What does it take to be an Olympic athlete? Two-time Olympic runner, Eloise Wellings, visited Waverley Christian College in Melbourne as part of her campaign for the Love Mercy Foundation.
Wellings’ visit to Melbourne’s leading Christian School saw her share her story of persistence through trials. As a 16-year-old student, she had gained selection on the Australian Olympic team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, her Olympic dream was left shattered when she was unable to compete due to injuries linked to an eating disorder.
It was during these trials that a classmate prayed for her and shared who Jesus was with her. Out of injury and despair came a relationship with Jesus that has driven her to become an Olympic finalist and the fastest Australian female ever over 10,000m.
However, Wellings’ greatest success, outside her family, has come from being the co-founder of the Love Mercy Foundation. They provide micro-loans to women to purchase seeds for farming in Uganda as well as funding a remote medical centre near Awake. The Foundation came about through meeting Ugandan middle distance champion Julius Achon.
At 11 years of age, Achon was forced to be a child solider for a resistance army. He escaped and ran over 300km to reach his home. Achon would go on to compete on the world stage yet when he returned home he found his village suffering from the war that engulfed his country. He shared with Wellings that he had taken in 11 children orphaned because their parents had died in the war. He described to her the trials his village had been through without a medical clinic.
Through their partnership they are transforming the community using simple solutions to poverty and by empowering women and girls to access education, health care, and income generation.
True inspiration comes from more than fast times and making Olympics. It comes from a life that displays this inspiration in every facet. Wellings is a true inspiration.
Driven by a faith in Jesus, she runs towards a marathon spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and she runs to make a difference in the lives of the people in Uganda. Wellings’ visit was a moving testimony to the way God works all things for His glory and an inspiration of how, by faith, we can continue through trials. http://www.lovemercyfoundation.org/home
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html