As this blog post goes out, two US women and 18 others are climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. We hope their words here will inspire you. Then, read on to find out how you can get involved and take up a challenge of your own!
Climbing Africa’s highest mountain is one of the most challenging treks in the world. It will take the women seven days to conquer the nearly 20,000-foot summit and temperatures may reach -20F at the top.
So why are they doing it?
Sarah, one of the climbers, tells us what is going through her mind as she climbs:
“It’s the end of day two and we’re all feeling a little tired, a little sore. But happy and in good spirits.
“We’ve had a little bit more of a tough climb than we expected today. But we went up the side of the mountain over rocks and boulders and it was actually very beautiful.
“While I was climbing I was listening to a song called ‘You make me brave’ and I started praying for the Lord not only to make us brave and courageous to get up the mountain but also for the girls who are caught in trafficking. That he would strengthen them and make them brave, especially if they have choices that are hard to make. And so it was a good time of prayer as we were going up the mountain.”
The women are climbing for the freedom of the 30 million enslaved, exploited and oppressed women and children around the world.
“The Freedom Challenge Climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro is symbolic,” says Tina Yeager, director of The Freedom Challenge. “It’s the highest freestanding mountain in the world and its summit, Uhuru, means “freedom” in Swahili. Our comparably small sacrifice of giving up our home comforts, vacations and time with family pales in comparison to the suffering of these people.”
“The Freedom Challenge’s purpose is to be a voice for the voiceless; for those who cannot declare freedom in their lives and climb out of their circumstances on their own,” says Yeager. “The climb is merely a symbolic gesture of what women and children around the world go through every single day. It symbolizes their arduous climb to freedom.”
The good news is you don’t have to go to Tanzania to experience a Freedom Challenge climb. This year you can stay right at home in the US and come with us to The Grand Tetons in Wyoming in July.
You can hike or bike, you don’t need any experience, and you’ll discover for yourself all the joy, fun and exhilaration that Sarah describes above. What’s stopping you?
Find out more and sign up here: www.thefreedomchallenge.com/16-wyoming
Keep up-to-date with all the news from our climbers’ on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheFCUSA).