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Meeting Promise

15-07-2013
Woman is resting on a fence next to a racing tricycle
© CBM
Catherine van Staden, CBM head of Finance and Accounting at the Southern Africa Regional Office, takes part in ITU World Triathlon series in Cape Town

While visiting one of the CBM partners Heal Africa, I got to meet Promise who lives in Goma and has Cerebral Palsy, she can’t walk or learn like a child her age, and probably has, in the world’s eyes no future hope. I have to believe differently though, so I decided to dedicate the ITU Triathlon race on April 27 2014 to Promise.

Catherine dedicates the ITU Triathlon race to Promise

Women are standing by the waterside, getting ready to swim, they are all wearing wetsuits and swimming caps. Amongst them, one woman is sitting on the water's edge also waiting to swim. ©CBM
Catherine ready to swim the 1st part of the triathlon
In April 2014, I travelled with CBM USA to Goma in the DRC. While visiting one of the CBM partners Heal Africa, I got to meet Promise who lives in Goma and has Cerebral Palsy, she can’t walk or learn like a child her age, and probably has, in the world’s eyes no future hope. I have to believe differently though, and so therefore I decided to dedicate the ITU Triathlon race I did on Sunday to Promise. 

Meeting Promise and seeing her smiling and being able to interact with her just inspired me to keep on pursuing ‘promises’ over my life and realising that there is always hope no matter if I have a disability or in what circumstances I may find myself in. God is bigger and what we may see as a future and a calling, God might actually have a different idea. At least this is what I have been learning the past few years as I take on new challenges and new dreams.

Who would ever have thought that having a disability could allow me to ever do what I get to do, even fulfill promises I never knew existed a few years ago.

Determination and perseverance to keep going

Woman riding a trike ©CBM
Catherine riding her trike for the second part of the triathlon
I know that finding the strength, the courage the determination, the perseverance to keep going when my body doesn't want to is not always easy but believing that Gods promises are bigger then my body, gives me courage to keep going and doing what pushes me past my limits to my dreams. Swimming 500 meters, cycling 20 km and walking about 1 km, is the courage I had to have on Sunday and reminding myself of Promise as I raced pulled me through to the end!

“When we place our dependence in God, we are unencumbered, and we have no worry. In fact, we may even be reckless, insofar as our part in the production is concerned. This confidence, this sureness of action, is both contagious and an aid to the perfect action. The rest is in the hands of God – and this is the same God, gentlemen, who has won all his battles up to now.” Vince Lombardi

The finish line

Woman running across the finish line using crushes ©CBM
Catherine at the finish line
"I believe in God and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." Vince Lombardi

Catherine van Staden


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