There’s some kids that are near and dear to my heart. Remember these guys? Yeah, I’m still loving on them from all the way across the ocean.

You know I have a special affinity for the Congo — a place stolen from itself years ago by an evil Belgian King named Leopold, tattered and torn, brimming with wealth that is constantly thieved. But, it is also bursting full of seeds of hope in the children and the Godly men and women who dwell there.

The children of the Congo for Christ Orphanage are some of the sweetest, most well-behaved, loving children I’ve ever encountered. You won’t find these responsible, polite, love-starved kids on most American playgrounds, that’s for sure.

As most of you know, the key to hope, success, influence and promise is education. Our children — those here in the U.S., in the Congo, and everyone need education to thrive, grow and improve. It is knowledge infused by passion and truth that could quite possibly save a nation. If nothing else, it gives a child something each of them deserve and the possibility to create a life for themselves that rises above the generations of genuine poverty to which they were born.

Ricky reading with three of our CCC kids.

I told you before I went to Congo that this is NOT a one time event. My trip was just one piece of a larger puzzle. I pledged to be an advocate for this country — on a long-term mission to help make some kind of a little difference.

I’ve read, I’ve listened, I’ve learned. No way, Americans cannot “save” Africa. A two-week trip to a country isn’t what’s going to help in the long run. But my team and I are committed to these orphans and we are working hand-in-hand with the Congolese in Uvira to continue the wonderful things that have begun at the Orphanage. It did not end on June 18th when I returned to the U.S. It is far from ending for my teammates and I.

With Esperence (left)– the little girl that I sponsor — and cutie pie Sophia.

Like for many children around the world, school is starting soon in Congo.  School fees and supplies for our 58 orphans for the entire 2012-2013 school year aren’t something they have available to them. And I want to help. I’m hoping you do too.

How do you help? On September 8th, our team will be running the very difficult 12-mile Tough Mudder race in Maryland. A sneak preview:

This is no easy race. Though I’m an experienced marathon runner, I’m told this will put even me to the test. It’s hard to train for, hard to trudge through and hard to finish — but our team is running this race for our kids in Congo.

We hope our wacky idea to swim through mud lakes, climb over walls hike over slimy hills and douse ourselves 100% in mud for 12+ miles will inspire you — friends, family, readers, strangers — to help us help the orphans at CCC.

Our fundraising goal is $7,500 for a very specific reason:

  •  $4,176 for school fees for 48 primary school students and 10 secondary school students.
  • $3,322 for the required school uniforms and other supplies.

Most of our teammates already sponsor one or more of the orphans monthly at CCC and rest assured, we’ll all be contributing our own money to this project as well. But we need more — and every little bit helps. If everyone that reads this donated just $5-$10, we would reach our goal in no time.

So, I am cutting to the chase because these kids deserve an education. They don’t have moms and dads and currently they are sleeping two to a dirty bed in an unsecured area in Congo — where rebel fighting could break out at any time. They are beautiful, hopeful and full of God’s joy. I’ve never smiled SO much in my life as I did in those two weeks. Thank GOD for these children and the hope they represent for this country — the heart of Africa — that could once again become a great nation full of light instead of darkness.

If you want to help make a difference in a child’s life right now, here’s your opportunity: 

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