Hope Runs

An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption

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About

She went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God had other plans.

When Claire Díaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mount Kenya, and then head back home. She entered an orphanage, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.

Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with several other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage, seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

Hope Runs
is the emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It's about opening your heart to outrageous possibilities. It's about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see.

It's about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye.


"One restless woman from America seeking--something . . . and one homeless boy from Africa seeking--someone . . . write a story that has your heart colliding with what you're looking for--right where you are."--Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts

"Hope Runs is more than a book, it's a monument to empathy."--from the foreword by Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz

"This book isn't just a story, it's an invitation to love extravagantly. It's about relentless hope and tremendous love. Buckle up, you're about to be changed."--Bob Goff, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda; New York Times bestselling author of Love Does

"Claire knows firsthand what it means to really give of her time and talent, and in this book she challenged me to do the same. My heart sings that there are people in the world like her."--Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike

"Claire and Sammy invite us into their story with the comfortable familiarity of old friends, challenging us to see beyond the borders of what we thought life was supposed to hold and how detours are often the best storylines of all."--Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood; community manager for (in)courage

"A beautiful story, beautifully told. This book is a timely reminder that love and hope can bridge continents and create family anywhere."--Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine


Claire Díaz-Ortiz is an author, speaker, and technology innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, where she still works, and over the years has been called everything from "a mover and shaker" (Mashable) to a "force for good" (Forbes). She is the author of several books, including Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. She is a frequent international speaker and writes a popular business blog at www.clairediazortiz.com.

Claire holds an MBA from Oxford University and a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She is the cofounder of Hope Runs, a nonprofit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. She has appeared widely in major television and print news sources such as CNN, BBC, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Wired, and many others. Find her on Twitter @claire.

Samuel Ikua Gachagua
was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his parents at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in an orphanage in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2009, he received a full-ride scholarship to Maine Central Institute, granting him a rare US visa and the chance to begin his sophomore year of high school under the guardianship of Claire Díaz-Ortiz. After graduating from high school, he spent a year serving in Ecuador as a fellow for Global Citizen Year. He is an up-and-coming motivational speaker and can be found on Twitter @sammyikua.


Endorsements

"One restless woman from America seeking--something . . . and one homeless boy from Africa seeking--someone . . . write a story that has your heart colliding with what you're looking for--right where you are."

Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts

"This book isn't just a story; it's an invitation to love extravagantly. It's the voices of Sammy and Claire telling us that the power of God's love trumps our fears and circumstances. It's about relentless hope and tremendous love. Buckle up, you're about to be changed."

Bob Goff, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda; New York Times bestselling author of Love Does

"Claire knows firsthand what it means to really give of her time and talent, and in this book she challenged me to do the same. What a brave step of faith she took--and continues to live. My heart sings that there are people in the world like her."

Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike

"This is a beautiful story, beautifully told. I could read Sammy's and Claire's stories for days on end. This book is a timely reminder that love and hope can bridge continents and create family anywhere."

Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine

"If you're looking for a life that matters, if you're craving something you can't quite put your finger on, maybe start with this book. And the story of how extraordinary sometimes looks nothing like climbing Everest but everything like quietly connecting with one person's story. And watching how yours multiplies into something that satisfies way beyond check marks on a bucket list. Claire and Sammy invite us into their story with the comfortable familiarity of old friends, challenging us to see beyond the borders of what we thought life was supposed to hold and how detours are often the best storylines of all."

Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood; community manager for (in)courage

"Hope Runs is a powerful reminder of what God can do if we obediently listen to him. Claire is a change maker, has lots of influence, and runs in influential circles, but she still makes sure to focus on what is most important. This book is timely, heartfelt, and honest. I appreciate the grace, hope, love, and adventure lived out through this journey, and now you get to experience it as well!"

Brad Lomenick, president of Catalyst; author of The Catalyst Leader

"I read Hope Runs in two days (and I am not a fast reader). I can't think of a more unlikely pair than Sammy and Claire--yet somehow, after reading their story, I can't imagine one separate from the other. Theirs is a powerful, unforgettable story, and I'm truly grateful for their willingness to tell it."

Emily P. Freeman, author of A Million Little Ways

"Hope Runs is a beautifully moving and heartfelt story of how two lives were completely rearranged by hope and love."

Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com; author of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

"Claire Díaz-Ortiz has always led with wisdom and heart, and this book is no exception. In her and Sammy's story we have a powerful witness of what happens when we learn to be sensitive to God's voice and step out boldly in faith. Hope Runs inspired me and gave me hope; I know it will do the same for readers around the country."

Joshua DuBois, author of The President's Devotional; founder of Values Partnerships; former executive director of the White House faith-based initiative

"Claire and Sammy are two lovely people who tell their story of hope with such incredibly moving authenticity. This book will inspire you!"

Alli Worthington, strategist, speaker, and author

"Hope Runs brings the feeling of a downhill sprint: your heart will pound, your spirit will rise, and you'll be caught up in the rush that comes from stepping out in faith and letting life run away with you."

Scott Williams, church growth/leadership consultant and strategist at Nxt Level Solutions; author of Church Diversity and Go Big

"Sammy and Claire share a powerful story of two lives changed and challenge us to listen for God's voice and bravely step out in faith."

Rebekah Lyons, cofounder of Q Ideas; author of Freefall to Fly

"Stories of overcoming impossible obstacles move me, but Hope Runs did more: it changed my cynicism to hope. I dare to believe that people who are hurt in and by this world can rise above and run a new, life-changing race. Sammy's voice and Claire's story reminded me of everything good about the human spirit."

Mary DeMuth, author of The Wall Around Your Heart

"Hope Runs is more than a book, it's a monument to empathy. I'm grateful to have been able to ease drop on this private conversation, a retelling of a life as a way to connect--Claire to Sammy first--then the rest of us to them."

from the foreword by Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz


The Authors

  1. Claire Diaz-Ortiz

    Claire Diaz-Ortiz

    Claire Diaz-Ortiz leads social innovation at Twitter, Inc., and is the author of several books, including Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she is a...

    Continue reading about Claire Diaz-Ortiz

  2. Sammy Ikua Gachagua

    Sammy Ikua Gachagua

    Sammy Ikua Gachagua was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his family at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2009 he received a full-ride scholarship to Maine Central Institute,...

    Continue reading about Sammy Ikua Gachagua

  3. Samuel Ikua Gachagua

    Samuel Ikua Gachagua

    Sammy Ikua Gachagua was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his family at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2009 he received a full-ride scholarship to Maine Central Institute,...

    Continue reading about Samuel Ikua Gachagua

Reviews

"Inspirational . . . a remarkable story of how God used two women to change Sammy's life and give him the strength and courage to overcome adversity and hardship. Highly recommended."

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