I have some really great news to report! We are over 25% of the way to having what we need to put a well in an African village. To see how we are doing, and do DONATE, click here.
That is amazing. Several people have told me they wish they could give more, but every little bit counts. It adds up. We all can’t do everything, but every single one of us can do a little something.
I am happy to say I did much better on my mileage last week. The only day I had to cut short was Wednesday. I needed to run 8 miles, but of course that was the day a bunch of storms were rolling into central Indiana. So it was 93 degrees outside with a million percent humidity. I nearly didn’t even make it the six that I actually finished, but I was scared Mindy would be mad at me (she’s my drill sergeant…SIRYESSIR!!!). That was a really tough day for both of us.
Saturday finally rolled around. Mindy and I always get nervous about Saturdays. The long runs are mentally grueling. I’ve taken to packing a cooler with water, gatorade, and snacks for a break around mile 10. We did the first 10 without stopping, then took a break for gatorade and some food. Our legs were aching. We were tired. We just wanted to go home, but we had six more miles to go. Wet off on one more loop, and lo and behold, runner’s high kicks in. But it was unlike any runner’s high I have ever experienced, in that my muscles actually were ticklish. All over. I think Mindy felt it too because all of a sudden, she burst out laughing. Which made me laugh. Which made us both nearly collapse on the sidewalk in a fit of the giggles. It was embarrassing and hilarious and I almost wet myself. But in all seriousness, I am finding myself relying heavily on my mental strength on these long runs. We run out of things to talk about, we run the same loops multiple times, and we’re just plain hot and tired. I had to force myself into the zone several times Saturday to keep myself going.
I couldn’t help but think how it must feel to walk in weather much hotter than that, with no shoes, carrying a bucket of water, and not having the luxury of a snack/gatorade break…not having cool, refreshing water to replenish me afterwards but having warm, bug-infested water instead….not having any guarantee that the very water I am carrying to my babies wouldn’t make them sick.
In the midst of my running this week, my daughter turned one. I can’t describe the swing of emotions I went through as her birthday approached. I went from utter sadness at her growing up to complete pride and joy on what a big kid she is. I had several days of extreme nostalgia, and I would think, “Oh, at this time last year I was waiting!! At this time I was getting induced! At this time I was pushing so hard I was busting veins in my forehead! At this time I looked at her for the first time and fell completely in love!!” I couldn’t look at her newborn pictures without crying. This was the slowest/fastest year of my life. Every time I began to get sad that this year is over…that certain phases of her life are already long gone, never to be lived through again…I had to remind myself that, the Lord willing, we have so many more amazing and beautiful phases to go. We have so many memories to make, so much on the horizon, and I am so excited.
The sad thing is not every parent gets that. One of the most heart-breaking aspects of the lack of safe drinking water is the impact it has on children. Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. And for children under the age of five? There is no greater cause of death than unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation (United Nations Human Development Report). In fact, there are over 3,800 deaths each day in children from just one form of water-related sicknesses.
That means babies are dying from lack of something I have in abundance. That means babies are dying who never even got the chance to live, to make mistakes, to discover their passions and dreams. Babies are dying that could have been teachers, doctors, moms, dads, scientists, students, etc. These babies could have grown up to bring more hope to this world, which seems pretty hopeless sometimes (just watch the news).
But the truth is, it’s not hopeless. God is hope for us, and we are hope for each other. God helps us up, and we help each other up. God gives us good gifts, and we give good gifts to others. We’d be remiss not to share out of our wealth and abundance with those who have so little. And ironically enough, the story tends to be that what they lack in material and natural resources, they make up for in peace and joy. And how many of us chase our tail to get more of that in our lives?
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21
Here’s an overview (link below) of the organization that actually builds the wells, so you can see exactly how your money will be used.