This morning we had the rare privilege to spend several hours with the famed coach Brother Colm O’Connell – what an impressive person! Certainly you can be impressed by his coaching abilities and his successes, but that is not what most impressed our Running the Race team. We were impressed with the person, Colm O’Connell and our conclusion is that it is the person, not the coach that truly makes him succeed. As we listened to his amazing story we heard past the facts and heard the bigger reality, the character of Brother Colm. Here are a few things that stood out…Brother Colm is
Brother Colm came to Kenya as a teacher – he had never coached runners. He found people to mentor him in coaching and in cultural issues. He never assumed greatness and allowed himself to be molded and shaped. He has chosen young boys and girls to train based on the potential he can see in them not only athletically, but also ethically. He has pushed past expected norms including sex and tribal prejudices to give many opportunities that they never otherwise would have had. He places a high priority on the relationships he has with his team and clearly understands that running is not the only thing he much teach them.
We were truly blessed by our time with Brother Colm and had a sweet time of prayer for him and his work at the end. Certainly he is the type of man the Lord desires – one who is wise and humble and willing to be used by Him.
“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.” Proverbs 3:13-14,18
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33
The afternoon was a great first day of clinic. We saw 8 patients including one of the fastest 5k/10k runners in the world. None of them had insurance or means to pay and Running the Race was able to pay for their consultation fees to the hospital and the needed X-rays.
It was a very busy day, but we feel so blessed to have spent time with such a servant, and to have been able to serve ourselves. We are all healthy so far – but missing hot – or even warm showers, (with water pressure), and clean water. Thanks for your prayers!