Don’t you just love when you have one of those God moments where everything just comes together in such a way that you could never make happen on your own and you just know He was involved. It is so important to recognize these moments as God is at work in our lives, and this past weekend I had just that kind of a moment where so many of my passions collided in one fantastic morning!
Early Saturday we dragged (literally) our girls out of bed and bundled them up in sweats with the promise of donuts if they would hurry along. The night before we carefully stocked our car with cups, tables, posters, chairs and gallons of water. We were on our way to set up a water station for a group of runners. You might be thinking “This was your fantastic morning, your passions colliding – I don’t even know what a water station is?!?!” If that’s you, let me back up and share with you a little bit about myself through some of my previous posts on this blog. First, I love spending time with my kids and am always looking for ways to involve them in service to others such as this. In fact, having young children serve is something that has been on my heart for so long I have been blogging about it for several years over here. Secondly, earlier this year my family sponsored two little girls from a village in Africa through World Vision and getting water is a daily struggle for them. Finally, running is something that I love to do and is a hobby we have involved the whole family in.
Several months ago our church organized a group of runners who were committing to run the Chicago Marathon in October in order to raise funds to build wells in Africa. Not just anywhere in Africa, but in the same village where our sponsored girls live. For those of you who are runners, you know that training for marathon is a grueling task that takes tremendous dedication, culminating typically in a 20 mile training run before the actual marathon. So when a friend of mine said they were looking for people to encourage, support and pass out water to these runners on this final long training run, I eagerly signed my family up.
The night before the run the girls and I decorated posters with words of encouragement, knowing that for most of these runners this would be the farthest they had ever had to go. As we drove to our spot on the race route the sun was just coming up. As I turned the corner, I actually had to stop they car because the morning sun was shining so brightly it was all I could see. It was undeniable, He was here. He was with us. He was with those runners.
It. Was. Amazing.
We spent the next two hours passing out water and cheering as we saw friends, Sunday school teachers, pastors and many we had never met run by. I defy anyone to run pass a smiling three year old offering a cup of water and not take it – needless to say the runners who passed by us stayed hydrated! Again and again we were thanked, sometimes tearfully, for our support on this difficult run. My girls beamed as they received hugs and were told how encouraging it was to see their small smiling faces on the trail that day. It was not lost on any of us that by our small contribution of handing out water on this one September morning, that thousands of people, tens of thousand miles away would be able to enjoy water everyday.