Thank You.

Thank you. Thank you for your support and encouragement through these past several months. Thank you for asking, for praying, for sending good thoughts. Thank you for sharing in my joys and for being concerned for my joints. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving children in a country half way around the world.

The marathon has come and gone again, and I find myself in an awkward and kind of lazy mood. With the season officially over, I am in quite an evaluative state. I give thanks for how much Frankie and I were able to raise: $3,125… more than I had hoped and expected. It’s such an amazing experience when you realize that people do care. That people do want to give, people want to support, and people want to make a difference. (As an entire group, we have raised well over $700,000 to help build clean water wells. We are still hoping to make it to $1 Million.) For the past two years I have been able to beat my body (quite literally) and provide a venue and reason for people to donate money to help build clean water wells in impoverished communities in Zambia and Kenya…it’s been amazing.

My experience running this marathon—the second time around, was quite different. In preparation for the run there wasn’t as much fear for the unknown or the doubt of finishing looming over me. Because I was running with my brother, Frankie, there was even more excitement; knowing that I was sharing this marathon with him was special. I will be honest; if he hadn’t run with me this time around, I question whether I would have kept running. At mile 2, I rolled my ankle when I stepped into a pot hole; by mile 6, I had sharp pains shooting down from my right hip to my ankle; by mile 14, my lower back muscles tightened and caused so much pain I couldn’t keep a comfortable running form; by mile 16, I wanted to stop.

What seemed so natural to me before: to run…became very unnatural, very painful, and very disappointing. But in the end, as the soreness in all my muscles have slowly subsided, I take a look at my TWV running singlet and know that I did something great. For myself; for Team World Vision; for the two girls that Sean and I sponsor, Mersi and Samira; and for other children just like them in communities in Kenya. With clean water wells, children can go to school instead of spending their days searching for water that isn’t even clean. With clean water wells, children don’t need to get sick from drinking dirty and diseased water. With clean water wells, children don’t need to die from completely preventable sicknesses. See what WV did in Quacha Birra, Ethiopia in 2000. This is how your donations helped last year in Musele, Zambia. Think of what your funds will do this year in communities in Kenya!

So, here I go again. I am committing to one more. One more year of fundraising, one more year of strength training, one more year of running, one more year of beating my body and making it my slave. Believe me when I say that I have more reservations this time, my body feels the toll of all the training that I’ve done these past two years. Although the muscle soreness has slowly vanished, the pains in my joints are ALL still there. But I can’t stop now. Next year’s fundraising goal: $5,000. 26.2 for Team World Vision; for social justice; for peace; for hope; for love; for LIFE.

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