Lifted Up

Jang Mi-Ran is the world’s strongest woman. Able to snatch, clean, and jerk better than anyone else in the business, this South Korean woman can lift 718.7 pounds . . . leaving her competition in the dust.

woman holding a craftBut Jang is made of more than just muscle. This weightlifter has a heart for the small, the weak, the poor, and she is using her fame to help children in desperate situations.

Jang Mi-Ran is a long-time Compassion friend, but today she is the face of sponsorship for the 1 million children we help.

Fellow Blewussi Kpodo was one of the world’s most vulnerable children, but now he is in the hands of the strongest. She says, “It really is my honor . . . This moment makes me forget every difficult moment of my life I went through.”

Though Jang did not grow up in extreme poverty, she knows what it means to struggle, and she understands the power that God has to rescue.

“I was a girl who was very depressed because of my appearance. However, the factor [my appearance] that I thought the weakest became the factor that I think the strongest.”

Jang is able to stand up to weightlifting giants from around the globe with confidence, but she was not always so courageous. In fact, she was once the wallflower.

“It is miracle that I am standing right here and speak in front of the people because I was the timid girl who didn’t like to be in front of the people. It’s all because God is with me.”

woman wearing gold medal and holding rosesShe has broken world records and is laden with gold medals, but Jang is humble. And despite the adoration she receives from her fans and the media, she is tentative to embrace their praise.

“Recently I had difficult time because people started to think me as a superwoman who is doing well in everything only through the image that shown through media. In fact, there are more things that I am not good at than things that I am good at.”

Whether good, bad, Olympian or amateur, Jang is making a difference in this world by speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Her life is an encouragement to children everywhere to find their identity, strength, and hope in God.

“I have strong faith that God would never leave me alone.” And she will be able to encourage her sponsored children to believe that same message. “I believe that God can do impossible things when I pray.”

11 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Amy June 18, 2009

    What a great story Jang Mi-Ran has, and how cool that she is a Compassion sponsor too. 🙂 Do the hearts on the plant she’s holding in the first picture have pictures of her sponsored kids?

  2. Stephanie G June 18, 2009

    “I was a girl who was very depressed because of my appearance. However, the factor [my appearance] that I thought the weakest became the factor that I think the strongest.”

    I hope comments like this one from Jang Mi-Ran inspire young women everywhere as they see how God worked through her to create something beautiful.

    I hope to find a way to share her story with my two “daughters” in Africa just as I plan to with my own two daughters at home.

  3. Jill Foley June 18, 2009

    A very strong woman with a very strong faith! It doesn’t get anymore beautiful than that!

  4. Mike Stephens June 17, 2009

    That is great!!!!!!!

  5. Dana June 17, 2009

    Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. There has been so much focus on Fellow lately but I am glad to hear about Jang Mi-Ran now. I love what she said about our weaknesses being made strong in Christ. What a wonderful way to bring Compassion full-circle with the strongest embracing the weakest, with South Korea now reaching out to Compassion’s newest country. Thank you SO much for sharing this with us! I am so glad to hear more about Jang Mi-Ran’s. She is a wonderful ambassador for Compassion and for South Korea, too.

  6. Brian June 17, 2009

    Beautiful Post – Yes – with God, nothing is impossible.

    God bless the children – our future and our hope.

  7. Lisa Miles June 17, 2009

    I loved learning more about Jang Mi-Ran. How amazing to be the world’s strongest woman! To be the BEST at something in this world is an amazing accomplishment.

    I appreciate what she says about the struggles in her own life. I think all of us have struggled with some aspect of our lives — from poverty, to insecurity, to difficult home situations, to personal adversities, to whatever. I think going through those things is what allows us to relate to the pain of others. It gifts us with empathy. The important thing is to take action and use the empathy and compassion we’ve been given to help others! Sponsoring children is such a great way to do that.

  8. Kees Boer June 17, 2009

    This is wonderful! A bit woman with a big heart. I think it is great that someone from the very first country that Compassion started working in is now sponsoring someone in the last country that Compassion started working in!

    How does someone like that though obey the verse where it says to “lay aside every weight that so easily entangles us.” (I’m just kidding here! 🙂 )

    Let’s go for finding the next 1,000,000 children sponsored. If we keep growing this way in 50 years, we’ll have 1 Billion children sponsored!


  9. Britt June 17, 2009

    This post made me smile 🙂

  10. Amy Wallace June 17, 2009

    Glad to call her part of my Compassion family!

  11. Lindy June 17, 2009

    A note to Jang: You are beautiful. You radiate joy, hope, faith, and love, and we thank God for you!

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