoted Child Champions, this dream can become a reality.
Science is Mekdes’s favorite school subject because she understands it well. At home, she is glad to lend a hand by running errands and cleaning before having fun drawing and coloring pictures or jumping rope with friends from the neighborhood. Mekdes eagerly attends spiritual programs every week, is maturing in her understanding of Christ’s love, and prays for God to help her be a good student so that she can become a doctor one day. Thanks to the support she receives at the center, this cheerful, outgoing teen can strive toward her goals.
Although Jestin and his loved ones live in extreme poverty, they know he faces a promising future thanks to the guidance and resources he receives at the center. The encouragement and support provided by generous Child Champions inspire him to dream of becoming a teacher someday, but until then, this active, considerate, and cheerful young man stays busy reading stories in his favorite English class and buying household necessities for his family. When there’s time for fun, Jestin enjoys drawing and coloring or playing cricket and soccer with friends.
One mile for one child.
For every mile of the trail, we’ve chosen a child who is currently enrolled at a OneChild Hope Center but still needs a sponsor.
Altitude sickness, injury, exhaustion: Scott will face many challenges as he hikes the Colorado Trail 500 miles from Denver to Durango. But you can help keep him moving and keep the community moving toward our goal: support for 500 kids.
You can join in easily from anywhere, and you won’t have to worry about lightning, rockfalls, or probably even blisters!
“Children are innocent and deserve a better world. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the horrible things kids go through. But there are heroes who inspire me – teachers, coaches, counselors who give of themselves so that kids can thrive. I’m doing this walk for those who work in the slums, the back alleys, the remote villages – for those bringing hope to kids in hard places.”
Scott C. Todd, PhD | President, OneChild
Scott's team sets off on June 25 to walk 500 miles to raise support for 500 kids.
The Child Champions who help kids living in poverty walk in hard places as they work. This summer, we're walking in solidarity with them. We invite you, our global community, to join us in walking, or moving in whatever way works best for you, as we bring hope to our kids.
Research indicates that one-to-one child sponsorship is one of the most effective ways to combat global poverty.
Sponsorship makes it possible for kids to receive education and life-changing child development opportunities, which help them become leaders within their communities.
Your monthly financial support empowers staff in the field to equip children to become healthy, self-sufficient adults.