Pogo Stick PersistenceBlog / Produced by The High Calling
“Are you still pogo sticking!?”
That’s what people ask, repeatedly, when you decide to hop eight weeks for a fundraiser. Let me explain.
I learned about Love146 a year ago while reading a news article about Yale Sex Week. I was horrified at some of the classes and events the school hosted where pornography and exploitation seemed to be celebrated.
Then I was further appalled when I saw Lamont Hiebert from Love146 scheduled to speak at the event. In my rash judgment I contacted Lamont and questioned why in the world he would participate. (Not my most shining moment.) He graciously told me that Love146 was taking it as an opportunity to discuss child exploitation and the effects of rampant, non-conscious sex, and how it affects our children.
He won my support.
From that moment on I tried to collaborate with Love146 to develop an Ede Project (in Creole, “Project that Helps”) through my business, Delicate Fortress Creations. Ede Projects are specifically aimed at joining passion and purpose for customers - inviting them to fight human trafficking and poverty in ways they may not have known existed.
Nothing seemed to fit with Love146 until I learned of their campaign, Tread on Trafficking (TOT). TOT recruits “treaders” to exercise in order to raise money to accomplish Love146's mission. The perfect Ede Project! Even better was the fact that they give out prizes, one of which is the “Most Awesome Award” given to the treader with the most awesome fitness goal.
As luck would have it, my mother-in-law had just passed down my husband’s childhood pogo stick to our son. Could it be the perfect fit? Not many people use a pogo stick, and who pogo sticks twenty…six…miles? AWESOME people!
So, I borrowed my son’s new toy and participated in TOT with 4 goals:
- Pogo stick the distance of a marathon.
- Connect a person in my business audience with a way to fight child exploitation via exercise.
- Raise $5000 with a team of 50 people.
- Win the Awesome Award with the hope of putting Delicate Fortress Creations somewhere on the map.
Only one of those goals was met (and I’m still sore from it). I raised just $732 with a team of one person – me – and I didn’t win the Awesome Award.
The campaign ended on July 1 and I spent days afterward asking myself, What was the purpose of that? What was the purpose of pogo sticking 68,740 times, mostly in my garage with only my children and dog watching? I didn’t really know.
But I’m beginning to see. Participating added to my passion for something I didn’t know existed two short years ago: child exploitation. Pogo sticking isn’t easy, especially for a person with not a single athletic bone in her body, but I had a drive to keep going despite falls, bruises and potential stress fractures. Every time I got on that pogo stick, I thought of a little girl being sold and tortured. I prayed for her rescue, her healing, her life; that she would have the opportunity to find her potential and the courage to follow through with it. I prayed that the money I raised would help with additional staffing and clean sheets and counseling.
And I kept going despite the pain it caused me.
The $732 won’t go very far, I’m sure. But I must acknowledge that God cares about the insignificant things of this world, the mustard seeds. So the eight-year-old child slave, the woman infested with advanced HIV and a looming death sentence, the little girl with “#146” attached to her dress (her claim number for the evening)...what about these seemingly insignificant people? They have inspired places like The Restavek Freedom Foundation, the International Princess Project, and Love146, an organization that just raised $111,000 to fight child exploitation globally with over 1000 treaders. I’m so thankful I was one of them.
Brandon O’Brien wrote, “The obscure, the small, the insufficient - such are the means God uses to bring about His kingdom.... Though at first and on the surface, the work of God appears insignificant and inconsequential, it mysteriously yields a harvest of abundance."
Here’s hoping pogo sticking will have the potential of a mustard seed.
Image by Rachel Jones. Used with permission via Flickr. Post by Karyn Puller.