If you’re in need of an emotional boost, we highly recommend this beautiful piece by Lisa Burke, which appeared in the Positively Newsworthy section of our Spring 2020 magazine. In it, she recalled her experience of taking part in a cycling challenge through Southeast Asia, to raise money for schoolchildren in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Life Begins in Every Breath
A moment that took my breath away
by Lisa Burke
Some moments that are gifted to us in life can change everything, just as our breath is a reminder to start fresh and begin again. Last year I was gifted a moment: a chance encounter that impacted me and others in a powerful way.
The morning of November 30th, 2019, caught my breath. I walked through the gates of the Sunshine School in Vietnam, to an explosion of confetti, balloons, music and the warmest smiles and cheers from the children blessed to be part of this school.
I felt so elated to be there. Myself and 16 other challengers had cycled over 600km from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The journey started with a chance encounter with Christina Noble, a woman who blew my heart open.
When I met Christina, I felt the depth of love and care that she carries for every child she holds in her heart. Over 30 years, CNCF has impacted the lives of over 1 million children.
I felt so inspired to help. I signed up for this life-changing challenge to help CNCF and Christina Noble to take children off the streets, to give them back their childhood, through life, health, and education, but above everything, through love.
As a group we raised almost $45,000. We cycled various distances over 10 days, from 50km, 90km and 100km with our biggest ride at 120km. We cycled through dusty off-road tracks, exciting pathways, woods and trails, also visiting the temples of Angkor Wat. We met local children along the way who greeted us so warmly with big smiles, shouting “HELLO” amid trees or houses and waving to us. They kept us motivated on the long cycle days.
On entering through the gates of the Sunshine School in Ho Chi Minh City, I felt a wave of emotion as we were embraced by the warmth and love of everyone there. Every child was so welcoming. What I realised was, ‘these are the lucky ones.’ Take this moment to stop and take a deep breath. Realise that every breath is an opportunity to begin again. Seize the moment.
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