Jake Strauss, a senior in high school, is preparing to run a marathon to serve children in our newest Learning Center in Guatemala. Today he shares with us why he’s choosing to make a difference.
On my trip to Guatemala last summer, we spent the majority of our time in Cruz Blanca, which is a community VisionTrust has been involved with for several years. Though the situation there still has a lot of room for improvement, the impact that VisionTrust had made during its time there was evident, particularly in the children. One child in particular, named Lorenzo, showed me and the rest of our team the love of Christ for our entire stay. Lorenzo hung around the Learning Center, and though we could not communicate through traditional means (I can’t speak Spanish), his inescapable sense of humor and charisma shone through the language barrier that separated us. By the end of our stay in Guatemala, I could see that Lorenzo was truly happy where he was, and that VisionTrust was a large part of that.
Despite Lorenzo’s joy, not all children in Guatemala possess such happiness. When our team took a visit to Villa Canales near the end of our trip, few, if any of the children we met there exhibited Lorenzo’s carefree demeanor. The stark contrast in the state of the communities was both unsettling and hopeful for me. Though the children in Villa Canales obviously need help, the potential that VisionTrust showed in Cruz Blanca to change the lives of children for the better is amazing. With the proper funding, I know VisionTrust’s program can help to improve the lives of the children living there, and perhaps create a few more kids like Lorenzo in the process.
So, a few months after my visit I decided to I would run a marathon in Cary, NC on March 15, 2015, to raise money for VisionTrust’s program in Villa Canales, Guatemala. The money raised will be used to pay the teachers of Villa Canales’s Learning Center, and will contribute to a lasting and critical education for the children that live there. Over time, VisionTrust hopes to establish an expanded and enduring education system for the children in the community, which will help to break the area’s cycle of poverty and lead to more fulfilling lives for its children.
I am 18 years old, and this will be my first marathon. Though the race will be challenging and a great test of endurance, it is nothing compared to what the children of Villa Canales have to live with every day. I am wholeheartedly excited to run in my first marathon, and I hope you choose to join me in helping to change the lives of the children of Guatemala.
Thank you for your support!