Every Summer a select group of UK student-athletes take a mission trip to Ethiopia. We always hear great things, but nothing is more inspiring than Landon Foster’s story.
Foster volunteered last Summer, alongside Bud Dupree and Braylon Heard, but what’s happened since he’s returned is eye-opening. Jen Smith of The Herald Leader discovered that Foster made a friend for life during his visit. Foster tried not to get too attached, but his emotional wall came crashing down when he met Dejene.
The somewhat pesky 14-year old had a heart of gold. An impoverished boy with nothing only wanted to help others.
“He’d spent much of his time digging through the dump for food to live on and then he tells me he wants to be a cardiologist,” Foster said, shaking his head. “It struck me as such a perfect metaphor for how big of a heart he has.”
Foster was so touched that he stayed in touch with Dejene, working with the organization to sponsor Dejene, sending $50 out of his own pocket each month.
The adolescent touched many others, including Foster’s Mother, and a family from North Carolina. Their compassion helped Dejene move to America. Now known as Josh, he will reunite with Landon on the Commonwealth Stadium field tonight.
It’s a remarkable story, one that is tough to read without feeling emotional. Even though today is one of the biggest days in the program’s history, it pales in comparison to Josh’s journey.
— Landon Foster (@BigBlueKick12) September 5, 2015