Sensible Shoes for East Africa

A year ago a good friend sent me an email saying that she wanted to introduce me to a woman who lived in my neighborhood. “You and Leslie just have to meet!” she said. “And you need to take her a copy of Sensible Shoes!” Leslie and I exchanged emails and arranged a time to meet at her house.

Leslie greeted me at her door that day with the kind of warm embrace you offer a longtime friend. As soon as she led me into her living room, I noticed a large framed photo above her sofa: five pairs of shoes lined up beside a stream. It could have been the cover of my book. I pointed to it. “Sensible Shoes!” I said. She smiled and nodded, then told me the story behind the shoes.

Three years ago, at the age of 39, Leslie was suddenly and unexpectedly widowed. Shortly after her husband, Rick, died, she picked out five of his favorite pairs of shoes, each one representing work or a particular hobby, and took them to their favorite park. “Rick loved to run and ski there as often as possible,” she said. “Of all the things he had, which wasn’t much, those shoes meant so much to him. Such a symbol of all he loved about life. Outdoors, exercise, fun, community with his Creator.”

I knew as soon as we sat down together beneath those shoes that God had a special connection in mind for us. I listened to her story with wonder, marveling at how God had helped her to steward her grief and loss by becoming a missionary in East Africa. I knew I wanted to do something to support her work with widows and orphans there. Now we have an opportunity to help provide “sensible shoes” to barefoot children.

Leslie explains what $10 can do: “These sensible shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Yet so many East African children go barefoot, but not by choice. By washing the feet of the children in Nakapiripirit (Karamoja), and fitting them with sensible shoes covered in your prayers, we’ll ‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God’ (Ephesians 5:1-2). Your sponsorship will bring teaching and ministry to the Karamajong pastors and their children through a conference designed to help their cattle-raiding region learn to…walk in the way of love.”

Will you partner with us as we seek to walk in the way of love?

You can visit Leslie’s blog and donate securely with PayPal:

http://blog.surprisedbyhope.org/2012/03/sensible-shoes-walk-in-way-of-love.html

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