Gerald Phiri

Gerald Phiri
100m & 200m

My father is a pastor who has started churches in various places around the world. He has started churches everywhere he has been, from Zambia, in Central Africa, where I was born, to Oak Park, Ill., where my family now lives.

Outside the world of track, my dad is my hero. I always liked the way he carried himself and the values he tries to instill in me. I saw him every day, so I saw him in good times and bad and saw how he was faithful to living for God and using his talents for God’s kingdom. I realize I must do the same. 

Part of the journey of growing in Christ is learning spiritual discipline.     Temptation is always around, but I’m living with the Christian principles my father instilled in me and living my life in a way that honors God. God is always disciplining me and He is not finished shaping me and won’t be until my time on earth is done.

The Bible says the steps of a righteous man are laid out before him. It’s all about trusting God. That is true in life as it is on the track.

I take track seriously and I want to make the people of Zambia proud of me, but I believe God is still working on me, molding me for something bigger. The most important way I honor God is by having a personal relationship with Him.

Before I go to the track I pray and tell God, “Your will be done.” If I am running to glorify Him and not myself, at the end of the day I’ve done all I can do. Everything else is in His hands.

Photos courtesy Texas A&M University