Recently, I shared that my wife and I attended the Samaritan’s Feet Champions of Hope Weekend, held in Florida around the end of April. The annual event is hosted by our friends and founders of Samaritan’s Feet, Tracie and Dr. Manny Ohonme. As a nonprofit working in 75 countries and 325 cities across the United States, it’s an opportunity to bring their partners and supporters together for fellowship and goal setting.
During the event we were inspired by world-class speakers and entertainers, along with professional athletes, coaches, and corporate executives who’ve become ambassadors for Samaritan’s Feet. One such coach was Scott Nagy, a graduate of Delta State University and current Wright State Raiders men’s basketball head coach. Aside from over 400 career wins, Nagy has become well-known for coaching games barefoot to raise awareness and funds for Samaritan’s Feet and having his teams serve the community, as well.
Scott and his wife, Jamie, have a personal reason for their efforts. Both Scott and Jamie were adopted as children; and after having four children of their own, they adopted their fifth, Naika, from an orphanage in Haiti. Just talking about the experience of adopting and raising Naika, the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (where the epicenter was near Naika’s home), and the challenges and joy brought to their family, as a result of Naika’s adoption, brings tears to their eyes.
When discussing adversity at the event, Scott said, “Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not good! We’re stretched when it’s difficult; and that can be a good thing!” Here in Memphis we call it “Grit and Grind!” In sports, we know we have to sweat, to push ourselves hard in order to get better and achieve success. Sometimes it hurts, physically and mentally, but when we overcome obstacles, learn how to adapt and get stronger, we grow. It’s the same in life, as it is in sports.
Yes, we’d prefer things to be easy, but relationships, jobs, finances, school, and simply getting through the day sometimes can be difficult. It’s tough to take criticism and emotions can get the best of us. However, if we look at these daily challenges as opportunities to stretch, to grow in a positive way, we can transform our attitudes, our lives, and our city and world, in the process.